Another easy way to discourage raccoons from visiting your yard is to stop giving them food (intentionally or accidentally). It scares them and makes them stay away from your yard. Dump out water bowls that are left outside each night and put away any uneaten chicken feed. This alone is enough to open up many new access routes for raccoons that may not be available for traditional predators like dogs or coyotes, and you have to plan accordingly when making sure your chicken coop is safe. I have a raccoon problem and I was wanting to know if the Guard Night light works. Guard Geese are territorial and can help protect your flock of chickens. Hands down, my favorite way of keeping raccoons from digging under my chicken coop and run is definitely the coop apron. Snakes, … If you have fruit trees, nut trees, or berry bushes on your property, check for and pick up ripe and fallen fruit. If something is attacking your chickens, the first thing you need to do is figure out which predator is to blame. However, because raccoons are small and agile, there are more factors to take into consideration that could be exploited, including: Raccoons may not have opposable thumbs, but they do have an unusually high number of sensory receptors in their “hands” (actually just extremely sensitive front paws), which allows them to perform extremely delicate actions like opening door or unhooking latches. Raccoons can open many latches, so use a latch you can padlock to keep the windows, doors, and other openings on your coop securely locked … Raccoons will also use your chickens’ waterer to wash their food. I hope this post about how to protect chickens from raccoons helped you out! Amazon product data was last updated on 2020-12-06. This last tip may not be an option, but often having a dog that exists in the same space as any potential food is enough to deter any potential predators. Most predators are nervous about crossing a yard with little to no place to hide. In addition to keeping the area between the coop and the house free of any large plants where raccoons can sleep and hide away, there are various measures you can take to make your yard as a whole less appealing to raccoons, including: As mentioned above, scents like ammonia or the proteins found in predator urine are extremely repulsive to raccoons. If you … Do Guard Geese Protect Chickens from Hawks. Good Night, Chickens Finally, it should go without saying that chickens must be tucked safely up in protected coops for the night. So it’s a good idea to leave the area around your chicken coop free of bushes, trees, or anything raccoons can hide behind or under. Protect Backyard Chickens from Raccoons This week is the beginning of a series that will explore the many predators that threatens the backyard chicken flock. I have 5 chickens now and they run free in the yard but when the chickens are out in the yard, the raccoon goes in there house and eats the food. Basically, the goal is to make sure that your coop is secure from every possible angle. Keep their coops raccoon proofed. Ideally, use hardware cloth with a fine mesh that raccoons can't reach through (use 1/2" or 1/4"). Even the scent of a dog is very frightening to most predators, so they will likely leave your chickens alone. Make sure any latches or doors on your coop are securely fastened with twine or even secured with padlocks, so that a raccoon can’t simply open up the coop and help himself to whatever he finds inside. However, because raccoons are small and agile, there are more factors to take into consideration that could be exploited, including: 1. … My favorite lock to keep raccoons (and possibly humans) out of my chicken run is a weatherproof, titanium lock I got from Amazon and a hasp. If your coop is reinforced to protect against a tunneling raccoon, you may want to make sure your fence is reinforced the same way. Make sure any garbage that you put outside is fully sealed and taken away regularly so that nothing is left behind to tempt a hungry raccoon. Stop raccoons from invading your garbage bins by using a, Raccoons will eat any food left out at night, including chicken feed. I am a podcaster who is starting to put videos out on YouTube. Another vital step is covering the coop. When those signs are absent, much can be inferred by the way in which the chickens are attacked. Many friends who have small flocks have purchased live traps to protect their birds but are unsure how to use them, or what to do afterward. That’s it! If everything else has failed, you might also be able to humanely trap a raccoon. Make sure to collect all eggs in the coop and surrounding areas. This is because the raccoons are among the smartest of predators. You don’t need to make your chicken coop into a fortress to protect your chickens from raccoons, but it helps. Raccoons are yet another predator that you need to look out for when it comes to protecting your chickens. Raccoons may be clever, but they are still wild animals, and, like most wild animals, can be easily startled or frightened away by the presence of a human guard for the chicken coop. Cover Their Coop. How to Protect Chickens from Raccoons Your best defense against raccoons is to have a loud, obnoxious dog that hates raccoons. For this reason, it’s very important that your chicken coop is easily visible from your house, so that you can respond to threats quickly and effectively. So, if you get a dog, be sure to supervise them at first. Instead of chicken wire, you must use hardware cloth (my favorite is this one from Amazon) for your chicken coop and run. The chicken coop is one of the easiest targets for raccoons because they know that it is a source of easy prey. Placing ammonia-soaked rags around the edges of your yard can help deter raccoons from coming into the yard, but it might irritate you and the neighbors as well. This is the perfect time for you to check your coop and run for any gaps. Make Them Vulnerable. However, raccoons have been known to attack dogs if cornered, so unless your dog is properly trained, try to avoid letting him chase after raccoons. To make sure your yard and coop is a less attractive place for raccoons, dump out any source of water. In the fall, raccoons are especially hungry at this time because they need extra calories to fatten up and prepare for the upcoming cold temperatures. Chicken wire is more for keeping your chickens in than keeping predators out. However, there’s a potential problem with having a guard dog. The last thing they want is to be caught. Raccoons are primarily nocturnal, but, as they adapt more and more to human presence in their habitats, they are starting to hunt more during the day. Some dogs are very playful. Take the same precautions to keep raccoons out of attics, barns, and crawl spaces underneath decks and porches. If you have reason to suspect that a raccoon might be rabid, your first priority should be to get yourself, your family, and your animals out of harm’s way before you go to deal with the raccoon. Make sure to correct your dog any time it seems to be disturbing your chickens. Install a Roof. On a similar note, any weak spot in the coop’s walls or surroundings can easily be exploited by a raccoon. Eggs of the chickens are also known as the feast for predators. How Many Chickens Can Share a Nesting Box? PredatorGuard flashes a pair of red lights that animals think is a set of eyes. My favorite one is this light called PredatorGuard, which I got on Amazon. If the head of a raccoon can fit through a hole, they can squeeze their body through it. Remove all chicken feed and store it in a steel container (. To make sure that your chicken coop is reinforced from above, make sure that the roof meets the walls at every angle, and that there is no gap at the corners or on the straight edges where a raccoon might be able to get a hold. Do not let your chickens … Raccoons and other scavengers are animals that will mostly come out during the night. Raccoons and other predators might still be hunting early in the morning. Ultimately, the best way to keep your chickens are safe from raccoons is to make sure that a raccoon cannot get into the coop. The main problem you are going to face is actually protecting your chickens from the raccoons. Another thing to consider when dealing with predators like raccoons–or, in many cases, rodents like rats and opossums–is that they can climb. If you live in an area with lots of hawks and owls you will need to place a cover … But protecting your chickens from raccoons is a little more difficult than protecting them from other predators. Raccoons can also easily climb wood any chicken coop made out of wood. Smooth internal edges protect animals from injury. You should also go to the chicken coop earlier in the evenings before the chickens settle into their coop for the night. They cannot fight against larger predators such as Coyotes, large cats, or raccoons. Steel wool should be used instead of chicken wire to fill in gaps in your coop, but for lengths of fencing, you should be using something like hardware cloth fencing, so that raccoons can’t sneak their hands through the links and break into the coop. These predators typically are able to kill, pick up, and carry off an adult chicken.Hawks typically take chickens during the day, whereas owls take them during the night. All carnivorous and omnivorous creatures would be happy to find a chicken waiting to be dinner. how to keep predators from digging under the chicken coop, (That Won’t Get Your Chickens Murdered at Night). So in this post, I talk about the ins and outs of how to protect chickens from raccoons. So you’ll need a complicated lock, a padlock with a key, or a combination lock for your chicken coop. Potential Poultry Predators If you are new to raising chickens , you might not even be aware of what predators are around. I may earn a commission when you buy through links on my site. I built Fort Knox, fortified it with guard dogs and allow nature to take its course. Yuck. The Ultimate Guide to Raising Chickens for Eggs. (Chicken wire should only be used to keep chickens in, not to keep predators out.) Using a motion detector light at night is a possibility, although raccoons will quickly become used to it. PredatorGuard also scares deer, wolves, coyotes, foxes, skunks, and bears. It’s an alternative to burying fencing material into the ground 12 to 18 inches and it works great (and it’s easier to make). You might also want to check out my most popular post: DIY Chicken Coop Plans (That Won’t Get Your Chickens Murdered at Night). A raccoon’s clever nature and manual dexterity make them as much a threat to a coop as larger, stronger predators, and the fact that they carry diseases like rabies makes them as dangerous to humans as they are to chickens. By doing this, they can stress the chickens or accidentally kill them. If wildlife is hungry enough, they’ll work day and night to get at your chickens. Your chickens are likely to be safe roaming during the day, but they won't be so safe when the sun goes down. They cannot fight against larger predators such as Coyotes, large cats, or raccoons. Your dog doesn’t have to be a trained guard dog, but if it shares the same space as the chickens, its scent can sometimes be enough to deter a threat. Do not leave your chickens loose in the yard at night, as they will also provide an easy snack for a hungry raccoon. Proper identification of the predatory threat is key to implementing the right solution to this problem and keeping your hens safe. This website also participates in partner programs with CJ, ShareASale, Awin, Impact, and other sites. Raccoons have paws that work a lot like human hands and they’re very smart when it comes to opening your chicken coop door! In many cases, predators will leave tracks or scat behind as evidence. But raccoons are notorious for killing the chickens they can grab through chicken wire. It’s so simple and cheap to make! If you see a raccoon during the day, it could be harmless or it could be diseased, so if you approach it at all, do so with extreme caution. Placing deterrent lights around the chicken coop is one of the best ways to create a raccoon-free property. Once you’ve identified a weak spot, you can plug the gap with steel wool, or plaster over it with more wood, or even put a metal mesh cover over the hole until you can fully repair it. And please note that raccoons can squeeze into very small holes. I've been raising chickens since 2012 -- initially for their eggs and to keep our yard clear of bugs and now as pets. They’re also extra challenging because they can climb and dig very well, and their front paws are a lot like human hands, which is both creepy and cute. Bury it or put an Apron on It. The coop itself is the strongest source of protection for your chickens, and if it’s strong enough, it should do most of the work in deterring predators like raccoons from preying on your flock. So make sure to check around doors, windows, vents, and the roof for any gaps. Check your coop regularly for any holes or gaps, both inside and out, that a raccoon could use to gain entry. One of the best ways to protect chickens from hawks, owls, and eagles is to make sure your chickens have lots of places to hide when a predator is flying overhead. How I protect my chickens from predators in my context. Train your birds to return to the chicken house every evening – and be sure to close it up. To make sure your yard and coop is a less attractive place for raccoons, dump out any source of water. Cover any gaps and vents with hardware cloth. Raccoons love these treats. Please, don't ask me how much this all costs to protect chickens from bobcats, mountain lions, bears, raccoons, weasels, mink, coyote, raccoon, fishers cats, etc. Don’t leave your chickens in an open area. They can fight off smaller predators such as skunks, weasels, and other rodents. I admit I go a little crazy in that post, but I’ve had so many neighbors lose their chickens to predators (especially raccoons) because their chicken coop wasn’t safe. The smell of ammonia or bleach is highly repulsive to raccoons, and can be purchased at any home supply store and spread around the coop in order to frighten raccoons away. Again, because raccoons have an above average level of manual dexterity, and because they are relentless predators, they have often been observed to tear away at any chink in a coop’s defenses until it is large enough to slip through before making their way inside and feasting on the defenseless chickens and their eggs. Especially as raccoons adapt to human habitation, an unsecured trash can serves as a welcome mat for a hungry raccoon, and so they will be far more likely to return to your yard and check for any other easily available sources of food. In some states, it’s very illegal to trap and relocate a raccoon. I attached four of these little devices around my chicken coop, facing out in all four directions. Think of raccoons as burglars. Geese are territorial and can help protect your flock of chickens. How Old Are Chickens When They Stop Laying Eggs? You don't need to make your chicken coop into a fortress to protect your birds from raccoons, but it helps. Because I live in a secluded area with many predators, my chickens only free-range when my dog is with them during the day. They were eating out of our garbage cans every night, ripping the … Do Backyard Chickens Attract Rats and Mice? Protect your chickens from raccoons Raccoons are nocturnal and opportunistic and will be attracted to food and water left out overnight. No matter what material you settle on, if it’s enough to stop a raccoon from tunneling into the safety of your coop, it should be more than enough to keep your coop and your chickens safe and sound. I also personally don’t use chicken wire to protect the run because predators can easily tear through it. Raccoons can often be found rummaging around near chicken coops and will look for any opportunity to strike at a moment’s notice. Identifying a chicken that was the victim of a raccoon attack is easy. To protect your chicken coop from raccoons, mount four Nite Guard Solar lights on all four sides of the coop (one light per side) and position them at eye level to a raccoon (about 10–15 inches from the ground and centered corner to corner). Then, I have an automatic chicken door opener for my chicken coop that lets my hens out into their run (they free-range, but only when my dog is out to keep an eye on them). Make sure to collect all eggs in the coop and surrounding areas. What are the important steps to take to guard the chickens? Most people would want to have a solid roof … If your coop is not adequately proofed against raccoons, they may tunnel underneath the walls of the coop and enter through this new opening. Similarly, many pet supply stores or online retailers offer predator urine for purchase. Raccoons and other predators can tear right through it like tissue paper. And finally, make sure you protect your home as well as your chicken coop and run. Raccoons don’t like the scent of ammonia (and neither do most humans). If you don’t know what a coop apron is, you definitely want to check my post on how to keep predators from digging under the chicken coop using a coop apron. So long as you make sure the inside of the coop is sealed against light so that your chickens can get a good night’s sleep, a blinding light can startle predators like raccoons into beating a hasty retreat. You don’t want to make a trapped animal suffer in harsh conditions, like being in the hot sun for too long without water. Click to see full answer. Changing Your Routine Keep your chickens in a secured location at night. For example; raccoons can easily open up … However, because chickens are prey animals, this does run the risk of making them uneasy in their coop, too, so ammonia may still be the safest choice when dealing with skittish animals like chickens. While it may be a little less hygienic than ammonia, spraying predator urine (typically collected from animals like dogs, coyotes, large cats like panthers and cougars, or wolves) around your coop is an almost surefire way to make raccoons thinks twice about coming closer. Finally, you may want to make sure that there are no large bushes or trees between your house and the chicken coop. So, how do you protect your flock so you do not have to worry about losing your poultry stock to raccoons, dogs, weasels, hawks, and more? Different predators are active at different times of the day and th… Just make sure to do your research first because different states have different laws about trapping wildlife! And I couldn’t be more pleased with them. Be especially careful to remove all eggs before nighttime. Enclose your chickens in a secure coop at night. Galvanized hardware cloth is available at most home improvement supply stores, and the welded edge of the wires will make it far more difficult for raccoons to gain access. Taking steps to protect chickens from predators should be on every chicken owner’s mind. One extra thing to take note of is the natural sleep cycle of raccoons. If a raccoon has targeted your chickens and you’ve bought or borrowed a live trap, here are several steps to take to safeguard your birds. This doesn’t mean that you have to have wood planks two feet deep into the ground. Raccoon, fox, hawks, bears, bobcats and the neighborhood dog, are all capable of wiping out a flock. I appreciate wildlife, including the black bears who occasionally visit. I really recommend you replace any chicken wire with 1/4 inch hardware cloth because it really works to keep a variety of predators out. Raccoons will kill ducks. To deter digging predators, dig a 12″ trench all the way around the … If you do decide to trap a raccoon, you can throw marshmallows into the back of a humane live animal trap, like these ones on Amazon, and smear peanut butter all over and under the trip plate. I spent the whole day Monday setting up a solar electric fence to stop raccoons from getting to my chickens and my garden. Protecting Your Chickens Against Raccoons. Use a strong padlock openable only with a key. If there are any openings in your roof, make sure they are covered with a small-gap mesh or some other material that will make it impossible for a raccoon to sneak through. In addition, to make sure that your yard is safe from any predators that might be passing through the neighborhood, try to get rid of anything that would attract a raccoon to your yard in the first place. Obviously a fence around the backyard is a much larger undertaking than the walls of a chicken coop, but if possible, extending the foundation of your fence can go a long way towards making your yard safer for your chickens and any other animals you keep at home. Protecting them is like protecting your chickens. We had a big raccoon problem when we first bought our house. One mistake beginner chicken keepers do all the time is using chicken wire thinking their chickens will be protected by it. It really works! So, they become a bigger problem for your chickens. Keep an eye out for raccoons as you would for any other predators, but also keep in mind that they are the most common carriers of rabies in North America. Bushes, large grasses, decks, and overhangs can be a perfect place to take shelter. Take Precautions: Defense. Raccoons are naturally carnivorous, but they love to forage through garbage cans for anything tasty that homeowners have left behind. Protecting chickens from predators starts with building a secure hen yard: Make your hen house unappealing to predators. The raccoon tries to get in there house at night but I think the chickens are safe. They can fight off smaller predators such as skunks, weasels, and other rodents. Be especially careful to remove all eggs before nighttime. If birds are dead and not eaten but are missing their heads, the predator may be a raccoon, a hawk, or an owl. If you're interested, you can read my story, 11 Methods to Protect Chickens from Raccoons. Do not leave feed in the run overnight as the raccoon might try to break in to get it. They are not like the possums. Obviously, predator proofing your coop and run is very important. Some might want to chase the chickens around. Instead, try using small-mesh fencing material. I personally do not recommend this way of preventing raccoons from coming into your yard. By predator-proofing your chickens’ coop, maintaining a clear, well-lit line of visibility, and keeping the area around the coop free of any potential hiding spots, you can keep these crafty carnivores from devastating your flock, and keep your chickens healthy and safe. LaySomeEggs.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for websites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Raccoons are also less likely to try to dig under coops, try to unlock doors, or try to break through a fence when they have to be in the open. While chicken wire may seem like the perfect solution for filling in gaps in your chicken coop–it’s right there in the name, after all!–it’s sadly not enough to deter a hungry raccoon. (adsbygoogle=window.adsbygoogle||[]).push({}). To proof against any dedicated diggers, make sure the walls of your coop extend at least a foot below the surface of the earth. Don’ts for Protecting Chickens from Predators. You don't want to know! A simple latch may be enough to deter larger and stronger predators, but what raccoons lack in size, they more than make up for in intelligence and manual dexterity. Securing Your Chicken Coop. BSTOOL Chicken Wire Net for Craft Projects,3 Sheets Lightweight Galvanized Hexagonal... 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