(This is not going to become a chicken blog, but I have a problem right now.)
Things that go bump in the night: Chapter four
Okay, so it was just a baby, but it was trying to get into the back door at 3:00 A.M. this morning.
Earlier, I heard a noise as I slept. Okay, a noise, Linda, that is all it is. THEN, another noise like someone opened the back door. I crept through the dark house to see what was making the noise. I stood inside the back door, as close to the noise as I could get. Finally, in one motion, I flipped all the outside lights on with one hand as I ripped open the door curtain with another.
So, I dared to open the back door and heard mewing. I stuck my head out and a baby raccoon, less than a foot long in the body, was trying desperately to climb to the porch using a garden rake I had leaned on the ground and up against the porch rail. The rake kept moving, impeding his progress. I wiggled the rake handle and the adorable little thing growled like a big dog. I retreated, fearing he would learn to climb better in an instant and attack me.
Mewing and Growling
As I stood next to my sleeping chickens in their hamster cage covered with a shower curtain and sitting right inside the door, I heard something on the door. Daring to open the curtain, I saw the little raccoon was climbing the door facing, trying to get to the top to enter the house at an inside corner! It mewed when it saw me--so precious. But, when I tried to get out the door to get the rake, it growled ferociously. Oh me, oh my! Am I frightened? Yes! If this ferocious little beast jumps on me from above my head, I am NOT going to like the consequences.
Since I could not reach the rake to kill it, I looked for a weapon inside. The hammer was the only thing I could find. Naturally, in the dark I grabbed the ball peen hammer from the tool box instead of the claw hammer.
You can see how this ball peen is not much of a weapon. Okay, if you swing it hard, it would do some damage to a baby raccoon
If I had grabbed my 16 ounce claw hammer, I could do more damage with the claw.
My fighting skills
Well, I am such a baby that I did not hit him very hard until the last two blows out of about eight blows to his body. I just wanted to kill him, but I was afraid I would hurt him. How do you kill an animal with a hammer and not hurt the animal? I would repeatedly open the door, swing at him, retreat when he snarled, and still he mewed pitifully to me.
Finally, I heard him fall to the ground! I opened the door to see the baby raccoon trying desperately to climb the eight inches needed to get into my house. I pushed at him with my foot, a foot shod only in sandals. He snarled and hissed. Then, he mewed as he scrambled forward once again. It was such a precious, begging little mew. Then, as I shoved again, he mewed pitifully. He snarled again. Psycho baby? I didn't even have time to bend over and smash him with the hammer because he was so quick and so intent on entering my house.
Don't bite my toes!
One swift blow with my sandaled toes sent him scurrying. He looked back and mewed again. Where on earth is the mother? Not in the trap as far as I can see.
He scurried behind some things stacked/leaned on the porch, snarling as he went, emerged and decided that a window screen leaning on the porch was better shelter than the wooden door leaning there that he first chose as shelter. ???
Here I sit at 4:15 A.M., wondering what to do with myself until I can release the hens to the safety of daylight and their pen. I am fearful. Although raccoons are nocturnal, they will come out during the daylight hours. My poor chickie babies will be spending more time penned up during the day until I find the mama and babies to destroy them. Sigh...since one was killed in the pen, right now, the pen is not much consolation to me.
Dress for success
I am afraid to go out now. But, when I do at daybreak, I will be wearing my tall, black, rubber boots, just in case. When I do go out, I will not only have on boots, I will have leather gloves and a coat. Hopefully, my thighs will be the only part of me not protected, but I have no chaps. I wish I had a warrior mask for my face. I am afraid this might come down to hand-to-hand combat. Mmmmm, hand to raccoon claws and teeth.
Animal control will definitely be consulted at 8 A.M.. They furnish the live traps. I just happen to have one I can set late at night when the problems occur instead of waiting all night to get help in the form of trapping. Whew! I am exhausted. And, somehow, I hurt my left arm! I think it was all the twisting and holding onto the door while I swung the hammer with the right hand.
More case histories
Have you dealt with this? Raccoons? Were you getting the adrenalin rush that I was having? Now, an hour later, I have a horrendous headache. Please share you raccoon stories with me!