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Friday, November 8, 2013

Raccoon in Chicken Pen

raccoon inside hens' pen
click photos to embiggen
Look at her evil, beady eyes!
Thursday, about 4:15 I decided to put up the hens so that an early-wandering raccoon would not bother them. As I rounded the corner of the house to go across the back yard, I saw a raccoon in the pen, eating ravenously. I think there was only cabbage. I didn't know that a raccoon would love cabbage as much as this seemed to be loving cabbage. I used zoom to get all these pictures. He is about 60' away. 
eating as she heads to the door
These raccoons are habituated to humans and human activity, so they don't move away at the first sight of  humans. Since they go onto porches to eat cat food at night, lights, human noises, humans going and coming are nothing new or cause for alarm.
raccoon up on the corner of the fence
She did not move very fast, just sauntered up, climbed, turned, and sat there a few minutes looking at me. 
going to other side of fence

turning to peer at me instead
See her eyes?
She was in no hurry! She just turned and looked at me for a few minutes, never moving, just watching.
Your turn
Have you experienced a raccoon up this close? Can you believe that she did not just run over and grab a hen? 


  1. Replies
    1. I thought that was possum. lol

    2. geeze!! can you tell if it's always the same raccoon?? do you have any friends with a humane trap? they're very easy to catch and could be taken somewhere far away from your precious chickens! yikes!

    3. Lily,
      I have a humane trap. It is illegal to relocate raccoons because they might transfer diseases from one area to another. However, Animal Control will kill them. I think my trap is jammed because a chunk of cantaloupe is gone from last night.

      I have caught 8 raccoons over the years. When one is gone, others move in. So, this is not a permanent population. There is a mother and two teen offspring here now, terrorizing my hens and me! Some days I see the little one and somedays I see the mother.

    4. We haven't had raccoon trouble for a couple of years (knock on wood) but one year we had one literally rip the door of the chicken house and killed several. My husband went down to the barn and a huge raccoon just looked at him like, "what are you going to do about it?" He blasted the raccoon :-)

  2. Patti,
    Raccoons can rip vinyl or wood siding off a residence with people inside if the raccoon makes up its mind to come in. They are strong. I would depend on a door, to, like you did. Raccoons can give that look like they are in control, like when it is sitting on the fence corner! Great answer--blast him with a shotgun. Wish I had a husband with a shotgun or a shotgun. I am the only person in the neighborhood who worries about this!

    Thanks for that story.

  3. Oh my. An evil looking masked bandit. Cabbage? Better than chicken. Much better than chicken.

  4. EC,
    That is a good one--evil looking masked bandit. So right--cabbage is much better than chicken.

  5. A couple years ago my hummingbird feeders would be empty overnight. They were on a high shepherds hook too. We noticed a dug out area around the base of the feeders.

    We suspected it was a coon. Sure enough I took a flashlight and look out the sunroom window one night to find the little critter with his paws rocking the hook back and forth until the feeder would leak into the pit he had created.

    We got a trap from my father in law and out some peanut utter on bread and out it next to the feeder. The next morning he wa in it and had scratched everything up trying to get out.

    We took him about ten mikes away and let him go in an out of the way cemetery. He scattered right up a tree and just stared at us. Pretty sure he loved his new home, but missed my bird feeders.

    1. Rita,
      Raccoons are so smart, but to dig a hole and rock the feeder? That is really smart. Interesting story.

      Oh, yes, they do dig up the place. From now on, I want the trap on a sheet of metal, roofing, or something.

      I am glad everyone was happy! Thanks for relating that.

  6. I am a different Patti.. We have some racoons living in the palm tree in the front yard, but they never bother the chickens in the back. Maybe because the Pointer runs them off?

    1. Patti,
      I am quite sure the dog is the secret. I need a dog, but I don't have a fence all the way around my yard. I am glad to have another Patti!


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