[Market-farming] unwanted critters

road's end farm organic101 at linkny.com
Fri Feb 18 09:10:51 EST 2005

On Feb 18, 2005, at 6:56 AM, Tom at Limerock wrote:

> Any clever thoughts on how can we keep unwanted critters, mainly skunk 
> and racoon, from getting in the one shed we allow our outdoor cats to 
> use for shelter/food/water?  It is a small shed which sets on concrete 
> blocks (one block high).  I cut a cathole about, 5"x7" right by the 
> entry door.  There is one 12" step up to the door and cathole.  Call 
> me crazy, but cats are good people too and do keep some of the rodent 
> population under control.

I solved this one by feeding all the cats in the house; but I know this 
isn't practical in all cases.

Would it work for you to get a dog? A dog raised with cats from a pup 
won't hurt the cats, or at least won't hurt its own cats; and it might 
keep the racoons off, and maybe even the skunks. This does of course 
depend on the dog.

While healthy young cats climb better than either racoons or skunks, I 
hesitate to suggest some sort of ladder entry, because an older or 
injured cat might not be able to use it either; and of course that's 
the cat most drastically in need of shelter/food/water.

The racoons are a serious hazard to the cats; they will often kill 
cats. An entry the cats can just barely fit through (it's surprising 
what a cat can fit through) will at least keep out those racoons which 
are larger than the cats. If you can handle these cats, you might try 
setting up a board with increasingly smaller openings and seeing how 
small an opening the largest cat will go through; then adjust your 
cathole to this size. I suspect this won't help much against the 
skunks, though.

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale

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