[Market-farming] raccoon strategies

R. Follette marketgardener at thymeforewe.com
Mon Jun 25 13:03:52 EDT 2007

I have two working dogs that keep predators away.  They're keeping hawks off 
my ducks and chickens and crows out of the corn today.

When we had coons I drove stakes into the ground around the hen house, ran 
two pieces of twine and attached cow bells.  The twine was 8' from the hen 
house.  When the dogs heard the bells they knew they had work to do.  Except 
when a family was displaced because of logging last year and caught me off 
guard by moving in here, we haven't lost anything to coons in six or seven 
years.  The dogs have done wonders for us.  No coons, rabbits or squirrels. 
We haven't lost birds in two years, since an immature bald eagle was picking 
off poults.  Leaving a dog in the pasture with them took care of that.

Working farm dogs are worth their weight in gold.  It's less expensive for 
me to have them and pay their expenses than it is to replace what I was 

Thyme For Ewe Farm

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joan Vibert" <joan at windwalker-farm.com>
To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 10:14 AM
Subject: [Market-farming] raccoon strategies

> We are at out wits end and wanting any and all ideas you all might have to
> catch raccoons and/or keep them out of the chicken house.  I suspect we 
> have
> a band or marauding young raccoons who are too strong for their own good.
> Over the last week we have lost close to 20 chickens (most of whom have 
> just
> started laying this spring - all that good feed money down the drain!) and
> another 10 over the last couple of months.  Last night was the height of
> slaughter - 13 dead in the chicken house and our head rooster will 
> probably
> die today.
> We put the remains of a dead chicken in the live trap last week and both
> ends of the trap were attacked and bent and the chicken was long gone. 
> Last
> night they bent a small opening in the hardware cloth that was to prevent
> them getting onto the outside of the nesting boxes and crawled in through 
> a
> vent opening.  The hole was no larger than 2 1/2" to 3".  They killed
> chickens and left - no evidence of trying to take them with them.  A 
> couple
> of heads were removed and a small amount of chewing was in evidence but it
> mostly appeared to be for sport.  We have had possum problems in the last
> month also but whatever got in last night jumped off of a 5 gallon bucket
> onto the chicken house roof (or climbed the wall of the house).
> We're going to try a punctured can of tuna tonight in the live trap but it
> may be that we need more live traps, too.  We're just looking for ideas -
> anything you've found that might work we're willing to try.  When you have
> to get the tractor out to bury chickens its not a good thing.
> Joan
> Windwalker Farm
> Ottawa, Kansas
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