The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How do you prevent racoons from eating chickens?

Flicker user Gary J Wood.

Nayan makes a good point in her latest comment.

"My neighbor had made a heavy-duty tractor with hardware cloth etc. and it was pretty heavy. The raccoons got into it anyhow and ate every... single... adult... chicken. How you do keep predators away?

We have come to the conclusion that the risk is worth the value for better quality eggs. If the predator pressure gets too high then maybe we'll build a Fort Knox type of chicken coop and bring bugs to the chickens which will involve another level of time and effort.

Image credit goes to flickr user garyjwood.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I have used a "dog proof" trap for many years. It's simply a metal tube with a spring loaded catch that tarps the raccoon buy the front paw as he reaches inside for the bait. I use raisins as a bait. The raccoon will be alive and you will have to " dispatch" him your self by what ever means you chose. Anchor the trap securely as the raccoon will pull on the trap. I purchased mine at a farm supply store for $20.00.
Comment by Mike Sat Apr 8 19:15:14 2017

My neighbor (same one in the response) noticed that when he had a dog, the raccoons seemed to stay clear of the area. Unfortunately, the dog, being very old and sick, had to be put down. That was a few years ago. He's fencing in the area so that he could get another dog.

Does anyone else have any ideas on how to keep predators away?

Comment by Nayan Sat Apr 8 22:44:41 2017
Put a simple little electric fencer around your chickens and power it on at night. Do this for a week or two and you'll have completely cured your problem with 'coons - and 'possums and foxes and coyotes, etc. This is my only really effective and 'mostly' harmless way to handle predators. With a little electric fencer, you don't have to build concrete fortresses or go to herculean efforts with structures. 'Zap' 'em on the nose a time or two and the predators, who are after all opportunistic, will decide to seek greener pastures 'elsewhere.' Repeat lessons may be needed every six or eight weeks through the season....
Comment by Tim Inman Sun Apr 9 11:45:02 2017
Last year I trapped 24 raccoons from May until the end of July in a Hav-a-hart trap. I used marshmallows. They can't resist them.
Comment by Julie K Whitmore Sun Apr 9 14:50:53 2017
I'm inclined to agree with both the electric fence and dog methods of keeping predators at bay. Traps can cause needless suffering, and killing all of them upsets the balance in your surrounding ecosystem. Joel Salatin's chicken tractor design has good, sturdy roofing to protect the birds in the pasture, as does John Suscovich's design.
Comment by Another Julie Sun Apr 9 17:58:09 2017

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