Raccoons

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Chelsey, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. Chelsey

    Chelsey Well-Known Member

    276
    Dec 6, 2018
    I’ve never had a Raccoon problem until three days ago, I’ve lived here for four and a half years. Honestly, it’s probably my fault as I’ve gotten lazy in my chicken pen maintenance. Well, it started with my ducks, they tried to drag them through the fence, one of them was beheaded. We let the German Shepherd in the garden area too with all my Garden Birds and didn’t hear much the next night. Last night I didn’t hear a thing from the dog (our bedroom is surrounded by the fenced in garden area, so I figured I’d hear if she barks at anything since I can hear her from her yard), but this morning the quail pen had been broken into. They appear to have tried to take off with one quail and possibly another (or it may have just escaped from the gaping hole) because one quail is quite injured and I had to catch it, but all birds are accounted for. Then I think they went for the meat chick pen. They broke THROUGH the chicken fence itself and killed one of my little chicks, but then I think they got greedy and tried to take off with a big Cornish cross. My question is, my baby Nigerians start out smaller and lighter than a chicken or full grown Pekin Duck, do I need to be worried about my goats? I don’t have an LGD, electric fence won’t stop them unless maybe it’s a net, but I don’t have one, and my goat pens are larger predator proof, but not raccoon proof at ALL. My husband works tonight but is thankfully off tomorrow, he’s on his way to get a trap right now, we’ll lock the dog in the garden only so she doesn’t have as large an area to cover, and my husband will stay up tomorrow night to hopefully get rid of this sucker. I’m super close to getting rid of all my fowl and I’m considering getting out of Nigerians too if they’re in danger. I can’t stand it when something is defenseless, penned and such an easy target and I just hate the thought of things dying just because I want to keep them. Should I sell the Nigy herd I’ve worked so hard to get?
     
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would think mom would protect her kids. Plus her size would deter them.
     

  3. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    New England
    It would be good to be cautious, they shouldn't but that doesn't mean they wont try to
     
  4. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    Maybe a few guineas for an alarm...a few traps outside the pen area to get the racoon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
  5. Ashlynn

    Ashlynn Well-Known Member

    438
    Sep 30, 2017
    Lutz, FL
    They won’t mess with the Nigerians. Never say never but they shouldn’t. Set cage traps with cat food and water in them. You can then either kill them or release them in the woods that are away from your property.
     
    Goataddict likes this.
  6. Gooseberry Creek

    Gooseberry Creek New Member

    17
    Jun 3, 2020
    Florida
    If you dont lock them up in a coop at night you will lose every one of them. Make a secure coop with hardware cloth for windows. Frame the hardware cloth with wood strips.
    I have had chickens my whole life and once a raccoon finds them he will keep coming for them. If you can get them into a dog carrier and put them in your garage or somewhere at night until you can get your coop built it would be best. Chicken wire is crap and raccoon chew through it like butter so you need hardware cloth. A good latch on your door as well.
     
  7. Ashlynn

    Ashlynn Well-Known Member

    438
    Sep 30, 2017
    Lutz, FL
    Yes to what @Gooseberry Creek said. You could also keep them in a pen within their pen at night.
     
  8. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Are you sure it's raccoon? Have you seen them? Just want to be sure about the risk to the tiny goats.

    I'm so sorry for your losses. Is the wire mesh buried at the ground for your bird pens? Are they chicken wire or landscape fabric?
     
    Ashlynn likes this.
  9. MadHouse

    MadHouse Well-Known Member

    If it is a raccoon, they are also deterred by music/radio and light. Might keep up the other animals, but maybe as an extra precaution until the bandit is caught and/ or you have made the coops more secure.
     
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  10. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Put p nut butter and cat food in the trap. In Ohio, it's illegal to release a trapped racoon anywhere but in the same location it was trapped. That's to prevent disease spreading.

    The 3 S'S work the best. Good luck getting rid of those masked rats!
     
  11. Boers4ever

    Boers4ever Well-Known Member

    248
    Jun 28, 2020
    East Texas
    If you take the coon off anywhere make sure that there is absolutely no way that he can find his way back. We caught a coon with a huge scar down its face one time and took it about ten miles away. The next week it came back and we caught it again. That time we took him to a whole different town.
    Good luck!!!
     
  12. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Please, do not release raccoons in another area. They are prone to rabies and distemper. (Both of which jump species). If you cannot dispose of them in a humane manner, get a professional trapper to trap and deal with them. They kill them humanly. (Or are supposed to).

    Raccoons also carry Lepto and since raccoons use mud puddles, your dog can get Lepto from drinking in the puddle. The dog vaccines don't always work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  13. goatblessings

    goatblessings Fair-Haven Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Southwest Ohio
    Depending on your area it may be against the law to release raccoons. Also, IME, usually there is a whole family, so after you trap one, keep baiting traps. Because we are not allowed to release, we usually bait an area, use a red spot light and shoot them.
    We had a raccoon absolutely tear up a VERY large (110# ) dog of ours. They can be super nasty.
     
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  14. Ashlynn

    Ashlynn Well-Known Member

    438
    Sep 30, 2017
    Lutz, FL
    Yes look up your laws if releasing. In Florida we can release certain species off catch site if the release area is over 40 acres, in the same county, and not near the public. Shooting them is much easier and safer of course. We shoot most and release only a few even though I wish we could release them all. Sometimes release isn’t the answer.
     
  15. Chelsey

    Chelsey Well-Known Member

    276
    Dec 6, 2018
    Well, I think we fixed the problem but we need to make things a bit more secure for next time. We had to get authorities involved and unfortunately had to use less than perfect means to remove it so I can’t say much. But I can say that it wasn’t a raccoon, and my dog was so terrified she broke out, she’s around eight years old and has NEVER broken out. Hopefully it didn’t have a family, but I am worried about my goats with what it was. I think we can add some electric fence to the top of the goats night enclosure to deter jumping and hardware cloth to the base so it can’t get through the panels. We’ll also use the more secure area for a kidding pen. When we built the chicken coops I didn’t want to have to lock them in the coop and unlock them in the morning since I have very young kids and knew I couldn’t be there at dawn and dusk every day (we live in an area that gets over 100 degrees in summer so keeping chickens locked in the coop is a death sentence). I built them as fully enclosed runs with a large coop attached (kinda like a very large chicken tractor that can’t be moved), but they are made with chicken wire and I knew Raccoons can go through it. I’ll have to add motion lights to help keep the coons away, but we seem to be safe from them still. We live in a big field and they don’t seem to like crossing the empty areas with my dog around, thankfully. Thanks for all your tips, advice, and help! I love this group! It’s the best!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
    Ashlynn likes this.
  16. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Yikes! Hopefully it was a one time occurrence.
     
  17. AzPurpleLady

    AzPurpleLady New Member

    13
    Jul 11, 2013
    Payson, AZ
    Sorry to hear about your problem. Where I'm at coyotes and raccoons are a problem. We got some great raccoon traps that we bait with mini marshmallows. They stick their paw in to get the marshmallows and it snaps their leg in. It's a around 6" long square tube with a chain on it that we chain to a tree especially down by the creek but we do not release them. We dispose of them. We usually get 4 and then no problems for a while. When we built our 2 chicken coops we used all hardware cloth. No chicken wire. We made sure that all edges were covered with wood so that a coon couldn't try and rip it away from the building. We close both coops at night and then let them out in the morning whenever we get up. I'm in the mountains of Arizona so it does get hot here especially this summer. It's been our worst ever. Had 2 days in a row of 104 temp which I'd never seen out here. I have 11 pygmies 4 of which are babies 3 months and younger. We have 2 rows of electric wire around the yard where the pygmies, chickens and ducks roam around during the day. So far that has kept them protected for the past 15 years. I would not get rid of your goats. You've worked hard to get where you're at. You just need to reinforce their surroundings to keep them protected. Mama goats are quite good at protecting their young. Best of luck to you.
     
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