Have you ever seen a raccoon around your chicken coop? The mammal looks cute, doesn’t it! The fact is that the animal is omnivorous.
They feed on fruits, nuts, and chickens. Having one raccoon get into your flock is devastating. The exciting thing is the raccoon is a predator that lives on the wild bird population.
They can mutilate poultry as they pull off the bird’s head and legs. Not only can they climb over the chicken coop they also dig holes under the fence.
Therefore, your chickens can easily fall prey to domestic dogs and raccoons. Furthermore, the animal can detect a chicken coop a mile away to gain entry.
Once the pest knows where it can find food, it keeps returning. So how do you raccoon-proof your chicken coop? Here you can find helpful information to achieve the best results.
How to Keep Your Chickens Safe from Raccoons
The first thing you need to do is to:
Raccoon Proof the Coop
Here the important thing is to make sure the doors and windows raccoon-proof. You can use a padlock or even a combination once to prevent access to the chicken coop.
If the lock has two combinations for opening, it is even better. Furthermore, you can place a heavy cinderblock up against the door, as well.
Cover the windows and run with hardware cloth as the wire keeps your chickens in at the same time. Using ordinary material will not keep the animal out as it rips it apart; the best solution is hardware cloth.
You can busy it up to four feet deep around the pen, preventing the raccoon from digging holes. On the other hand, you can use the fabric over the roof as well as blocking access.
Make your property as unattractive to prevent raccoons
Like the snake, the raccoon loves easy meals. Therefore, it helps to keep everything on the property secure. Make sure the trash cans lids on safe.
Never leave pet food outside at night as the animal has a distinctive smell. If the raccoon gets a smell from leftover food it will come to investigate.
Place bird feeders up high and keep it clean as these bandits love fallen seed. The raccoon can climb well and will eventually reach the feeder without problems.
You can find bird-feeders that are raccoon-proof. Furthermore, check for hollow tree trunks providing access to your attic. The cute animal loves dark places for sleeping when it is close to a food source.
Close of easy access such as holes to the attic or any other outside buildings. If you do have a birdbath, swimming pool, or pond, the best solution is to keep it covered at night.
The raccoon loves water, and it is one of the main attractions for the animal.
Make your property secure
Other safety measures you can take are to provide enough light around the chicken coop or your home. Raccoons sleep during the day and roam around at night.
You can use a strobe light or motion sensor light to keep them away. The best option is to find one made for smaller animals. It also helps if you check the accuracy and direction the light shows to detect animals.
Furthermore, make sure the grass is short around the pen and remove any shrubs providing you with visibility.
Other Methods to Raccoon Proof Your Hen Pen
For keeping predators away, you can always get a trained dog as raccoons are not fond of the dog’s smell. Alternatively, you can deter the animal away with the scent of:
- Cayenne pepper
- Hot pepper
Alternatively, you can make a homemade repellent by boiling cayenne pepper in a gallon of water. You can add up to three jalapenos with one onion.
Boil the ingredients for up to 20-minutes and spray it around the pen. Now that you know some of the methods to keep raccoons away, there is one last retreat!
You can trap the animal and remove it from your property. However, if you plan to do this, you need to be safe as raccoons get feisty.
Furthermore, you need to check your area regulations on moving the raccoon as well. Some places want you to have a permit to do this.
Alternatively, you can hire a professional from your local animal control center to rid your property of the raccoons instead. On the other hand, if you plan to do it yourself the animal needs to be released at least five miles away from your property.
While the raccoon is only one animal that can become a pest at your chicken coop, there are others as well. You also need to be aware of wild dogs, large cats, and foxes.
To keep these large predators out, you can secure a fence without holes, or you can electrify the fencing as well. As these animals dig under the barrier, you can use the same hardware cloth used for the raccoon to keep them away.
Other predators are birds of prey like owls and haws. To keep them away, you can use mesh over the pen with holes less than ½ inch as it will also prevent snakes accessing your chicken coop as well.
We hope the information helps you to keep your chicken coop predator-free.
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