Dang Coons! We lost one chicken (one of our new young soon-to-be layers) last night to a pair of Raccoons who staged a night time assault on my makeshift chicken coup that was serving as a temporary housing spot while I finished the straw bale coup.
I was working about 10pm in my office when Jenn yelled frantically down the stairwell…”Something’s getting the chickens!” I ran upstairs, grabbed my headlamp and ran outside to ALL hell breaking loose!
A Raccoon had scaled the mesh fencing and got hold of one of my chickens through a 3″x6″ gap in the roof eave of the temporary chicken run and was trying to eat and pull it through the hole. It bolted as soon as I came up running and I chased it down the fence—it climbed a tree and jumped over the fence.
I turned my attention to the 2nd one. The sucker was just standing there watching me…waiting to see what my move was. I’m sure he wanted to stay around and get a chicken dinner and was NOT leaving unless he had to. I grabbed a 2 foot piece of fire wood and chased his striped-tailed ass up the fence the other way and into the night.
Let me say, these had to be two males…they were freakin’ huge! Probably at least 25 pounds and at least 2 1/2 to 3 feet long. I was pretty darn close and got real good looks at them. I was within 6 or 7 feet of the first one before he scaled the tree and fence.
My poor young chicken was really messed up, she was hanging out of the gap, upside down, blood dripping, squawking a horrible squawk. I pushed her back in and she jumped down and was obviously messed up. We decided, even though the new coup wasn’t plastered, we had to move them in the new coup right away.
So, Jenn stood guard over the chickens while I rushed around with a headlamp and finished putting latches on the doors and getting the roosting bars installed inside the new coup. Luckily, the coup is all done except for the plastering and it’s totally predator proof…after loosing 14 chicks in Terrebonne, I wasn’t taking any chances with the coup I was building.
After the chickens calmed down and went back to roosting, we went in, put them in portable dog kennels and transported them to the new coup. Sadly, I had to put the one who got attacked out of her misery, she was pretty mangled with deep wounds on her spine and neck and was in shock.
I put out a live trap last night, but they didn’t come back. I’ll keep trying.