How to keep raccoons away from chickens? If you maintain hens in your backyard, you are aware of how crucial it is to make your coop predator-proof. Yet, because raccoons are so intelligent, defending your flock from them is harder than protecting them from other predators.
Raccoons are quite intelligent. They are also excellent climbers and diggers, and they utilize their front paws in a way that is both unsettling and endearingly similar to how humans use our hands. Raccoons are particularly interested in chicken coops because they know they may find relatively simple prey there. Your chicks are just no match for raccoons without your help.
You may also want to read about the best chicken coop.
How to keep raccoons away from chickens: how racoons hunt
If a raccoon can get to the birds in a chicken coop, it usually kills several of them. Usually, the dead bodies won’t be removed from the scene of the crime. Raccoons normally consume the insides of the bird and perhaps a portion of the chest, rather than the entire bird or even the majority of it.
Raccoons are extremely dexterous and can burrow under fences and runs, open latches and closures, and fit their human-like paws through wire mesh that is too narrow for their bodies. You need to outsmart those furry, masked criminals if you want to keep raccoons out of your chicken coop and protect your brood.
Safeguarding your chicken coop
In the United States, raccoons may be found almost anywhere, so don’t think you’re lucky if you don’t see any. Raccoons are nocturnal animals, thus they spend the majority of the day sleeping and only come out at night to hunt. When you bring your flock back into the coop at night for safety, if you’re like most chicken owners, that’s precisely when those cunning and cunning raccoons emerge! These are some precautions you may take to keep raccoons out of your chicken coop.
Reduce the raccoons’ attraction to your yard
How to keep raccoons away from chickens? Make your yard less appealing to raccoons in order to reduce the likelihood that they will even find your hens. To achieve this, make sure that raccoons cannot access any wild bird feeders you may have or even the ground-level seed.
Do not keep pet food outside if you have other animals like dogs or cats. The same is true for water dishes, as raccoons are drawn to water sources. Simply said, don’t leave anything outside that raccoons could find appealing.
Fasten Your Coop’s Wire Mesh
Raccoons will try to bend or pry off any wire mesh you have on your coop in order to get inside, so make sure it is secured. Check for weak spots or locations where the wire mesh is not properly fastened. Consider yourself a predator, and search for any potential weak points.
Use hardware cloth with a fine mesh that raccoons cannot reach through as opposed to flimsy chicken wire that they can tear through. Keep in mind that chicken wire is not intended to deter predators but rather to keep chickens in the coop.
Employ a difficult-to-open latch.
How to keep raccoons away from chickens? Employ a difficult-to-open hatch. Raccoons are sophisticated animals that can easily open simple locks. They don’t generally take their time attempting to figure out how to unlock a tricky latch, though. Employ a latch that requires two or three steps to unlock on your coop.
Applying a carabiner clip to the door latch is part of the most widely used two-step technique. By incorporating a carabiner, the raccoons would need to unlatch the carabiner from the latch in order to access the latch itself.
Put offensive odors all around the coop area.
Ammonia, garlic, cayenne pepper, and onions are unpleasant to raccoons. By soaking rags in ammonia and placing them in your yard around the perimeter of your chicken coop, you can keep animals out of your coop.
You can also use a DIY raccoon repellent to spray the outside of your coop. Simply bring a gallon of water to a boil while adding a few onions, garlic cloves, or chili peppers. Put the mixture in a spray bottle, and then just mist your chicken house with it. Just make sure the repellant has a strong scent to ensure that it will deter raccoons.
Coop Apron Installation
Raccoons might try excavating their way into your coop if they are unable to get through chicken wire or the entrance lock. You should therefore install a coop apron. This entails putting up some PVC coated wire wrapped fence around the perimeter, starting at the base of the coop. This project won’t cost you much money and is simpler to complete than burying fencing material more than a foot deep in the ground.
Install a predator-repelling light on the coop.
Raccoons are keenly aware of their surroundings and constantly scanning for threats. Installing a predator deterrent light on your coop is therefore a smart option. Two brilliant red LED lights are released by this sort of light, resembling the eyes of a predator. Raccoons should be able to view the light clearly and perceive it as a hazardous predator if it is placed at eye level.
Your chickens should be protected from raccoons if you secure your coop using these techniques. Find out if it’s permissible to humanely catch and relocate raccoons in your state if you’re still having issues with them trying to get into your chicken coop.
If humane raccoon capture and relocation is permitted, place a humane live animal trap in your yard with a few marshmallows inside. Relocate the captured raccoon to a wooded location a few miles away from your property. Contact a local animal control or wildlife rescue agency to learn more about your choices if it’s not permitted to do so.