Ah, raccoons! We had a couple of raccoon attacks last summer, but seem to be raccoon free this year. This is what I learned.
- Raccoons eat chickens, not just their eggs. They like to eat what food is in their crops. They rip their throats open and then just leave the bird.
- Raccoons are persistent and clever. I read somewhere that they have the dexterity of a 2-year old.
- Raccoons aren't very frightened of people. I had a similar experience as one of the other members, where I ran out in the backyard screaming and flapping my arms, going right at the raccoon. It didn't flinch and ended up scaring me back into my apartment.
I have the Eglu with an extended run in my yard. I lock the chickens into the Eglu run at night because our extended run isn't raccoon-proof. The little buggers even managed to reach their little paw into a crack of the Eglu (where you pull out the droppings tray) and grab one of our chickens by her neck. She survived, but was really scratched up. We put a hardware cloth "door" over that. Then they tried to pry the door off, so we now have a belt that ratchets shut that we got from the hardware store. We also dug down under our run and put hardware cloth down under the run. So we have Ft. Knox in our backyard now.
We ended up making marshmallow bombs, which combined with the extra security seem to have done the trick. To make these bombs, you poke a hole in a marshmallow and squirt in the hottest hot sauce you can find. Lay those around your yard. My husband had the satisfaction of seeing a raccoon eat one and then start rubbing at it's mouth and leave our yard.
Good luck with your hens!