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Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts Message Board › Racoon broke the neck of two of my chickens in early morning

Racoon broke the neck of two of my chickens in early morning

A former member
Post #: 29
Thanks Susan, that is a great point - could be rabid. Only a test can determine for a fact.

Also, I want to remind newbies that when building coops/runs that Chicken Wire is NOT for chickens. You must use "hardware fabric." The name is confusing but is a sturdy wire mesh that keeps wildlife from getting to your chicks. The mesh comes in different sizes. The 1/2 inch size is the best one as it keeps out rats and those nimble, grabbing claws of raccoons. If properly applied can also keep large dogs from crashing through.
A former member
Post #: 283
Saturday around 8am, my husband and I heard a strange noise coming from Chickenland behind our house in Echo Park. He said it sounded like fighting. We ran outside and saw a racoon had broken the neck on one chicken and was doing it to another. We chased the racoon away but one girl was dead and the other dying. We talked about what to do and the other died.

I have never seen a racoon in the day. So now we don't let the chickens out until 9am, they don't like it, they want to be out at daybreak, but it's either 9am or possibly death.

We have had chickens for 3 years now and no problems.

Very sad to lose our girls, we have 4 left to console us.

Matthew

I was afraid to open this thread, brings back painful memories. I did not know my area had racoons until a pack of 3 or 4 'coons took the life of one of my hens. They only managed to get one because the guests visiting from out of state scared them out.

After much reading and watching (see this clip of a raccoon escaping locked garage, and another escaping a live trap) I can never underestimate them.

They kept coming back day after day while I was building a much stronger coop, using thick plywood, hardware cloth, bricks.

As painful as it was to accept, it was my chick's time to go.
A former member
Post #: 135
"As painful as it was to accept, it was my chick's time to go."
Well, I would re-write this sentence to reflect the lesson dealt to the caregiver---
"as painful as it was to accept, I could see the management mistake I made and would take care to not have this situation happen again without my oversight"
A former member
Post #: 288
"As painful as it was to accept, it was my chick's time to go."
Well, I would re-write this sentence to reflect the lesson dealt to the caregiver---
"as painful as it was to accept, I could see the management mistake I made and would take care to not have this situation happen again without my oversight"

Actually, I would keep it. The only thing I learned is that we have racoons. None of my neighbors had every seen one in the area. The night before the attack there was a commotion when they went to sleep, either someone lost balance and tried to regain roosting spot or just a pecking order fight as they were growing up. It was loud, and the raccoons probably heard it and paid a visit a few hours later.
A former member
Post #: 1
So sorry for your loss!
The same thing just happened to us last night. Some time between 5 and 6pm. I'm all messed up and very sad to see out sweet silkie gone.
I just joined this group today and I already feel better having a chance to talk about it and know that others are going through the same thing. Just needed to hear that "it sucks!"
I was thinking about using our scare crow- a sensored sprinkler to give us some warning and maybe scare off the predators. It kept the cats out of our yard, it may give the girls a little more protection. I don't know.
Know the rest of our chicken are on edge and wont come to me when I call. I feel bad for them. Can't be any fun to feel scared in your own space.
Thinking about letting them move into the house. That would be crazy, right?!
I'm sure the sadness with soon pass and I will remember the circle of life. My kids are dealing with this loss way better than I am. Go figure.
Thanks for this forum!
A former member
Post #: 291
So sorry for your loss!
The same thing just happened to us last night. Some time between 5 and 6pm. I'm all messed up and very sad to see out sweet silkie gone.
I just joined this group today and I already feel better having a chance to talk about it and know that others are going through the same thing. Just needed to hear that "it sucks!"
I was thinking about using our scare crow- a sensored sprinkler to give us some warning and maybe scare off the predators. It kept the cats out of our yard, it may give the girls a little more protection. I don't know.
Know the rest of our chicken are on edge and wont come to me when I call. I feel bad for them. Can't be any fun to feel scared in your own space.
Thinking about letting them move into the house. That would be crazy, right?!
I'm sure the sadness with soon pass and I will remember the circle of life. My kids are dealing with this loss way better than I am. Go figure.
Thanks for this forum!

I am really sorry Katie. It is hard, but time is a healer.

What I did, in a completely different area, built a temporary structure made of a wooden stable surrounded by hardware cloth, with a roosting pole inside. It was covered in a mesh so that nothing was visible, but still airy. The chickens were held in this enclosure for a couple of nights while I was building a much stronger coop in the original location. Once the outside of the new coop was built I let them inside while I was finishing the insides (nesting boxes, feeder, dirt bath, etc).

I go to sleep between 9p and midnight and get up around 4am for errands and hiking, and even with this schedule I have only seen racoons on two occasions: (1) when I was rebuilding the inside of the coop they kept coming back day after day and (2) once while hiking (a few miles from the coop). I have seen a juvenile coyote in the neighborhood, and plenty of coyotes while hiking, just not raccoons.

Things will happen. We drive around town even though we know there are drunk drivers. It is the same with chickens. It is about managing and controlling risks based on available information. You will be fine but it is hard to accept.
A former member
Post #: 2
Thanks!!!!
A former member
Post #: 35
I am very curious about the sensor sprinkler. Did you create it or does someone sell a ready to hookup sprinkler?
A former member
Post #: 292
I am very curious about the sensor sprinkler. Did you create it or does someone sell a ready to hookup sprinkler?

I have seen clips of it on YouTube, and assume it is something you create yourself using a sensor + timer + sprinkler: sensor from a motion activated light, hooked to an irrigation timer, connected to a sprinkler(s). I personally prefer hardware cloth all around, with roosting area hidden so predators are not salivating to test your workmanship. They can smell the chickens but if it is hard to get in and they don't see the chickens predators may just go somewhere else for a meal without even touching or damaging the coop.

It is interesting... I have been reading how millions in Israel have been under rocket attack for 12 year (article, video), coping like chickens do: there are hawks out there, but life goes on. Here is another clip I have posted before on wild turkeys, which also seem to live by the moment (video, scroll to 34:16 mark). I recognize some of the turkey sounds as chicken sounds... we have a thread here about chicken sounds and you can hear some of them in this turkey clip.
A former member
Post #: 3
I am very curious about the sensor sprinkler. Did you create it or does someone sell a ready to hookup sprinkler?


We love the scarecrow sprinkler! Here is a link to some info on it...
http://www.havahart.c...­

We got it to keep cats out of our veggie garden and it work very well. It may sound a little cruel but we also were able to hear when there was an animal in our yard. One cat in particular wears a bell and thinks our yard is it's litter box. Well, there was a little satisfaction when we heard the sprinkler go off followed by that little bell racing back home.
I know that it wont keep the chickens safe, it's only water after all... but I do hope that it will give them and us a little warning about what is going on in our yard. After loosing one of our chickens, we are trying it all out.
Oh, it just hooks up to a hose and you can place it anywhere. My only complaint is that it tends to leak if you move it around too much. Or when you forget it's there and get soaked.
Hope that answered your question a little.
Katie
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