Friday, March 18, 2011

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I can not be trusted around poultry
Look at that cute face....some folks say its a face only a mother could love?  Well let me be honest, there's absolutely nothing to love about a raccoon once one has attacked your poultry. I recently had a pen full of Coral Blue guineas ravaged by a raccoon. It was absolutely horrifying to see how my birds were killed and one nearly dead when I woke up and found them. The night before that the coon tried to kill my White China goose but the gander alerted me with his stressed out screams. I ran outside to find him fighting off Mr. Rocky with his bites and wing slapping. Raccoons really can be your worst nightmare, because they will slaughter every last bird that is in a pen that they are able to get into. One of the best deterrents is a coon proof pen.This can be accomplished by following these tips.
  1.  Never use chicken wire, use strong wire that is used for cattle. (No chicken wire ever, chicken wire is a death sentence for your birds)
  2. Do not leave the top of the house or run uncovered, it has to have a roof or a heavy duty wire top.
  3. Do not leave small openings or gaps unless they are covered with wire.
  4. Always put several locks or latches that are difficult to open. (Raccoons have hands like monkeys and can figure out how to open certain latches)
  5. Cover the ground around the outside of the house where they sleep at night (locked in) with wire or metal so that the raccoons can not dig under.
  6. Always lock all doors to the house where they sleep right at dusk because raccoons come out at night and sometimes they arrive early.
  7. Remember the words "Fort Knox" when you build your coop/hen house.
 After the attack I rushed out a bought three types of traps, the Pied Piper, a hand trap and a regular ole' trap from tractor supply. Results are no raccoon yet. Tomorrow we are making a barrel trap that we made as kids. It worked very well. A barrel trap is simple, inexpensive and considered humane. Any type of barrel or smooth trash can works. Set it next to a picnic table or something else that helps the raccoon to climb up to the edge of the barrel and fill it about one third of the way with water. Place a board over the edge of the picnic table that should end midway over the mouth of the barrel. Set bait on the board, such as sardines or tuna. Do this nearer to nighttime so that other animals will not eat it. The raccoon should walk onto the board to eat the bait and will fall into the barrel. The water in the barrel will weigh the raccoon's fur down, keeping it safely trapped in the barrel proof pen. Another great deterrent is a Livestock Guardian Dog or a LGD. I will be naming the 2 LGD's I just purchased Hansel and Gretal. I recently purchased them from a lady in Holland, Texas. If you need a LGD I will give you her contact information. I will be calling them Chicken Guardian Dogs.
I am a chicken guardian dog

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