Each Morning Brings New Horrors

Our farm is under siege by one or more raccoons. At first, I suspect, they were just taking eggs, but yesterday morning, we lost four full grown chickens. One was eaten on site, two more were just killed, and one is missing, perhaps dragged off somewhere. We made sure that coop was doubly secure last night, and checked all the others. Not much to do about those pasture pens, though.

This morning, out there in that pasture, the nearest coop had damage to the door covering, like there had been a large weight on it. We couldn’t see any loss of life, though. A little farther along, we found a small dead chicken in front of the coop with the largest birds. At first, I thought the raccoon fished it out of the first pen and just ate it up here. But then, we got to the last coop, and the carnage was awful. We lost at least eight birds in an attack last night. They just kill for sport, these raccoons. They eat some, but others, they just maul and leave for dead.

Davey spent last night, till about 11:30, up on the roof, waiting for this monster to arrive, but I think they’re attacking in the early morning. I’m just sick over these attacks. Raccoons are not merciful, and we won’t be, either.

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About Jennie Cooper

I'm the mother of eight children, the wife of a retired soldier, and a newly minted farmer. I spend my days fairly productively, home educating our children, raising large quantities of food for several families, and volunteering in our community. I read entire novels a page at a time in the comfort of my bathroom. I tell people I'm Catholic just because they find it so shocking. I think there's nothing so exciting as a thunderstorm coming in. It doesn't bother me at all that my dog barks outside my bedroom window all night. And I rather enjoy being 40. I didn't think I would, but 40 is pretty good.

11 thoughts on “Each Morning Brings New Horrors

  1. Sarah

    Is it possible to live trap them? Then you can shoot them at your convenience. Really–let us know how this works out. I’ll be glad to hear you’ve brought an end to their chicken killing ways.

    1. Jennie Cooper Post author

      We have secured our coops as much as possible, and have set live traps, poisoned bate, and hunters in the vicinity. I haven’t heard any rifle shots yet, so I don’t think the hunters were successful. There’s still about an hour, though, before we clear their usual attack time. They have attacked at one of our permanent coops, and then out at the movable ones. The neighbors chickens roost in an apple tree and I heard a hen disturbed at 4am, and the dog barked at 5, but no further ruckus. I’m both dreading and anticipating daylight so I can know what’s going on.

      1. Beckie R.

        I’m sorry! Is there something you can put out to deter them from even approaching the pens? Or can you string barbed wire at the top, so that they can’t actually get in without injuring themselves?

  2. Barbara

    I had never before heard of raccoons killing for “fun.” That’s awful. Sure it couldn’t be a pack of coyotes or fox family being careless? Your poor hens!

    1. Jennie Cooper Post author

      It was rainy the night of the first attack and we have the paw prints to prove it was a raccoon. And there is also the fact that it opened the door.

      Second night, the roof was damaged in one of the pens, like something with some weight sat upon it. No kills in that pen, though. I think it – they – just reached under the other pen. And I think they worked together, scaring the chickens from one side to the other. One had a leg torn off. Another had her chest cavity ripped open. Another’s abdomen was entirely skinned. It was ugly.

      No sign of them last night, but we have several days of clear weather and good moonlight ahead of us. Here’s hoping they make an appearance soon.

  3. LEE

    Racoons I’ve have heard and read about do NOT like mint especially peppermint. Buy some plants-some places it grows wild.It is available in liquid and spray… Ity is worth checking out, MOM


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