Sunday, April 29, 2012


I'm probably the only person on Earth with both wild raccoons and a henhouse in the same garden. That's not exactly true anymore since mother raccoon has tired of the constant 'Jane Goodall with Chimpanzees' level of attention I've given to the kits (baby raccoons). So, she moved them down to a neighbor's brush pile. I haven't seen the babies all week.

So, all is well? Hardly! She still loves to stop by to see if she can get inside the chicken run for some free eggs.
BEFORE YOU READ THE REST...Here are the four ways she has broken into the coop.
1. She moved bricks out of the way then pulled back a loose board. I patched that side of the wall.
2. She moved bricks from the OTHER side of the wall since I didn't repair both sides. Geez!
3. She took staples out with her teeth while hanging upside down from the roof. Then she pushed the wire in.
4. She pulled back a piece of loose plastic greenhouse roofing while pushing in chicken wire at the same time! I caught her in the act.  I nailed it all down securely. NOTE: She seems to have no interest in the chickens, only the eggs. My son says she knows if she hurts the hens she'll get no more eggs. Is she that smart? Maybe.
I always remove the eggs before dark, but last Sunday she snuck in during the day and ate three...while we were attending church! That's just plain wrong.

Hoot is my lead hen and she told me ALL about it.
So I patched up the brick and wood wall and was feeling pretty smug about it all.

I found this!
Momma raccoon had used her teeth to take out each staple at the corner of the chicken wire.
She found no eggs, but suddenly I felt like I was playing a chess game with a raccoon.

I put  healthy dog food out for mother raccoon every night so she won't be starving. She's still nursing her 4 kits and needs the extra protein. While on the porch, I open the door and the raccoon and I have 'talks' about the hens and especially the eggs. She makes whimpering noises if I get too close. She is so smart that she KNOWS I own the hens.
She sees me back there at night all the time.

Each day after work I rush to the nest box to see if the eggs are okay.
It's been twelve straight days without any marauding. All my work has paid off.

I have chicken books that tell of stories about raccoons reaching in and grabbing chickens by the neck or legs, then eating them. It gives me chills just to think about it.
I've double wired the roof so all she (or her friends) can grab is more wire.
The cracks in the boards are a full 20 inches (50cm) away from the roost and 5 feet above ground level.
She'd get nothing but air while holding on for dear life.

If you have a friend that suffers from boredom, please go buy them 4 chickens. They shall never be bored again.

Your bored friend will also start to collect chicken art. This will become an obsession.  

They'll also build a hen house for their lovely chickens and this will take all of their freetime.
Well, the chickens are safely roosting and it's time to say good-bye.
Oh, by the way, would you like a nice raccoon to take home as a pet?
Perhaps you can give it to your bored friend...the one with the new chickens! LOL
Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Aha! The battle has begun.
    Round one to you great mighty chicken protector.
    I wonder what round two will bring.

  2. Most entertaining story! Love the chicken art and house too!

  3. You are too kind to those raccoons. I once had a cat feeder outside until I found the raccoon eating the food. I don't think we have them here but then maybe I am wrong. Someone comes and eats tomatoes. Glad you put paid to them getting in with the chicks.

  4. Maybe it was a raccoon that pulled our son's chickens through the wire fence and ate what could be reached. Gross!

    We battle raccoons here, just to have a birdfeeder. They throw them down and have broken a couple. We're trying the 'bring them in at night' routine.

    Raccoons are cute. But, they're crafty and destructive.

  5. A great read with my morning coffee. Thank you.

  6. Your hens are very lucky to have such a devoted minder, and I think it is wonderful that you can still appreciate urban wildlife just being itself. I have always thought racoons were the cutest things, but then some of my friends think I'm mad for loving possums that nibble many gardeners' blooms here in Australia.

  7. We don't have raccoons in the UK, here we have foxes that go after chickens. But I must admit I've never heard of anyone who keeps chickens, feeding the foxes as well. I hope momma raccoon appreciates how lucky she is.

  8. My husband talks to his chickens, too. He and the dog surprised a raccoon in the pen one night, but our usual chicken eaters are foxes, dogs and hawks. Giant rat snakes enjoy the eggs.

    Now I'm going to have to go hunt down chicken art to decorate the coop. BTW, our coop is called "Gitmo." So far, it has been impenetrable.

  9. I think it's extremely cool that you are working with two natural foes:) Racoons are considered to be pests for many people but I would do the same....try to work something out so that both can coexist together. I like how you've been caring for them as well. Plus the pictures have been entertaining:)

  10. Can't wait to see if Momma Racoon has anything up her sleeve.

  11. Nice chicken story.
    I had a chicken laid eggs and had hatched about 12 of them.

  12. Buy store eggs for the 'coons. Hide them away from the chickens but give the coon enough of a challenge that she thinks she is stealing them.


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

Related Posts with Thumbnails