Protect Your Coop from Raccoons!
Keeping chickens, especially in an urban environment, is a great way to bring a touch of the country into your home. While many residential areas won’t have to worry about predation from coyotes, snakes, and foxes, urban farms face their own set of challenges. Raccoons, in particular, pose a significant risk to your urban farm. While they look like cute, cuddly animals, they are, in fact, dangerous predators, skilled at infiltrating chicken coops.
Why They’re Dangerous
Raccoons are often attracted to garbage cans, cat food, and other food items left outside. Once they find something of interest, they’re likely to go exploring. When you have chickens in your backyard, they’re a tempting target for the inquisitive raccoon.
While coyotes and foxes struggle to break into traditional coop doors, raccoons have no problem lifting a latch or turning a doorknob. Their small, dextrous hands allow them to execute complex movements most predators simply can’t perform. Raccoons have been known to sneak into homes through open windows, rummage through refrigerators, and even open cabinet doors.
When They Break In
Raccoons are destructive predators. Unlike foxes who typically take one chicken and run away, they kill multiple birds, leaving your flock devastated at the end of the break in. It’s common for them to leave the remains of the birds behind after they’ve eaten their fill, making for a shocking scene when you head out to feed your flock in the morning.
What You Can Do
Keeping your chickens safe doesn’t have to be difficult. Always properly dispose of food waste and minimize the amount left in your yard. Construct a chicken coop made with strong mesh and other material that raccoons can’t reach through. Chicken wire is nothing more than a moderate deterrent for a hungry predator and can easily be destroyed. Adding an automatic chicken coop door will minimize points of entry.