Yeah…it’s true, from visual experience. I prefer one shot kills, not 5+. Don’t want to see anything suffer…not even mice. Personally I don’t use the 12 guage we have so I have to wait for hubby on that (he’s back in the UK at the moment). My pistol and 22 won’t do anything to it but annoy/wound but not kill. Rabies is a thing out here too, and if we see a sick-looking or odd-acting racoon or something during the day, it has to go, and we do often have wild large dogs roaming about and you never know when anything might be aggressive (wild dog packs are dangerous)…gotta have precautions…so we do have a 12 guage now for things like this coon pest. Now it has become a livestock issue. Racoons will kill entire chicken coops if they get in. I don’t think mine will go that far but…can’t wait to find out either. They have thumbs which makes them really probably one of the worst predators out here since they can get into a lot more than your average fox or coyote can.
Last night I made a bad mistake. I normally close the coop at 8pm but I was an hour late. I went out into the darkness and already knew something was wrong…and as I approached the coop I could hear it in the run even though I couldn’t see it. As I got closer it snarled but I had to close the coop door. I couldn’t be more than a foot or two from it when I slammed the door shut. I didn’t see any chickens inside the coop from the window, or any out in the run, so I ran back into the house for my taclight (brightest flashlight ever). I ran back and the racoon was gone, I heard it escape through some other way than the main hole it got in from.
I found my chickens petrified in a corner of the coop nesting box crushed behind their waterer, piled 3 deep in terror. They were so terrified that they didn’t move even with my face an inch away from theirs as I bent down to check on them. I tried my best to un-pile them and look for injuries, petting them and such while trying to work them apart from each other. I’ve never been able to pet them before. I knew they would smother one or two of each other if they stayed huddled like that through the night, wings and necks splayed every which way. I got most of them apart so left them alone.
I went into the run and found the still warm and opened up body of one of the Light Brahmas. There were feathers everywhere. I removed the body and took it many yards away from the coop, setting it down so I could go secure the run better (?). The body didn’t stay there 5 minutes and it was gone. I could see eyeshine from raccoons…there had to be more than one. I also saw an opossum next to one of the little raccoons. The one coon I saw clearly was just a youth not bigger than the chicken, and certainly wasn’t the one that removed the body. They also could care less with me being around. I can basically walk right up to them about 2-3 yards away without them breaking a sweat to my presence, until I growled back at them and they took off into the night.
I cleaned up myself after going into the house and debated getting my pistol, but knew that wouldn’t do anything but make them laugh, likewise the 22. As angry as I was I really felt like wounding them, even knowing I’d hate myself later somehow I just wanted to kill the things…mothers, babies, anything that shines eyes at me was fair game. And those feelings quickly melted away to depression…angry at it being my fault, really, all mine for my negligence, and they are just looking for meals.
The 12 guage is currently in our safe, and being my husband’s gun I don’t touch his things. He gets back from the UK today though so tonight we plan to strike back. The 12 guage was never one I really wanted to learn to use because I have an aversion to guns that loud and with that kickback, but I am rethinking that now. I’ve had my eye on a particular gun for a couple years now and it may be the time to finally buy it so I will have a 12 gauge of my own. The Mossburg 500 JIC (Just in Case):
Although for five times the price tag instead of killing the coons I could just explode them with this:
Which is half of what I am feeling like doing to them right now…
In any case tonight the traps are going out. I’ve got a couple cages and a hand trap we haven’t tried yet. The traps are always successful due to their greed. I wish there could be a truce but it’s plain to see that one mistake or slip up and they will take full advantage. They break into the run every night regardless that there’s no food around. How much longer until they work their way into the chicken coop itself? Will they chew through the wood? Rip off the wire at the rooftop ventilation areas? Will their hands be able to undo caribiners (I heard even these might not be safe enough latches!) and open the doors?
One thing’s for sure, using that double barrel shotgun will evaporate them
But yeah, usually I’m against killing animals, but in this case, I feel it’s justified. Just make sure everything you do is legal. Wouldn’t want cops showing up asking what all that noise was about
I usually call to inform the neighbors when we’ll be shooting the 12 gauge, but honestly people shoot guns off here ALL the time, and usually semi-autos. It’s actually kinda scary how much people shoot guns around here. Oddly enough the law allows you to trap and kill raccoons but not trap and move 'em…meaning you are not allowed to trap them and then drive them a few miles away to the forest preserves. If you get caught doing that you’ll be fined. Like…why tho?!
It’s kinda the same here in the Netherlands; Me and me father dug a pond last summer, and wanted like frogs and such in it. We need to wait for them to come themselves however, since it is forbidden for us to go to the nearby park and take them from there. We ended up having the luck of me mother emptying her own pond, which had a couple of frogs in it, so we just transferred those.
I think it has to do with the area they live in; moving them away from it or putting species from other populations in the current population can seriously mess up the natural order (diseases, genetics, such stuff). but don’t quote me on that
Needless to say my property is one coon less today. The coon was at least 15-17 pounds. Also hardwired up the hole in the run fence. The chickens survived the night and now seem to be interested in rooting high up, whaddaya know. I hadn’t been able to get them to use the roosting bars yet and they always stayed on the floor, but yesterday they went above even the highest roost to glom on to the thinnest perchable parts of the coop on the inside they could reach.
We heard one of the chickens attempting to crow two days ago. Today when I let them all out of the coop I saw it was Poad! Poad tried to crow again today and I got to see it. It started off like a regular crow but ended in coughing. I was certain it would have been the big brahma chicken we have but I have had suspicions about Poad the easter egger as well for being a rooster for a while now too. Both of these chickens have stockier legs and larger, redder combs than their counterparts…but Poad is about the same size as the rest of the easter eggers. Both of them walk taller and have higher held tails. The General, which is the largest brahma, I still think may be a rooster but I haven’t heard a peep yet from him/her so the jury is still out on that.
If we end up having two roosters though, there is a huge problem…
That is kinda like how it is…
I haven’t had a problem with raccoons since.
I have to admit that your life is very fascinating to me. For one, I like reading about the chickens and two. the fact that you live in America where guns are legal, but also live in an area where you have to deal with wildlife.
I mean, all we need to deal with in Belgium everyday is rain, wind and the Wallon-Flemish political relationships.
I will try to take some videos tomorrow of the chickens.
Living in farmland you’d almost have to have a gun, at least if you have any livestock. Even in Wisconsin, my husbands parents deal with black bears…bears! One needs self protection.
I do have to say though that while I don’t like to have to kill critters, I find it easier to kill raccoons. I doubt I would be able to kill a fox or coyote. We have enjoyed foxes and such on our land before but I haven’t seen one this year. But a fox would be a huge problem for me to take care of. I just can’t kill canines. Let’s hope it never comes to that. I wouldn’t kill the raccoons either but they fine you if you transport them away.
There is always something new living out in the wilds. We caught a milk snake yesterday, ID’d it and let it go, and have now been dealing with moles. Moles have the most amazingly soft fur I have ever felt in my life. We don’t kill the moles but chase them off with sound vibrations put through the ground. Also, we get beaver and groundhogs and occasional skunks and opossums. I haven’t seen rabbits in a long time, unsure why.
Rabies is out here in the wildlife so, you always have to be prepared to handle problems in order to safeguard your family and animals.
If two roosters, they may fight. If they don’t but agree to share, there really isn’t enough females, so the hens will be too stressed with all of the mating to lay eggs. Problem is Poland was originally my favorite chick whom I worried might die due to my own earlier over cleaning routine when a chick. But I really wanted a white brahma rooster…I can’t simply kill one and eat it because I have gotten too attached to each of them. I’m not sure what to do if they both are Roos.
The easter egger looks like it has chubby cheeks
lol I’d have that problem too. You’re gonna have a lot of chicks running around the place since you can’t kill em for food!
If the eggs are removed on the daily, which they would be, there won’t be chicks. However, I am debating possibly allowing the chickens to raise some if they choose to (some hens “go broody” and will sit on nests and refuse to lay eggs until the eggs hatch) with no interference from me. In that case, I could maybe sell chickens, eat chickens, or just keep replenishing my mini flock.
Also, Easter Eggers have “beards,” possibly the main reason why I chose them, because…pogonophilia is my jam. Only one of my Easter Eggers does not have a beard of feathers under the chin.