Do Raccoons Eat Chickens?

Last Updated: 11.12.19

 

Raccoons are, by all means, nuisance pests. If you are searching for how to repel raccoons, we recommend that you read this guide that we have created for you, as it includes many methods that have been tested and positively reviewed by previous users.

 

So, do they eat chickens?

Raccoons are characterized by vets as intelligent predators that also eat chickens. In fact, if left unsupervised inside a coop, they can easily kill your poultry in a matter of minutes. Raccoons are often considered dangerous by chicken owners because they can climb fences and dig underneath various barriers to get to poultry.

Numerous farmers remarked that keeping a raccoon out of a coop takes plenty of work as these animals can take advantage of any flaws to get to one’s flock.

What are the signs of a raccoon attack?

Farmers have pointed out that, differently from the case of dogs and hawks, raccoons like to leave signs of their presence. While other animals that attack chickens take the prey away, raccoons like to leave pieces of poultry around the yard and the coop.

The first telltale sign that you should look for is footprints. Raccoons have a distinctive footprint that is easy to identify. Also, the droppings of these animals is another signal that should put you on your guard.

 

How to keep them away?

Because raccoons like to have access to sources of food and water, it is vital that you make sure that you do not leave anything in your yard that might attract them. Therefore, it is advisable that you do not leave pet food out during the night.

Additionally, it is best that you keep your trash cans closed. During the night your poultry should be kept in a secure coop that raccoons cannot enter. To protect your birds, you don’t necessarily have to build a fortress. Because these pests can easily open latches, it is suitable that you use padlocks instead.

It is advisable that you cover the coop by utilizing strong wire mesh that features small openings that are not larger than half an inch. What is more, you should put a roof on your coop and you should fasten it tightly.

Given that raccoons hate the smell of cayenne pepper and ammonia, some suggest that placing rags that have been soaked with these substances might also help. For increased protection, you can scatter these rags all around your yard.

Special traps that have been built to capture pests such as raccoons can also be utilized, especially if you are dealing with an invasion. However, using poisoned pellets and other similar treats is not advisable, as they are deadly when consumed by your other pets.

What to do if they attack your coop regularly?

In some cases, once they have managed to break into a coop, raccoons keep returning to do more damage. In these cases, it is vital that you take some measures. To start, it is advisable that you secure the coop by following the suggestions that we have presented to you above.

Disposing of raccoons by yourself can be illegal in certain states of the U.S.A. If this is the case in the area that you live in, you should consider contacting the animal control or the wildlife rescues, as they can help you relocate the pests.

If the law is not against raccoon-relocations done by farmers, you can take the captured animal to another location, far away from your home. However, studies have shown that, when left in an unknown area, raccoons do not survive for more than two weeks, because they find it difficult to find sources of food.

If you drop the animal in an area that is home to other raccoons, the animal might be chased away and even killed.

Another aspect that you should be aware of when it comes to handling raccoons is that they can transmit rabies. When captured in a cage, these animals feel threatened and, therefore, they can scratch or bite you in an attempt to get out.

Plus, the cage where the animal has been kept will most likely contain urine and feces that can cause bacterial infections and roundworms when not properly handled. Another issue with using traps is that you might be utilizing a model that is not sized appropriately. Consequently, the captured raccoon can get injured and it can also die during the relocation process.

To avoid unwillingly killing an animal of this kind, it is best that you leave the task in the hand of professionals. Even more so, they will know what to do with the captured animals, including their offspring. If you remove the mother, but not the baby raccoons, chances are that they will die relatively soon afterward.

 

Are raccoons dangerous to people?

Nowadays, raccoons are likely to live in suburbs and cities, and, therefore, they are used to encounter people. Although they might seem aggressive at times, they are, by nature, cautious around people and they don’t generally attack when they do not feel threatened. In fact, even a mother raccoon with babies is likely to run away rather than stand up to a human.

If the raccoons from your neighborhood seem confrontational and rather daring, this might have something to do with them being fed. When they are intentionally fed by humans, these animals start associating people with food, and, as a result, they get bolder and they start approaching them.

If you suspect that your neighbors are feeding raccoons, or other wildlife in the area, it is highly advisable that you suggest that they contact a wildlife center. Because they are intelligent animals, raccoons can take care of themselves when it comes to finding food, and they should not be helped.

Signs that a raccoon is rabid

Rabid raccoons are dangerous to have around, as they can infect other animals and even people with rabies. There are a couple of signs that might indicate that the raccoon that has been visiting your yard is sick.

Therefore, if the animal has a staggering gait and if it moves around erratically, you should keep your distance. Besides, rabid pests often have discharges from their mouths and eyes and they make high-pitch noises. Self-mutilation and wet hair are also signs that you should pay attention to.

If the raccoon that is terrorizing your neighborhood displays these behaviors, it is time to call for specialized assistance.

Raccoons can also be infested with roundworms and leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria that can infect other animals as well, including skunks, mice, and opossums. To avoid catching these diseases, it is vital that you refrain from touching wild animals.

If coming into contact with a raccoon is necessary in order to get it out of your house, it is best that you call a professional. In the event that you have been bitten by a raccoon, it is crucial that you seek immediate medical attention as you have to be vaccinated.

When not treated, rabies can have severe implications on one’s health. If not medicated properly, a person who has been infected with rabies can go into a coma and even die. So, be sure to contact your MD if you have been bitten or even scratched by a raccoon.

 

 

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