Raccoons & My Chicken Coop: How to Keep Them Out

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There is no real way that you can guarantee, with absolute certainty, that you are keeping raccoons out of your back garden or yard. Sadly, where these animals want to go, they will go. They can climb, dig, run, swim, and even hide quite well, despite being relatively clumsy animals. They are also known for having high levels of intelligence, to a point where they can even work a simple door lock or latch. Animals are getting smarter, so, to keep them out, you're going to need to get smarter still.

For the raccoons that are already in your back yard and hunting around your chicken coop, raccoon or wildlife eviction fluid might help. This is meant to scare female raccoons away by making them believe predatory male raccoons nearby, although you are running the risk of getting the male raccoons all riled up. Statistically, however, you're probably going to be up against a female, and that female is also probably going to have babies — kits.

Raccoon eviction fluid is better suited to slightly smaller areas than an entire back yard, but can help with direct spots. You must also take into consideration that the eviction fluid might have an impact on the welfare of your chickens too. A fence will help the surrounding patches of land, and you could either opt for a fence that goes all the way around, or smaller fences that just protect the smaller areas or coops you're worried about. Underground levels are important — raccoons are burrowing animals. Any fence they encounter will just be met from underground force. They will dig under it. You can use hardware mesh wire barriers underground to act as a net of sorts, preventing them from getting any closer.

You can use hardware mesh wire or hardware cloth over a wooden framework to protect areas such as vegetable patches or chicken coops, as an additional later. You just need to make sure that the barrier keeps the animal a good foot away from your precious plants or birds. The raccoon will try to reach through the fence and wire to grab at stuff.

Your chicken feed and feeders will attract raccoons, so taking that away for a while will do you the word of good. At the same time, you can look at how to modify it so that it better suits your garden. If you know that raccoons are hanging around, making the feeder raccoon-proof will help to stop the problem, or you will need to learn to clean everything up once the chickens have been moved inside. The raccoon is just looking for food after all, and they are mostly active at night.

Removing all sources of food, all garden waste and mess/debris, and potential hiding spots are also essential. You can put all the physical barriers and fences in the world between you and this animal, but if they still know that they can get to the food inside your yard once they've overcome that barrier, they will just go right ahead and overcome that barrier. Food is the number one thing bringing these animals to your yard, so it will also need to be the number one thing that you remove from the equation.

For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does raccoon removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of raccoons - my main raccoon removal info guide.
Example raccoon trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Raccoon job blog - learn from great examples of raccoon jobs I've done.
Raccoons in the attic - what to do to solve the problem.

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