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Do raccoons kill and eat chickens?

9 Answers
I want to get pet chickens. My backyard is home to a few raccoons and I am wondering if they will pose a threat to live chickens if I get any.
F

Oh my yes, raccoons will definitely kill and eat chickens and their eggs. After possums, coons were the second most common predator that use to come after my hens and they were much harder to catch in the act and shoot. Raccoons are very smart and can go through flimsy fences, under fences, and over fences. They can sneak in at night and kill chickens without the birds making a sound so all you will find is a half eaten bird in the morning.

The only 100% safe way to solve a coon problem is to shoot them. Having a good size dog will help to keep them away but raccoons can be very vicious if cornered and can tear a dog to pieces in no time. They also can carry rabies and distemper making it dangerous to live trap them. All it takes is one drop of the saliva of a hissing snarling coon in your eye or mouth to spread the infection. Also if you live trap the animal then you have the problem of where to relocate it. It is against the law in many states to transport and release wild animals without a permit. You will also need written permission from the land owner on whose land you plan to release the animal. I personally don't believe in putting problem animals off onto someone else.

Hiring a professional pest control service is a good alternative if you don't want to kill the animals though it may be expensive. Putting an electrified wire along the top of your fence can help to deter the coons and closing the birds up at night is a good idea. We have two good dogs so I am not bothered with coons during the daytime and our growing coyote population has really solved my coon problem.

My hen house has a single pop door for the hens to come and go through, so at the first sign of a coon problem, my live trap goes in the house in front of the pop door. Any animal coming through the door goes into the trap and is caught. I also have 6 ft. high chain link fencing around my chicken yard that was got from a scrap yard cheap, which no raccoon can tear through. A rooster is not going to keep a hungry coon away but they will make a noise when they see coons or hawks are around during the day.

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M

One of a raccoons favorite foods is eggs. They will come to your home over and over and help themselves to the eggs. If, one day, they come and there are no eggs to take but they can catch a hen, they will kill it and eat it too. Unlike foxes a raccoon will not usually go on a major killing spree (a fox will kill all your hens even if it can only eat one) but they will come back daily for their regular meal. Sometimes they will kill a few hens and eat bits of each of them. Raccoons will even kill cats too.

They are happier with easy food, so if there are enough eggs then they will eat those and be on their way, but if they cannot find eggs your chickens are easy food too. A hen that is sitting on eggs is especially vulnerable.

Raccoons are tough, they can rip right through chicken wire. Stucco wire is stronger and safer, but your hens should not ever be let out free range if there are raccoons in the area.

If you have a rooster he will try to chase the raccoons away or to sound an alarm but usually there are groups of raccoons so while the rooster is dealing with one, another one is taking a hen.

Also note that although raccoons normally hunt at night, they will hunt in the day too when they know there is food available.

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L

Raccoons are opportunistic animals and will eat just about anything, including squirrels, garbage, bird eggs, nuts, fruit, vegetables and yes they eat chickens. They don't mind if it's a rotting chicken carcass or a fresh one.

If you get pet chickens, you may want to humanely trap and re-home the raccoons or set up a raccoon-free cage. The latter will present a challenge because raccoons are smart and have quite a bit of dexterity in their front claws.

Thank you for the question and good luck with the chickens.

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I

Raccoons tend to be more scavengers as opposed to hunters, however, if the chickens are readily available to them, they may be in danger of being eaten. The eggs would definitely a big target of raccoons. My recommendation would be to either make sure the chickens are extremely secured in a pen, or get animal control to rehome the raccoons, which is probably what's best for them anyway.

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P

Yes, raccoons will kill and eat chickens. It would be very risky to keep chickens, even in an enclosure, Racoons can figure out a lot of latch types, and if they can reach through the wire, have been known to grab and pull a chicken through the wire. Although racoons and chickens are both interesting creatures, they cannot peacefully coexist in the same area.

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I

Raccoons will definitely kill and eat chickens. If you want to have chickens, it is best to keep them secure in a caged facility to protect them from predators. Otherwise, remove the raccoons. The problem is, they always seem to come back!

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M

Every predatory animal eats chickens. Even other birds.

If you are going to have chickens you need to protect them with a proper enclosure to keep all other animals out.

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P

Yes raccoons would definitely eat chicken. However this is not likely in the killing department because they are scavengers but it is possible.

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I

Not likely, they are mostly scavengers.

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