Nicola Marchi wrote:I think Ideas 1, 3, and 5 sound workable.
5 isn't very practical though... who really wants to sleep in a tent guarding their chickens for the rest of their life?
If the pitbull can be trusted outside to guard, you might just let him sleep outside by the chicken tractor.
Tyler Ludens wrote:#1 worked pretty well for us under heavy pressure from raccoons. You may want to stake the flaps down between moves to make digging even less convenient. Frequent moves also help discourage digging, that is, move no less than once per day. If you're a male, urinating around the perimeter may help drive off raccoons. May not work with female urine, which may be an attractant, apparently.
Brad Davies wrote:
As an aside pits and bulldogs are different breeds, vary similar, but slightly different temperments. Pits are Old English Bulldogs crossed with a Terrier to increase the "gameness" of the Old English. American Bulldogs are the closest living descendent of the Old English. My Amer Bulldog likes to make a game of catching mice and baby rabbits and dropping them at my feet unharmed.
Craig Dobbelyu wrote:Electric poultry netting might be an option if you can afford it. It's mobile, very good deterrent and can be solar powered. You could do away with the tractor and just leave the coop for roosting at night. Or keep the overhead cover if birds of prey are an issue.
Chris Kott wrote:...getting a small livestock guardian dog or two (they are social animals, two or more are better) and keeping them from the start in chicken tractors designed with an integrated doghouse would work well, provided you found the right dogs and trained them to task properly. As it would be a life for which they were bred, and the only one they would know, it would be fine for the dogs too.
Morgan Morrigan wrote: the old timers used to just hang up a racoon carcass on the back of the coop. seemed to work well. might want to gut 'em first, and just let the meat rot, or try skinning and just hanging a badly dressed skin up.
since they will let you hunt and trap the area, think you have a great way to get the chicks some protein, and thin out that racoon herd.
if you are a meat eater, you can try the pee trick, and i think the trappers can use coyote urine too.
you can also figure out what their food source is, and trap out there on the forest edge. if you set out a live trap, you can set other ones near it. the commotion of trapping one will draw others in.
check out http://www.trapperman.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/forums/4/1/Trap_Shed.html
They don't appreciate anti-trappers there at all, but if you need info, they have it. lots of interesting wildlife habits are picked up by these guys. prob the only ones watching wildlife in urban interfaces more than anyone else other than pure researchers.
Ivan Weiss wrote:I hung a roadkill raccoon carcass inside my chicken tractor in a 5-gallon bucket that had 1-inch holes drilled in the bottom. The theory was that flies would lay eggs on the carcasss, and the maggots would drop through the holes to become chicken feed. I never saw any maggots -- maybe the chickens got to them first, maybe not -- but that carcass is still there, and I haven't been bothered by raccoons since.
I should add that my chicken tractors are all walk-in, with standing head room. I'm looking for another roadkill raccoon to add to my other chicken tractor.