Work has been keeping me very busy, so I must apologize for not posting sooner. As a result, everything is late…starting seeds, spring clean up, preparing garden beds. The raccoons living next door has also wrecked havoc, claiming two chickens and turning up my sod every night for the past two months. So we purchased a live trap, and waited. For a month we waited with trap triggered but no raccoons. I was ready to give up, even thinking about a friend’s suggestion of poisoning them…
…when we finally got one…
…and then three! Stinky shrimp paste on bread placed “under” the cage was their preferred bait.
All were relocated far away in a wooded area with a stream.
Sorry for the blurry photo above, it was scary at the time.
Then a few days later I heard crying coming from the neighbour’s porch. When mama didn’t return to the den, these three kits ventured out to drink from our pond.
Weak and hungry, they were easy to pick up and placed in their temporary home.
These newly weaned orphans are about 7-8 weeks old. Their mama would normally stay with them for 12 months; teaching them how to forage for food and turn up my sod.
There will be no baby naming or talking to them. Very little contact so that they stay fearful of humans and I won’t miss them when their gone. (Curly, Larry and Moe?)
A mush of applesauce, quail eggs, mashed bananas and kefir was quickly slurped up for the first few days. High-protein cat kibble was added when they could handle solids.
A farmer would have drowned them, but as a mother I couldn’t leave these babies. So we’re keeping them, just until they are big enough to fend for themselves.
City Boy Hens - HI Jill,
You should be commended for your patience, perseverance and kindness to those chicken eating raccoons. I hope your farm will remain predator free for the days to come.
Jaime - Great post Jill! I know how scary raccoons are – I have caught 3 with a fishing net. Certainly not advisable, though these guys were obviously sick, confused, and in pain. For this reason, these guys had to be euthanized (not drowned of course). Hopefully your foster babies successfully relocate to the woods once you release them.
Mary - Jill, you and your family are so wonderfully kind to those poor little motherless raccoons. Hopefully they’ll be respectful and won’t grow up to kill your chickens and turn up your sod. They are pests, but so cute! Now you are really busy! We have raccoons around, but so far they just turn up the sod looking for grubs or hang off the bird feeder. Last year we had a visiting family of 4 raccoons who once stayed around our patio while I was there and let me take a few bad photos. They made their rounds each night and were fearless!
Joan @ The Chicken Mama - I know I shouldn’t love those faces, but I do! I’m so glad you’re taking care of them. I hope your kindness protects your farm from their relatives!
carl jones - Love these pictures. did they ever get to see their parents?
Jill - They have doubled in size, and will go this weekend (sniff). One thing I found that is very disturbing, is that raccoon feces is extremely dangerous!70-80% will have raccoon roundworm, if left untreated can cause serious injury, even death. Now, this is what I’ve found on the web, so it may very much exaggerated, and not so common.
vibram kso - I own 8 rifles currently and one pistol, and I like to target shoot for fun.
Paula - Hi
Next year when you need to trap the raccoons, use marshmallows! It’s all we use and works like magic.