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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Help! We are being invaded! Any ideas?

     Vermin! That's what I call them.  Whether it be deer, bears or raccoons, they all cause problems for the homesteader.  This past summer we had the prettiest patch of sweet corn that we had raised in years and in three days it was mowed down by, you guessed it, VERMIN!  Now that made me mad!  The kids and I sweated many days over that corn and we only got to eat two meals out of it.  Discouraging? You bet.  But the other night these little pests crossed the line.

Hole in chicken lot
made by raccoons
     What, you may ask, finally pushed me over the edge?  My CHICKENS!  The raccoons tore into my chicken lot and took two hens and my only, favorite rooster named Fluffy (yes, this is a peculiar name for a rooster but he was the cutest little yellow chick you could ever image, so the kids named him Fluffy).  Now I am ready for vengeance!
     How and why did it happen?  Well I was cleaning the freezer and came across some old corn on the cob and thought my chickens would like it.  So I gave it to them and they did love it.  However, the "coons" were also attracted to the corn.  Those nasty vermin tore a hole in the chicken wire and made a neat pile of corn cobs on the outside.  That wasn't good enough though, the little pests had to go on into the hen house and rob me of my valuable egg layers and their body guard.
     Our neighbor feeds the deer population truck loads of corn because he enjoys watching them.  Woe is me!  He's not only feeding the strawberry, corn, and apple eating deer but he is also feeding the chicken eating raccoons!  This, I perceive, is not good for the homesteader.  Now I can't get too mad at the neighbor because he is my father in law.  But I can try to get rid of the vermin.  Advice is what I need.
     We purchased a live trap and put corn inside only to discover that the raccoons reached through the back of the cage and somehow ate the corn without even going into the cage.  Now what?  Our little shih tzu dog is no hunting dog.  So that is out of the question. Hubby and my son will try to do something new with the corn inside the cage so the raccoons can't get it so easily or maybe cover the back of the trap.  We will see how that works.  What are some of the things other people do?  I am sure we are not the only people who have had this problem.



     For now the hens have been moved to a chicken tractor.  I only have five grown hens left (I am very thankful for our new chicks that we got a few weeks ago) but the chicken tractor is very crowded with all of them in there.  I also plan on doing some reworking of the chicken lot.  It is my hopes to get the little egg layers back into their home very soon.  But I do not want to put them back until I know that those evil thieves are gone.
     Oh! I did want to mention that the corn that was mowed down this summer was eaten by raccoons also(a story to tell at a later time).  We had a young boy capture two raccoons and one skunk out of our garden.  We also had a young raccoon  on the gas bottle of our grill one morning.  Which tells me they are coming on the porch regularly.  My son left some corn on the porch one night and we were awakened by the party that the five fat raccoons were having on my porch.  Needless to say, we try our best not to leave food out anymore but with kids sometimes we do.
    As I see it we must be infested by these little masked vermin.  Not only do these vermin eat corn  and chickens but they carry rabies.  So we really need to get rid of these pest as soon as possible.  Please, if you have any advice, we are all ears.
                                                                             Posted by Mom

4 comments:

  1. Here in Ky,racoon hunting is rather popular. Perhaps you could find someone to do this in the woods around your house. You and your neighbors would have to tolerate howling dogs for a night or two, since that is when the hunting occurs. Or find yourself a "guard dog".

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    1. Mrs. Settles - Thanks for taking the time to comment! Coon hunting is a great idea, but everybody is bear hunting here right now so no one is interested. I was thinking about trying to rent a hound dog!

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  2. My grandfather would tie a foil pan onto a string and put it somewhere it would flap in the wind. I place mine on a stake so it hits the stake making a noise.

    My grandfather also would put a battery operated radio in the garden with a bucket over it. It kept the coon out of their garden.

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    1. Jen, Those are great ideas! We are going to try the pie pans for sure (as soon as Sandy passes!) Right now the chickens are still in a "tractor".

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