So, we’re beginning to understand that our raccoon problems are here to stay rather than being a random occasional event. Cute as a button, extremely destructive, mean little creatures! They ate 4th street and the little rooster for heavens sake!
Between us and neighbors Dave & Leslie we have now lost a total of 4 chickens, and they have done an enormous amount of damage to Dave & Leslie’s chicken coop, green house and pond.
They make almost nightly forays to our house, very often coming right up onto our front porch hoping that we’ve left the cat food out, but happy to munch on snails now that the cat food is put away when the chickens go to bed. They seem to see us as a minor nuisance and don’t hesitate to go about their business as if we aren’t even there (the other night I stood on the front porch and chided one of them for killing chickens and he looked at me as if to say “look lady your bothering me I’m trying to eat my dinner here”.)
Unfortunately we have already or will have many of the raccoons very favorite things, fruit trees, berries, grape vines, gardens, chickens, green house a POND with FISH and FROGS! “A veritable smorgasbord orgasbord orgasbord!” say the ‘coons rubbing their crafty little hands together and grinning their evil little raccoon grin.
We also have a chimney, and a crawl space above and below the house. Let the breeding begin. Our property is like raccoon paradise! : (
I’ve done a lot of reading lately trying to figure out how best to handle our raccoon problem. Everything I’ve read suggests that the best way to deal with raccoons is to learn to live with and accommodate them. This is a sampling of recommended raccoon proofing: Completely fence in the garden including overhead or alternately add electrical wire to the top of the fence. Make sure the pond has very steep walls that are deep enough to prevent the raccoon from being able to reach in and grab fish there also should be nothing that the raccoons can walk out over the surface of the water on, additionally we could add some sort of fencing or grille just below the surface of the water installed in a such a way that its not sturdy enough to support the raccoon. Add sheet metal around the trunks of all fruit trees to prevent them from climbing up to the fruit. Encase all berries and grapes in netting. Wrap the perimeter of our property with electrical fencing. Install a grille over our chimney and make sure there is no access to the spaces above or below the house and that all barriers are extremely sturdy and secure. Some of these measures are doable and make sense for us and some are just out of the question and/or too expensive. One thing that seems certain is that we are going to have some losses to raccoons.
Additionally all of the sources I’ve looked at say that trapping and relocating raccoons is not effective, another raccoon will simply move in and fill the vacancy. If they are relocated it must be more than 10 miles away otherwise that same raccoon will be back sitting on your front porch again in short order. Relocation is seen by many as being cruel because the relocated raccoon now has to compete for food with already established raccoons. Nevertheless, the NM Dept. of Game and Fish recommends trapping and relocating and so thats what we are doing. According to the game and fish folks raccoons are extremely over populated in our area (yeah we’d noticed) and they are trapping and relocating to the Algodones area.
So far our trapping has been quite successful. We’ve caught something every night. The first night we caught Kanai.
Then we moved the trap over to Dave’s green house and that night we caught Frankie the Cat.
We tried again and finally managed to trap these two little shitheads darlings!
The ranger from game and fish came and got those two and dropped off another trap. We should soon be on a first name basis with the game and fish ranger, luckily he seems a nice enough fellow, chatty and good looking to boot.
I have to admit that it has crossed our minds to find out whether or not raccoons make for good eating, and evidently they do if you are willing to work at it a bit. They are purportedly quite tasty and there are any number of recipes out there for raccoon. We could theoretically profit from the skins….. On the other hand they are also known to carry disease and nasty parasites. Gruesome I know and pretty out of character for the all of us (Dave, Don & I that is. None of us have mentioned any of these ideas to Leslie) pagan nature loving people that we are, but they’ve been eating our chickens and tearing up our stuff! So far we aren’t ready to go that route but it is a consideration. We are planning on raising other animals for food after all.
There is at least one bright spot in this otherwise not very cheery picture. Mac.
This thread is destined to be continued……….