Robin’s Journal – Raccoons, Skunk & One Big Mess

My day started at 3:30 am Saturday when I heard chickens in distress. Raccoon! It had to be a raccoon. I let the three dogs out, put my boots on and grabbed a flashlight. The dogs were around the bantam pen. By the time I walked the 30-feet from the house to the pen, Ava, my 11 month old pup, was following her nose toward the woods.

I found a hen sprawled on the ground, heaving her lasts breaths. Thankfully she died before I could get to her to snap her neck and put her out of her misery. She died a horrific death but it was over in two minutes. The dogs searched for the raccoon for two hours. I came in at 5:30 am to make coffee when I was sure I had the pen secure. The dogs stayed out. It’s unlikely that the raccoon went far. It had less than a minute from the time it attacked until the dogs were at the pen. They don’t run fast enough to go far in 60 seconds.

After a cup of coffee and time for the chickens to calm down I went to the pen to get the dead bird. Nasty raccoon! I have no use for them. It killed the chicken by pulling its leg off. The bantams will be closed into the greenhouse before sunset until sunrise until the Electronet arrives. They’re easy to pick up and carry so it’s a quick job.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I knew the raccoon would be back for another easy meal. The chickens were safe but I still slept with one eye open and one ear on. At 2:30 am a huge commotion in the barn started. If you’ve ever heard raccoons fighting, you know what I’m talking about. It’s such a terrible noise that I once called the police when living in Old Town because I thought someone was torturing an animal. I described the sounds to dispatch and he told me it was raccoons fighting. And fight they did in my barn this morning. The bushel and half bushel baskets I use in the one-acre garden were scattered across the barn floor. They’d been neatly stacked and put away, upside down, waiting to be used again. A stack of empty grain sacks had been pushed to the ground and the bags scattered. I didn’t go out during the fight. Angry raccoons are nothing to mess with.

When I checked the live trap this morning it was empty, except for the dead chicken I’d used for bait. Outside the barn, in the back section of the garden, a skunk spent considerable time digging for grubs and pooping in the garden.

Living in the woods with the wildlife isn’t always wonderful. I’d rather have a moose walk through the garden (which they do on occasion) than deal with raccoons and skunks.