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persistant Raccoons!!!

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  • persistant Raccoons!!!

    I've been invaded! My grain is locked up, thankfully, but my supplements are on a nearby picnic table. The last few nights, every supplement bucked has been thrown on the floor, overturned, and/or opened- the suckers even got to some corn oil. There is no more room in my grain locker for the supps, so this is really frustrating- it's resulted in lots of spillage/waste! One 5 pound bucked (which was closed securely, and covered by another large bucket so you couldn't see it, with the heavy corn oil ON TOP) was opened and violated- and i'm not sure if i should even continue feeding that stuff, since it's been played in. I really don't want to throw away a brand new huge bucket of FatCat though. Ugh.

    I know they're raccoons because i can see their wee paw (hand?) prints. Plus, whatever animal it is would have to be exceptionally clever to get in to sealed buckets. I have 3 barn cats who OBVIOUSLY have been sleeping on the job and not warning away the varmits. They come late/night early morning, so waiting up for them so that I can shoot them (so sad, don't want to anyway) or scare them isn't an option. Can I trap them? If i drive them miles away, will they come back? I'm working on an alternate location for the supplements, but in the mean time, something has to give. don't like the idea of them in the barn, anyway. There is no trash in the barn and the cat food goes away at night.

    Can I keep feeding that FatCat? my gut says no, (ESPM fears!) but my wallet says "please?"

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    You can trap them, but they're smart, so good luck. Yes, they may come back, and it may also be against the law in your area to relocate them (not that anyone in an all out war against racoons gives a hoots about such laws but just so you know)

    We've been battling them for over a month. We've taken steps to reduce and eliminate, but the last one is evading our best efforts. I've resorted to placing rat traps in all my garden planters. I am eagerly awaiting waking up in the middle of the night to a "Ki-yi-yi" when he/she gets his/her stinkin' little fingers snapped for rooting around in my things.
    Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


    • #3
      Don't blame the barncats
      Place I boarded lost a large (15#+) tomcat to a raccoon - found drowned in the pond.
      They are nasty and your cats are smart to stay out of sight if they get in the barn.

      See if your local Freecycle has an old chest freezer you can store feed & supplements in. And then padlock it shut!
      Raccoons are masters at getting into just about anything.

      Contact your local AC and ask if they will pick up any you livetrap.
      If not, and you don't shoot, do you have a gunwise friend who will dispatch any you trap?
      SSS is the best way to handle them once they decide your barn is a buffet.

      Sorry WildRightToLifers, but not only are raccoons not at all nice, they vector rabies.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


      • #4
        We keep the feeds locked up in the shop and it's about as secure as the house so no rackety coon issues there, but they are a heck of a nuisance in the trashcans up and down the road and if I'm stupid enough to leave food wrappers in the car and the window down it's greasy pawprints everywhere.
        Toss the supplement. I would, or at least if it's a granulated thing I'd throw out the top three to six inches if I was absolutely positively sure they hadn't urinated in it.
        I'd move that stuff into the house until you get a dead chest freezer, or even actually a dead fridge with a padlock might work out for bucket type stuff.
        Sorry. I remember camping once and the little beasts just ransacked our outdoor kitchen. If it wasn't gone altogether it had holes in it or was strewn about the campsite. I think the only thing that survived was the instant coffee in the glass screw top jar.
        Last edited by ReSomething; Jun. 21, 2012, 05:39 PM. Reason: paragraphs are your friend
        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
        Incredible Invisible


        • #5
          A better way to lock up the supplements will work to prevent future racoons, but the current ones think your barn is a source of food and they will not give up the search and can do serious damage to the barn. I trap them in a live trap and shoot them with a .22. Please don't relocate. You (inadvertanly) taught them that people are a source of food. If you teach them what a trap is they will be 100 times more trouble for the next person's barn.

          I don't know what it is with raccoons this year. I rarely have any go in the barn and this year I shot 4 in the last week alone. The cats did make themselves scarce for a couple of days but came back once I got the last one. (At least I hope it's the last one)!


          • #6
            Raccoons do not like moth balls. We used moth balls in atlanta in the city to keep coons out of garbage cans.

            Raccoons also do not stay around Australian Shepherds.

            Otherwise, go to a local hardware store, not ebay where prices are higher, but to a local store, and buy a midsize haveahart trap, it's about 100$ with tax, and relocate your coons.


            • #7
              Trap & shoot. We got 6 or 7 this last year. They killed about half my flock of chickens.
              I now now have a nice collection of coon skins


              • #8
                I'd toss the supplements. Raccoons can be carriers of EPM, not worth the risk. Treating EPM or losing a horse to it is a helluva lot worse than replacing a new bucket of Fat Cat.

                Find a way to secure anything the raccoons might find edible, anything at all. Even if it's in the trunk of your car, a tack room or you have to go buy a container. This includes emptying the cat dishes for the night if you leave food out for the cats.

                Don't count on the cats to run off raccoons. There may very well be cats that will, but I've never seen one. Actually on several instances, at two separate barns, with two separate groups of barn cats I've witnessed raccoons feasting on cat food right alongside the kitties. Frustrating? Heck yeah. Once I even reached down to pet our own little barn kitty that I spied out of the corner of my eye eating out of the food dish next to the grain bin and much to my chagrin, ended up petting a young raccoon. Barn kitty was a few feet away watching and waiting for her turn at the dish.

                You can live trap them but if you want to release them make sure it's far, far away. One of our neighbors went that route but didn't release them far enough away. Raccoon problem persisted so he tried a little experiment. Every time he'd catch a raccoon he'd spray paint a yellow spot on it, then go release it elsewhere. Within a couple week's time his barn was overrun with raccoons (still) but now they all had yellow spots on them and were smart enough to stay out of the traps.

                I hate killing any animal but I'll make an exception for raccoons. They are just too much of a nuisance.


                • #9
                  I had this problem in FL a long time ago. I ended up putting the supplements together in a plastic grain bag and suspending it from the ceiling of the stall I was using as a feed room. I put the grain in a big container and set a metal stall screen on top of it. That kept the critters out!!

                  Every once in a while I have problems where I am now. So I keep the expensive supplements in the feed bin which the raccoons cannot open.


                  • #10
                    I have lost one cat and another lost a leg to raccoons. I do not have a gun so my solution is drowning. I fill a large tub with water and submerge the trap. I do my best to keep them out of the barn but if one keeps getting in I have to protect my cats and property.

                    It is recommended that if you want relocate a raccoon you need to take it 10 miles away.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Blue Aurora View Post
                      I have lost one cat and another lost a leg to raccoons. I do not have a gun so my solution is drowning. I fill a large tub with water and submerge the trap. I do my best to keep them out of the barn but if one keeps getting in I have to protect my cats and property.

                      It is recommended that if you want relocate a raccoon you need to take it 10 miles away.
                      Wow, that's a little harsh. I dunno if I'd go so far as drowning. A clean shot to the head yeah but drowning? If that was my only option I'd relocate them. I'm too much of a softie to put an animal down like that, even one I loathe as much as a raccoon.

                      BTW- you can pick up a .22 long rifle for pretty cheap if you hunt around and get one used. Perfectly suitable for dispatching a raccoon and much more humane than drowning.


                      • #12
                        Trap and shoot. Canned wet cat food works great. I also know of farms that drown them in the trap. Harsh, and I couldn't do it, but it's better than them ruining supplements and killing cats.!
                        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                        • #13
                          We have had a few 'coon infestations and have found that shooting one member of the family sends the message to the rest to move on.

                          The day they came in the cat door (HOUSE) and started snacking on the indoor cat dish was the last straw.


                          • #14
                            I just keep everything locked up. We had a couple in the tack room and they trashed it. So, cat has no access to tack room at night...all the food and supplements are kept in there. Once everything was locked up, we stopped having trouble.


                            • Original Poster

                              I've been locking EVERYTHING edible up for the past few nights and the sucker keeps coming back- i know this because he's apparently angry about the lack of noms and throws ANYTHING not bolted down across the barn. Hopefully he gets the message soon- if not, i guess I'll pull out my traps and have my hubby 'dispose' of the offender.
                              My cat comment was sarcastic- i know my guys aren't doing much killing. they're miserable mousers, so i doubt they'd want ANYTHING to do with a raccoon!


                              • #16
                                What everyone else said...We trapped and shot 9 so far this year. They are NOT the cute critters depicted in cartoons!! They have a serious attitude and a worse bite. They will go in a trap for dry cat food, horse feed pellets and M&M's (I'm told). As a deterrent until you get them caught...leave a low watt light burning or a radio playing. Either/both will keep them away. Set the baited trap elsewhere. Another thing I did...after stacking 60 bags of yummy horse feed in the barn. I took the big (King sized) quilt out of my Great Pyrennes dog house (full of hair and smelly scent) and covered the stacks of feed with it. They never touched that feed!! Guess they thought the dog was in there asleep!! And for what it's worth...my big bad Great Pyr will NOT engage a coon!! They have claws and teeth like a pyranna!!! Good Luck!!
                                Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                                • #17
                                  I have caught only two. I am jealous! Both were tossed over the fence to the buzzards who ate well.

                                  My coons were HUGE!

                                  Trap and shoot them. You do not want EPM with them.

                                  My husband and I watched a PBS show on the coons over in Japan, and ones here in the cities. There was a cartoon over there about a coon, so the Japanese people wanted coons for pets. Lots were shipped from the USA. Then they found out they were not as good of a pet as they thought, and the cartoon ended and the coon was set free into the wild. So the coon owners did the same, and now there is a horrible explosion of them, and they are tearing everything up over there literally. They trap and euth immediately. Also the show had city dwelling coons too. Destructive.

                                  Trapping is the only way to get rid of them. If you let them out of the trap aka relocate them, PLEASE do not relocate them to my property. You will be just moving your problem to make problems for somebody else.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by rmh_rider View Post
                                    Trapping is the only way to get rid of them. If you let them out of the trap aka relocate them, PLEASE do not relocate them to my property. You will be just moving your problem to make problems for somebody else.
                                    YES, this! We've trapped and shot over 40 at my barn in the last year alone. They are tearing up the barn, the shed, decimated an entire flock of chickens over 2 nights, and make little raccoons right and left. We have no idea where on earth they are all coming from, because in the past 15 years we have never had a problem with them at all, just all of a sudden this year? We figure someone has to be trap/releasing them in the area. Please do not relocate your raccoons to be someone else's problem.
                                    "I think animal testing is a terrible idea, they get all nervous and give silly answers."
                                    -fry & laurie


                                    • #19
                                      Big?? Darn right!! We got two females in one night that weighed over 20 pounds...thanks to a generous diet of OUR dog/cat/horse feed!! We caught them in two separate cages. The second one tore the heck out of the area around the trap as well as the boards of the barn walls - not even close to the trap....I'd say they were seriously PO"d!!!
                                      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                                        I've resorted to placing rat traps in all my garden planters. I am eagerly awaiting waking up in the middle of the night to a "Ki-yi-yi" when he/she gets his/her stinkin' little fingers snapped for rooting around in my things.
                                        Well, I have not had the satisfaction of hearing the coon catch his fingers in a rat trap, but ever since the night he set one off, he has stayed out of my pots (knock on wood). Apparently I at least suprised him.
                                        Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans