Do Raccoons Eat Chickens? [Kill Chickens? How to Prevent?]

Do Raccoons Eat Chickens
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Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

Raccoons are known for killing and eating chickens, so are you concerned? You should be if you aren’t already. However, it would be wonderful to suggest that raccoons are more terrified of you than you are of them.

Seeing a human deters raccoons, but no matter how often you check your chicken coop for eggs, nothing will repel them. If you turn your back for even a second, a raccoon will creep up behind you and start preying on your helpless flock of chickens.

These omnivores threaten your backyard flock, but they also present a significant opportunity for exploitation. Natural predators of chickens include raccoons, foxes, squirrels, and more.

Chickens are small enough to prey on a few predatory birds and hungry mammals, making them vulnerable. Even if you live in a rural area, there are likely to be a variety of creatures harassing your hens from time to time.

Why Do Raccoons Kill Chickens?

Why Do Raccoons Kill Chickens

The apparent answer is that Raccoons are carnivorous mammals, and they’ll consume or kill anything they can get their hands on. Many people consider chickens to be a vulnerable species. To make matters worse, they have no way to flee predators, aren’t fast enough to defend themselves, and are an easy source of protein for other animals.

So, if you have raccoons or any other predators in your region, you can bet that they’re keeping an eye on your chickens.

Why Do Raccoons Kill Chickens and Not Eat Them?

If raccoons attack your chickens, you’ve probably seen that they don’t consume much of the meat even though they kill the chickens. Raccoons are a nuisance and a danger. The more they get into a coop, the more hens they kill. It’s common for them to eat the chickens’ crops and a small amount of their meat.

However, killing chickens appears to be a more significant motivator than actually eating them. However, raccoons don’t take poultry from their territory to share with the rest of their pack, as do vast birds of prey and foxes.

Raccoons are known to prey on chickens, and this is one-way poultry owners can narrow down the culprit. Unfortunately, predators rarely leave their mark to die in the spot where they were attacked.

Do Raccoons Smell Chickens?

Do Raccoons Smell Chickens

They have a fantastic sense of smell, yet they can’t tell when there is an approaching chicken. Instead, they are drawn to the fragrance of chicken feed. Putting out ordinary chicken seeds or food leftovers from fruits and veggies, or even your breakfast can attract ravenous garbage pandas to your backyard. After giving your chickens a treat, you should always clean up after yourself.

Signs of Raccoon Problems

You’re not alone for those who have ever discovered a dead chicken pile in their chicken coop and wondered what had caused the mayhem.

While predators like hawks and dogs may grab their prey and run with it, leaving only the scent of their presence behind, raccoons prefer to make their presence known by making a lot of noise. There is a strong desire for you to see that they were there!

The chickens will be scattered over your coop, run, or even outside the pen; they’ll even leave scraps near your house. It doesn’t matter what damage raccoons leave behind; they’re not concerned.

It’s rare for them to transfer the body or devour the entire animal, although they occasionally do. A weasel was most likely responsible for the devastation if the body had no bite marks or the head was absent.

Various other indicators can also detect the presence of raccoons. Of course, witnessing a raccoon is the most obvious clue. Even if you don’t spot one, you may be able to tell by their imprints that they were there. The spread of the toes distinguishes raccoon tracks from a dog or cat.

There are five toes on the front and back paws of every raccoon. The animal’s footprints and feces are visible. It is similar to dog excrement except darker; it is dark brown and cylindrical.

Other Problems With Raccoons Near Chickens

Other Problems With Raccoons Near Chickens

You need to be concerned about raccoons in general, not just the possibility of their eating your chicks. In addition, raccoons can cause a variety of other issues for you. For example, raccoons enjoy not only eating chickens but also their eggs. So a raccoon could be blamed if you’re dealing with an egg thief.

Several diseases, including rabies, infectious canine hepatitis, and canine distemper, can be transmitted by raccoons. Even though most of these diseases only harm other mammals, raccoons are pests that should be kept.

How to Prevent Raccoons from Eating and Killing Your Chickens

Keep an Eye on the Timer

Raccoons, like other predators, enjoy hunting and eating at both dawn and dusk, despite being nocturnal. When it comes to these predators, this is not the only moment that you need be on the lookout.

When raccoons attack from this window, they are often weak, malnourished, or young. When predators are hungry in the fall and spring, you may see deviations from this rule.

Secure Your Coop

When it comes to breaking, raccoons’ clever and dexterous fingers make it simple. They have the strength and agility to scale fences and walls, burrow tunnels beneath them, and even open latches.

You can count on them returning to your coop once again once they’ve learned the ins and outs of how things function. Additionally, they will exploit any flaws in your coop and run design.

Store Feed Out of Reach

Aside from raccoons, other animals are less likely to harm your chickens if you use this strategy, which goes hand in hand. Feed loss and pest attraction will also be prevented by this method.

Your feed supply should be kept out of the reach of all animals. Leaving chicken feed out overnight might be dangerous for the chickens. Raccoons will come to your chicken coop looking for food, so make sure any spills are cleaned immediately. Once they’re inside, they’ll find an even better meal waiting for them.

Make Sure Your Fences Are In Order

It’s easy for raccoons to scale a fence and get out. Your wall must be strong enough to keep out predators like dogs and foxes and your chickens, so make sure it does both.

Because raccoons are excellent climbers, you may want to spend some time making a covered run for them. Raccoons will be unable to enter the pen even if they climb to the top of the fence.

In Conclusion

If you’ve ever wondered if raccoons eat chickens, your question has been addressed. They eat chickens and pose a significant threat to your backyard flock. To keep your birds safe from raccoon attacks, follow our advice. Raccoons are vicious chicken killers, despite their adorable appearance.

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