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NOTICE THIS BOARD WILL BE DOWN FOR A LITTLE WHILE. NOT SURE WHEN. I NEED TO DO UPDATES ON IT. I WILL GIVE EVERYONE AMPLE TIME WHEN THIS WILL HAPPEN.

Wild Raccoon Neighbors

Coatimundis, Kinkajous, Raccoons, Ringtails, Cacomistles, Olingos

Moderators: Ash, TamanduaGirl

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Kagney
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Wild Raccoon Neighbors

Postby Kagney » Thu May 25, 2017 1:50 pm

I have new neighbors!

We have a HUGE tree in our backyard (about 50 yards from the corner of the house) that has a perfect hollow in one the main trunks on the backside. Last year we had a family of owls nesting there, but since we've cleared most of the brush from the area, the owls didn't come back... instead a mamma coon has moved in. We've seen her multiple times going back and forth, so I'm pretty sure she has babies in there. She killed one of our baby turkeys a little over a week ago. icon-sad
We had some other poultry-related misfortune recently (neighbor's dogs), and had animal control out to document it. While the officer was there, we mentioned the raccoon nest, and she advised us to trap mamma, net the babies, and relocate en-masse.

Now, the hollow is at least 15ft off the ground, maybe higher, and the only way to get up there is on an extension ladder. I'm really not thrilled with the idea of crawling up there and peeking in.

I wish we could just leave them alone, but I'm a bit worried about Giz catching something from them. She is currently indoor only, but we are planning on re-purposing our little unused 2nd story porch into a playroom for her. Of course, the porch is on the same side of the house as the nest tree, and actually the closest part of the house to it. My new vet is vaccine minimalist, and suggested we do rabies only at our last visit. So Giz isn't really protected. Distemper is my biggest concern. Currently, with no outdoor access, I'm not too worried. Still, does anyone know if that's something we might inadvertently bring inside on our shoes or through the dogs possibly?

Also, would you guys relocate them? I think its really cool that she's decided to live in our backyard, and if Giz and the turkeys and chickens weren't in the equation, she and her brood would be welcome to stay. But as things stand, it makes me a little nervous.
The adult chickens seem to be too much trouble for her, and she hasn't messed with them at all. I've been keeping the few remaining babies inside under lock and key until they out grow last place on the food chain. (The hub is thrilled about a half grown turkey in our laundry room, lemme tell you... :roll:)
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Wild Raccoon Neighbors

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu May 25, 2017 2:37 pm

No relocating is a temporary solution at best. Remove them and more will just move back in again later. Once the kits are grown you can block the tree so they can't get back into the hallow. Don't have food they can get too and double fence all enclosures. They wont stay if there is nothing there for them and your animals will be safe with proper fencing(which is double fencing).

Distemper does not liver more than a few hours outside of a host so avoid stepping in fresh racoon poop is great. You could take your shoes off before you come in to be sure or even have a shoe bath at the enclosure door of bleach to prevent tracking anything in. Things like adeno virus live longer in the environment.

If giz has had shots before odds are he will be fine since studies showed, in domestics, they actually last 5-7 years. But if it's been more than three years listed on the label you could ask your vet for it explaining the higher risk. Once the family is grown and you remove temptations to stay you then shouldn't need to worry about getting the shots again.
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Ana
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Re: Wild Raccoon Neighbors

Postby Ana » Thu May 25, 2017 4:07 pm

I would hesitate to disturb the little family. Does your property abut a forest? Is there any state land or anything in the immediate vicinity?
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DeweysMom
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Re: Wild Raccoon Neighbors

Postby DeweysMom » Thu May 25, 2017 4:19 pm

Chances are that by the time you get your repurposed room ready for Giz, Momma and babies will have moved on. Relocating is NOT a good idea. I just read an article that in relocated wild animals, the survival rate is extremely dismal. To do that to a nursing mama and her kits is unconscionable. I agree with TG: enhance your safety system around your livestock. Chances are, if Mama raccoon can feed off of your flock, it won't be long until other predators will be helping themselves to them, too.

I'd consider at least ONE of the distemper vaccines, if it's possible that Giz might have nose-to-nose contact with wildies through screen or wire fencing. Better safe than sorry. I alternate canine and feline year to year, rather than giving both at one time, as some recommend. I'm a minimalist, too, but not to the point where I allow my babies' health to possibly be jeopardized.
Dana

2 Dogs - a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, & an Australian Shepherd; 3 Cats; 2 horses, 1 mule; One very spoiled raccoon and the love of my life, Dewey James, and the recently added but much adored, Bobby Lee, brother raccoon to Dewey
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Kagney
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Re: Wild Raccoon Neighbors

Postby Kagney » Fri May 26, 2017 9:13 am

Thanks for the imput. I was really surprised that the officer suggested moving them. The biggest hurdle there being that we couldn't know how old the kits were before trapping mom. I wouldn't try it for just that reason.
DeweysMom wrote:To do that to a nursing mama and her kits is unconscionable.

Agreed.

As long as the threat of disease to Giz is negligible, I'm not too worried about them staying until they out grow the nest. We'll probably be blocking up the hole as soon as they're gone.

About the birds... Like I said, it seems the coons are only a threat to young birds, so if I can just get these last two babies fully grown without incident I think we'll be ok... maybe.

I was soooo happy to have all 6 of my chickens fully grown and safe. We had just started letting them free-range while we were home, then Saturday morning the neighbors 2 wolf-crosses got out and killed 4 of the 6. At least momma coon killed the little turk for a reason, I can live with that. These friggin' dogs just massacred our poor chickies and took off. icon-sad
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DeweysMom
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Location: York PA

Re: Wild Raccoon Neighbors

Postby DeweysMom » Tue May 30, 2017 1:20 pm

Thank you for being willing to tolerate the situation until it resolves itself. And it undoubtedly will. Animals are like the rest of us: just trying to get along in this sometimes harsh and mean world.
Dana

2 Dogs - a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, & an Australian Shepherd; 3 Cats; 2 horses, 1 mule; One very spoiled raccoon and the love of my life, Dewey James, and the recently added but much adored, Bobby Lee, brother raccoon to Dewey

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