Do Raccoon Eat Chicken? : Identifying and Preventing Raccoon Attack

Posted by: Samuel Ezenwankwo 2 years, 9 months ago/ (2 comments)

As a chicken farmer, you must be worried about the raccoons that have been on your property these days. You should worry, because raccoons can destroy your cage, and in some cases, they may even kill the birds.

Raccoon as chicken predator

Raccoon as chicken predator

When given the chance, predators such as raccoons would eat chickens without remorse or regard. Young chicks like lying on bare surfaces at night, making them ideal prey for these voracious creatures. With enough time, raccoons will cause a lot of financial damage to your farm.

Chicken raccoons are not only in your chicken coop. They are also in the backyard or backyard of your neighbor (who doesn't even know that they live there).

Luckily, you can get the help of experts to find these pesky creatures, which would just walk around your property and open the trash bags. The experts will be able to find any evidence on where these animals live.

Predators, such as raccoons could kill chickens. This is especially true in the event that chickens do not have enough space to move around freely.

Chickens need at least 1.5 meters by 2 meters per chicken for them to feel comfortable and not be stressed. Raccoons would target the weakest of the chickens, and if they happen to be a baby chick, they will have a better chance of survival than others.

Raccoons are incredibly strong animals that can carry an adult-sized chicken many yards from their treehouse or nest box.

How do Raccoons kill chickens?

Raccoons are very difficult to catch and kill as they can easily escape from traps that are set around their home. Also, the predators of raccoons such as dogs tend to chase and ambush them instead of killing them outright.

Raccoons may use different tactics such as attacking birds or going for weak points in their prey’s defenses.

Raccoons kill chickens by nipping off the head or upper neck area, frequently ripping off the entire head and leaving it a long distance away from the body. The breast area may also be eaten, chewed, or maimed, and the organs are commonly consumed.

The raccoons may also shred the chicken legs and heads, dispersing the fragments all over your grass. It is not uncommon for a raccoon to raid a whole coop in one night, devouring hundreds of corpses in the process.

Sometimes the raccoons will feed on the blood of the chicken. This is a disease vector and may cause serious illness or even death in humans who come in contact with it.

raccoon entering into a chicken coop

Raccoon sneaking into a chicken coop

How to identify raccoon Attacks/ key signs of raccoon attacks?

Raccoons are secretive and intelligent predators that are most active at night.  There are raccoon indicators in your chicken farm that might alert you to a close hazard. The most obvious indicator, of course, is the sighting of a raccoon.


If you don't see a raccoon, you could notice some of its footsteps. Raccoon tracks resemble dog or cat tracks but are differentiated by the spacing of the toes.

Both the front and back paws of raccoons have five toes. The traces, as well as the animal's droppings, are quite apparent. It is dark brown and cylindrical, and resembles dog excrement, albeit it is generally a little darker.

raccoon tracks

Raccoon track

The best ways to keep raccoons away from your home are to maintain a no-trespassing policy, seal up all holes and gaps, and use fencing. Raccoons will adapt quickly to human behavior towards them.

If you notice signs of potential entry points, such as broken branches or claw marks on tree trunks or the ground near the house, make sure you repair any damage they may have caused while trying to enter your property.

How do I stop Raccoons from eating my chickens?

Here are a few ways to keep raccoons away from your chicken coop:

Keep an eye on the time.

Although raccoons are mostly nocturnal, they, like other predators, prefer to hunt and feed at both dawn and night. Although this is not the only time to be concerned about these predators, it is the most likely period for an assault.

Attacks from this window are often carried out by ill, hungry, or very young raccoons. You may observe exceptions to this rule in the fall and spring when predators are hungry and may deviate from their usual habits.

However, keeping an eye on the time and calendar, as well as employing typical predator behavior to influence your own schedule, can be an excellent method to keep raccoons away from your hens.

Protect Your Coop

Raccoons are extremely intelligent and have deft fingers, making breaking and entering a breeze for these agile critters. They have the ability to scale buildings and fences, burrow beneath obstacles, and even open locks.


When they find out how something works, they remember it and will come to your coop frequently. They will also take notice of any flaws in your coop and run design and exploit them.

 strong iron net will keep your chicken safe from raccoon

 strong iron net will keep your chicken safe from raccoon

Take the effort to reinforce your coop both permanently and at night. Check that the coop door closes firmly and there are no cracks. A raccoon may easily sneak through gaps.

Don't forget about the top and bottom of your coop. Make sure the entire roof is secure, including any loose shingles, and encircle the bottom of the coop with wire to keep predators out.

At night, keep your chickens indoors.

It might be difficult to drag oneself off the sofa at night to walk outside and lock your hens into the coop, especially when winter arrives and darkness means 5 p.m. However, it is critical that you turn your chicken coop into a nightly fortress to keep predators at bay.

Keep an eye out for young birds.

Raccoons will attack chickens of all ages, but young cockerels and pullets are most vulnerable. This is because young birds are more inclined to sleep on the ground at night, when raccoons may easily reach them, and they haven't acquired all of the instincts needed to defend themselves.

Store Feed Is Inaccessible

As with the first several suggestions, this is another technique of averting a raccoon attack that will reduce the possibility of other critters attacking your hens as well. It will help avoid other problems, like feed loss and insect attraction.

Keep your feed supply out of any animals' reach at all times. Do not leave chicken food in the coop overnight. Make sure spills are cleaned up promptly, since the food may easily lure raccoons to the coop - and when they arrive, they'll discover an even sweeter feast awaits them inside.

Consider storing your food in airtight drums within a lockable, enclosed barn.

Examine Your Fences

Raccoons have the ability to effortlessly climb up and over a fence. Make sure your fence is strong and keeps out low-to-the-ground predators such as dogs and foxes, and bear in mind that the fence must not only keep predators out but also keep your chickens in.

Because raccoons are such adept climbers, it may be worthwhile to invest your time in creating a covered run. Raccoons will be unable to enter the enclosure even if they can scale to the top of the fence.

Don't forget that these bugs like digging! Consider burying four feet of hardware cloth around the coop and run. This will keep them from excavating and going under the fence.

Make a lot of noise and be present.

The simplest approach to keep raccoons away from your flock is just to be present. Raccoons dislike loud noises, strong smells, and flashing lights.

Installing a motion-activated light, for example, can repel raccoons. They are less likely to enter a coop if a light flashes every time they approach because they will be scared.

Use Ammonia to Your Advantage

You'll want to be careful where you do this since ammonia may be harmful to other animals and even humans. However, scattering ammonia-soaked rags about your yard can help repel raccoons.

However, you will need to change them on a frequent basis, especially after a severe downpour, so keep that in mind.


What is the best bait to trap a Raccoon?

 raccoon trap

Traditionally, using apples and cat food has been the go-to route for trapping raccoons. But some people are now making use of toxic bait such as tuna, peanut butter, or bacon to make their job easier.

Others have successfully used chicken wings and spaghetti sauce as well as banana peels smeared with fish oil in order to lure the animals out of their dens.

However, the best bait to trap a raccoon is to place some of the food beneath the pan of the cage trap and scatter some of the juice to attract the raccoon. If you have a cat problem, utilize sweet baits like molasses, marshmallows, or strawberry sugar wafers.

What food is irresistible to raccoons?

Raccoons are attracted to food. Marshmallows make great bait for raccoons. It is very easy and cheap to make bait for trapping raccoons. Just put place it under the trap and when the trap catches a raccoon you will have some bait for your coonhound training.

Are raccoons hard to trap?

Well, they are if you don't know what type of bait is best to lure them.

In order to trap a raccoon, it will take some planning and knowledge about the animal. The type of bait used for trapping a raccoon varies depending on regional availability and the specific habits of the specific raccoons in your area.

Why do raccoons kill Chickens and not eat them?

Raccoons have a specific hunting plan and disregard any chickens that are not the desired prey. Raccoons appear to be more driven by killing chickens than by consuming them.

Raccoons, unlike certain predators such as big birds of prey or foxes, do not steal chicks to share with their group.

Do raccoons eat chicken heads?

Yes. They’d eat the head and crop of your chicken if they are hungry enough.

Do raccoons eat chicken feed?

Yes. . It is best to remove all chicken feed before locking the chicken coop for the night.

Do raccoons eat chicken bones?

No. Raccoon will eat everything but the bones

Do raccoons kill Chicken during the day?

Yes. Raccoons will kill chickens even during the daytime.

If you have encountered raccoons in your chicken coop, we shall be glad if you can share your experience with us.


Tina Foote 1 year ago

How can I tell if a raccoon or a fisher killed our chickens? It was daytime. A couple chickens had their heads ripped off, but most of them were free ranging our yard as they have done for years with no issues. We still have chickens left, but we had so many either gone or killed. 18 to 20. Outside around our yard. Any info would help. Thank you

Link | Reply

Samuel Ezenwankwo 11 months, 1 week ago

Oh! I am sorry about your chickens. Coons are such a threat to chickens. We have to protect our chickens from predators at all costs. I will advise you to lock up your chickens before dark, or build a protective fence or secured runs that will be difficult for coons to dig through/get over.

Common signs of a raccoon include ripping off the head of the chicken without eating the whole chicken. Sometime, eat some of the organs. They are parts selective.

You can also mount a camera to monitor their movements and set a trap.
Good luck, Tina

Link | Reply

New Comment


required (not published)



Subscribe to my newsletter