Masked Bandidos in the Chicken Yard


Two young raccoons got into the chicken yard by ripping a hole in rusty chicken wire the other night. Luckily I went out to close in the chickens in their (secure) coop before raccoons got to them. I have a lot of respect for these guys, called in Spanish mapaches (pronounced mah-PAH-chays). Like coyotes, they’re survivors. I’ve patched the roof.

When you live on a piece of land like this, multiple critters are constantly seeking food. In our book The Half-Acre Homestead, I list all these would-be intruders, along with various methods and traps for controlling them.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

3 Responses to Masked Bandidos in the Chicken Yard

  1. They’re so cute and clever, hard to believe how much damage and destruction they can do. Read about them taking over many buildings in a town, and very fierce when cornered.

    Stay safe when you’re running them off. Heard many reports of them having rabies…

    If you should be trying to run them off, and they are ignoring you , here is a weird trick worked for us…on our local city slicker racoons. No idea why it worked, but, by golly seemed to three times.

    On three occasions, quite far apart….I looked out back door to discover a racoon. I threw ice cubes and various other bits at it, but it totally ignored me. Woke hubby up, and he told it to hit the road, ignored him too. In a flash of inspiration he HISSED at it, several times. Oddly, it almost shrugged, turned around and left. This happened three times. (he did this from inside the house, through the screen door, and critter was out in the yard)

  2. 75 percent of the part of their brain that processes sensory signals is devoted to touch. Their hands are so sensitive that they can catch fish that they cannot see.

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