Pest Away Tips

10 Tips for Keeping Your Coop and Ducks Safe from Raccoons

How to Keep Your Coop and Ducks Safe from Raccoons

Raccoons are commonly known as pests that invade chicken coops and duck enclosures at night. These creatures are intelligent, resourceful, and highly determined when it comes to finding food.

As a result, they can climb over fences, dig under them, and tear through poorly constructed coops. However, with proper security measures, you can keep your coop and ducks safe from raccoons.

In this article, we will discuss some tips for keeping your coop and ducks secure from raccoons.

Checking for Gaps in Coop and Fence

First and foremost, you should check your coop and fence for any potential gaps that raccoons could use to gain entry. Raccoons may be able to squeeze through the smallest of spaces, so make sure to check thoroughly.

Some animals, such as snakes, bobcats, and coyotes, can also fit through gaps or spaces that you may not have considered. Aside from gaps, you should also ensure that there are no holes in the fence, and that it is well-anchored to the ground to prevent animals from digging under it.

Using Hook Locks on the Coop Door

Raccoons are crafty animals that can open simple latches and push doors that are not securely locked. To prevent raccoons from entering your coop, use hook locks that are specially designed for outdoor use.

The Homely Stainless Steel Hook and Eye Latch is an excellent option for this purpose. It is easy to install and has a sliding latch that provides additional security against predators.

Using Smaller Mesh on Your Coop Fence

Another way to prevent raccoons from entering your coop is to use smaller mesh on the fence. The Rocicmhy 1/2 inch hardware cloth is a suitable option for this purpose.

With a smaller mesh, it is impossible for raccoons to fit their paws through the gaps. Additionally, a tighter mesh also offers better protection against other predators that may be smaller in size.

Using Small Mesh Underneath Your Coop

If raccoons cannot enter your coop through the fence, they may try to dig under it. To prevent them from doing so, use small mesh underneath your coop.

This way, if raccoons try to dig through the ground, they will find it difficult to do so. The Adirondack Ecological Center recommends placing the mesh about one foot out from the fence and sinking it deep enough to prevent raccoons from burrowing underneath.

Attaching Your Coop to the Ground

Another security measure you can use is to attach your coop to the ground. This is particularly important if you live in a location that is susceptible to strong winds or if you have mobile homes that are prone to tipping over.

Auger anchors are a suitable option for this purpose as they provide a secure grounding for your coop.

Tips for Keeping Your Ducks Secure from Raccoons

If you have ducks, they are also at risk of raccoon attacks. Ducks are active during the day, which is when raccoons tend to sleep.

However, raccoons may still attempt to enter your duck enclosure at night. Here are some tips to keep your ducks safe from raccoons:

Only Letting the Flock Out During the Day

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service advises that ducks should only be let out during the daytime as raccoons tend to be more active at night. This will reduce the likelihood of raccoons entering the enclosure when your ducks are out and about.

Removing Duck Eggs Frequently

Raccoons are attracted to food leftovers and eggs. Therefore, it is important to remove duck eggs frequently, preferably once or twice a day.

This will prevent the eggs from attracting raccoons and also encourage your ducks to lay more eggs.

Removing Uneaten Duck Food Frequently

Like eggs, uneaten duck food can also attract raccoons. Make sure to remove any uneaten feed after your ducks have finished eating.

If you typically feed your ducks at night, ensure that the area is clear of any uneaten food before bedtime.

Using Scents to Repel Raccoons

Raccoons have a keen sense of smell, and some strong scents can help keep them away. Irish Spring Soap, tea tree oil, Rodent Sheriffs Ultra-Pure Peppermint Spray, and epsom salt are some of the scents that raccoons are known to dislike.

Applying these scents around your coop or duck enclosure can help discourage raccoons from coming near.


Raccoons are intelligent creatures that can be quite challenging to keep out of your coop or duck enclosure. However, with the right security measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of raccoon attacks.

Be sure to check your coop and fence for gaps and holes, use hook locks on your coop door, and consider using smaller mesh on your fence or underneath your coop. For ducks, remember to let them out during the daytime, remove eggs and uneaten food frequently, and use scents to repel raccoons.

By following these tips, you can help protect your coop and ducks from raccoon attacks. A Note About Using Scents for Your Backyard Fowl: The Benefits and Caution

Aside from simply adding pleasant fragrances, certain scents can play a significant role in keeping your backyard fowl healthy and safe.

Cayenne, for instance, helps improve digestion and prevent worms, while certain essential oils such as peppermint and lavender can serve as natural repellents against pests. However, it is important to proceed with caution when using any kind of scent around your birds.

In this article, we will delve into the benefits of using scents for backyard fowl, as well as the potential risks and precautions to take.

Benefits of Using Scents for Backyard Fowl


Adding cayenne to your birds’ diet has numerous health benefits. It improves digestion, offering relief from gastrointestinal issues.

Additionally, cayenne contains capsaicin, which has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. As a result, it helps reduce disease and illness in the flock.

Furthermore, cayenne also has anti-parasitic properties that help worms from flourishing in the chickens’ gut.

Essential Oils

Certain essential oils can serve as natural repellents against pests such as mites, lice, ticks, and rodents. Peppermint oil, for example, is known to repel rodents, while lavender oil has been found to have insect-repellent properties.

Enriching the environment of your backyard fowl with a scent they find pleasant can also serve to reduce stress. Studies have shown that different scents have varying effects on chickens.

For example, vanilla is known to have a calming effect, while citrus can help stimulate the appetite, thereby increasing egg production. Caution When Using

Essential Oils

While essential oils and other scents can offer a range of benefits for backyard fowl, it is important to proceed with caution.

Some scents can be toxic to birds if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. If you plan to use essential oils, here are some things to keep in mind:

– Do Not Apply Directly to Fowl.

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances that can be toxic to your birds if applied directly to their feathers or skin. Instead, dilute the oil with water or a carrier oil before applying it to the coop or the areas around it.

– Avoid Over-Saturating the Environment. It is important to note that too much of a good thing can also be detrimental, both to the birds and their environment.

Over-saturating the coop with essential oils or other scents can irritate the birds and lead to respiratory problems. Start with small doses and increase incrementally, keeping a close eye on the behavior of the birds.

Watch for signs of stress, such as agitated behavior, and modify your approach accordingly. – Choose Safe Repellents.

There is a wide range of safe repellents available that can help keep pests at bay. Some of the most effective and safe options include diatomaceous earth or DE, which is made of crushed fossils of small marine animals that harm insects but is safe for poultry, and food-grade molasses, which attracts predator insects that help kill pests.

Citronella-based products are also safe and effective. Always read labels and follow instructions closely.

– Monitor Your Birds’ Behavior. If you are using scents or essential oils around or near your birds, it is important to keep an eye on their behavior and overall health.

Observe their feeding habits, egg production, and movements. If you notice any unusual behavior, such as decreased egg-laying or drooping wings, discontinue the use of scents and consult with a veterinarian.


The use of scents and essential oils can offer numerous benefits for your backyard fowl. However, it is important to be aware of the risks and precautions to take before implementing any new scents.

Always proceed with caution, start with small doses, and monitor your birds’ behavior. Remember, the health and wellbeing of your backyard fowl should always be top priority.

In conclusion, the measures outlined in this article can help to safeguard your coop and ducks from raccoon attacks. Checking for gaps in your coop and fence, using hook locks, and attaching your coop to the ground are all crucial steps in keeping raccoons at bay.

For your ducks, remember to let them out during the day, remove eggs and uneaten food frequently, and use scents like Irish Spring Soap or tea tree oil to repel raccoons. Proceed with caution when using scents or essential oils around your birds, and always monitor their behavior closely.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure the safety and wellbeing of your backyard fowl.

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