Raccoons in the Barn


Animals are getting up and moving around more now and we definitely have at least one hefty raccoon in our vicinity! Joe has seen/heard it ruffling around in the barn and a few days ago I went into my chicken coop to discover something had knocked open my window.  There was an old broken glass window in there for awhile and last summer I ripped it out and replaced it with just some heavy wire mesh so the chickens could get some airflow but would be protected from animals getting in.  I used a staple gun and stapled it like crazy to the wall thinking that it would hold. It made it all last summer and up until a few days ago when I went in and found something had knocked it down into the chicken coop.  That’s why I imagine our raccoon friend is pretty hefty for him to have done that because I don’t think he reached in and yanked out all the staples one by one.  So I nailed it back up more securely and as far as I can tell (I keep forgetting to count) nobody was injured or taken by the raccoon.   But still, we don’t want to make a habit of letting a raccoon wander around in our chicken coop, or give him the idea that he can wander around whenever he feels like it.  Some places are off limits to raccoons.

So this morning while it was still pretty dark out Cora started barking at something from the sunroom, which faces the chicken coop, but I just got up quick and kicked her out and shut the door because I didn’t want her to wake James up.  His room is the closest to Cora’s sunroom and his door was wide open, but somehow he slept through her barking.  When Cora and I went outside for our walk this morning we found a ton of dirty, muddy raccoon prints all over! Making several trips from the barn, across our driveway, and around the side of the chicken coop…presumably to the back window to check it out!  I was worried when I saw all his prints because I hadn’t even heard the rooster crow yet but when I went to check it out, big shovel and camera in hand, I found the chickens just taking a lazy day and relaxing inside with the window still intact.  So he might have scoped it out a few times but he hasn’t made it inside again.  Apparently he is very persistent though so we’ll see…if I remember I will put my trail cam out, but I keep forgetting!

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A little hard to see in this picture but you can see a path he wore around the side of the building.  The top of the snow is also covered in tons of his muddy little paw prints.

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Proof of his raccoon self walking around.  These are from near the barn though where he took a detour and climbed a big snow bank just for fun.

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The raccoons preferred entry way into the barn…right through the door where he can go upstairs to his house or scuffle through downstairs looking for anything interesting!

Today James got up before 7 and was ready to play, but otherwise we are having kind of a lazy morning.  Now it’s just about 10 and we are all awake but most of us are lounging in the living room.  There is laundry going and James is playing with his jumper.  Joe and I are going to have corned beef hash for breakfast and watch the third Formula One race of the season at 10:30.  James is way overdue for a nap but he fell asleep in my arms at 8:30 and when I laid him down he woke up and was perfectly happy to keep going (going as in playing, not going as in going back to sleep like he was supposed to!)… so I imagine he will be ready for a nap at some point here but for now he is keeping us company!

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James in his jumper.  He has grown so much! He is already on the third notch up! It’s maybe a bit tall for him, but the second notch was getting too short!  J has since had a total outfit change and I paused in my blog writing so he is now taking his nap!

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Above: Pinga and Cora.  Pinga decided last week that she was going to come downstairs on her own for breakfast and she never left!  She has come downstairs on her own maybe twice in the past few years and the other time was because roofers scared her when they were doing our roof last fall.  So it was a big step for her! And she has been using the litter box, going into the living room, kitchen, laundry room, mudroom and basement, standing up to the dog… and enjoying being by us more often.  She is a totally different cat all of a sudden!

Below:  Ocean snoozing on some blankets on our loom. Ocean has always gone up and downstairs, even with Chloe and Cora around, but the past few weeks her chosen spots have been on the loom or on the warm cable box… unless Joe is home and then sometimes she wants to sleep on him.

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And finally Chloe who was the odd one out this morning.  She really likes sleeping on suitcases so she took the opportunity this morning to sleep on Joe’s suitcase that is still out from his trip last week.  Now though she is currently in the kitchen in front of the stove hoping some corned beef hash falls out of the pan so she can eat it 🙂

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