Raccoons & Plastic Eggs
We got some plastic Easter eggs to try to fool the chickens into laying eggs were we want them. Well, it was more of a compromise. There are places in the main yard where I wouldn’t mind them laying eggs, if they have to insist on NOT laying in the hen house. So, I put several under the choke cherry bushes and the wild plum trees and in a few other nooks and crannies. This resulted in 0 (zero) eggs where I wanted them. Sigh…
But a little while after that, my friend from Freecycle was giving us some more pond plants and asked if I still needed plastic eggs. She gave us 3 larger eggs, the size of goose eggs (thanks J.!). I thought these would be great down at the duck pond to help coerce the geese and ducks into laying in the actual houses we placed down there.
Haha! I was in for a surprise. We know the raccoons have a family nest nearby and frequent the pond. I expect this is where most of our duck and goose eggs go to. M3 brought this plastic egg up one night after feeding all the barnyard beasties. I have to say I was freakingly impressed by not only the voracious damage, but the tenacity. Notice how both ends of the egg are shredded!
So this prompted reading up on raccoons a bit. Apparently, they don’t have any natural predators that regularly risk the maiming that would certainly occur in turning one into a meal. I expect the smaller/younger they are, the more things they have to worry about. Still, once they reach a certain age and are capable of tearing up decent plastic like that, who would want to bother, especially when there is easier meals about?
We will definitely have to keep all this in mind for building a winter duck & goose hut. The colder it is, the less likely the raccoons will be satisfied with an egg or two.