Why a Predator Proof Chicken Coop is Imperative
Funny Crime Scene Photos

We smoked some ribs on the weekend.   I basted them with this irresistible Maple Bourbon BBQ sauce.  It is the most delicious BBQ sauce you could ever imagine.

The following photos are  pictures of the next morning’s crime scene.  None of the photos have been altered in any way.

Viewer discretion is advised.










If a raccoon can do this to a BBQ flavoured basting brush can you even imagine what it could do to this little guy?


  1. Charlene says:

    I enjoy, cause I discovered just what I was
    having a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day.


    Feel free to visit my web page :: e cigarette katy
    tx (Charlene)

  2. Gillian says:

    OK…pardon the ignorance of an Australian…I thought racoons were mainly messy scavengers who raided rubbish bins…are they really capable of catching and eating a live chicken? raw? eeewww!

    • Cat says:

      Gillian, yes, they are messy scavengers who raid rubbish bins. And anything else they determine is either good to eat (from experience) or “smells good” to them. They’re also a very adept and strong predator. They tend to hunt, naturally, in the wild, but as that “wild” is being rapidly replaced by a concrete jungle, they tend to only hunt in rural areas, where people tend to have chickens in coops, bunnies on display, and allow their cats to run loose at night to keep the mouse population down. You know, a “safe” place to live. That’s why raccoons LOVE chicken. They’re easy prey. & I’m sure that Karen’s BBQ sauce must be absolutely to die for. Lucky chicken.

  3. Holly says:

    Not to sound like a stalker but I saw this picture today and thought of your little ones! Who doesn’t love baby chicks taking a swim?

  4. Samantha says:

    That was hilarious…I have a brush like that too, I’ll have to try to remember not to leave it outside! LOL
    We had neighbours who had chickens too, and weasels used to get in and eat their eggs, and killed a few of the chickens too :(.

  5. JennaLis says:

    Raccoons are sneaky buggers. My first bunny, Goldie, fell victim to raccoon(s). That was pretty upsetting at 5. They also got at our older chickens… although… my dad let them run free-range, and when they got old they forgot their way back into the coop. It was either the Bald Eagles or the Coons who’d get them.

    Proper anti-Coon Coop is a must!

  6. CJ says:

    Oh but what I want to know is if you’re going to send you’re partner to the kitchen store to replace the brush…you could end up with a really expensive replacement on your hands!!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. I hadn’t even thought of that! I actually prefer the old fashioned bristle brush for basting, but it has to be a *good* one because otherwise the bristles fall out and get stuck on your food. And sometimes in your tongue. ~ k

  7. Caroline says:

    I’ve to to say that my son brought home the custest baby raccoon and it’s hard to remember how destructive they can be when your bottle feeding a baby swaddled in a baby blanket! I will have to make sure that she never gets fed chicken!

  8. NOTyourrunofthemill says:

    We have a mother racoon that brings her babies to our back yard for a play date almost every full moon. The babies are cute but I know Momma would eat my cats.

  9. KatMoss says:

    I’m picturing the raccoon all laid back, feet up, pulling one piece at a time off that basting brush and licking it clean like a popsicle before tossing it aside to pluck off another! Then licking his fingers clean…silly raccoons.

  10. Amy in StL says:

    I almost didnt’ finish scrolling down when I saw there was a photo with a vivid red lumpy looking splotch in it. Glad I did. Are those back yard container trees? I was just contemplating getting a curly willow in a container for my deck but didn’t know how trees do in containers.

    • Karen says:

      Amy – They’re huge planters but I change them out every season. I’ve thought of putting trees in there. It’s no problem to put trees in containers. But for something this size you’d have to make sure the tree is a dwarf and weather hearty. Something like a very small cedar or possibly a curly willow. Although curly do get kindda big, LOL. It might contain itself in the container. Give it a shot! ~ karen

  11. kellie says:

    Haha, That is great! They are so sneaky and get into everything. Sorry to say, we actually had a raccoon come into the yard and eat one of our chickens. She was my favorite pet chicken named Linda– Lets just say “Chicken dinner anyone?” :(

  12. Design Love says:

    umm, never mind about the chickens, I think you are in great danger in your own backyard! Be careful out there! If you have to , through a chicken out first as a decoy!


  13. Lindsey says:

    Sadfully, my parents had chickens when I was younger and raccoons pulled full grown chickens through the wire on their pen. It was tragic.

    • Jenn says:

      Good point: use hardware cloth with 1/2″ openings instead of chicken wire. A curious chicken will approach the waving fingers of a raccoon, who will then pull the chicken’s head off through the wire. A raccoon can’t hurt a chicken through hardware cloth.

  14. Shauna says:

    I can’t wait for the “how to trap a raccoon that’s eating your chicken” post!! I think you should teach us how before the chickens go outside!!

  15. Mindy says:


  16. Jenn says:

    Karen, you’re so right about building a predator-proof coop. Our neighbors, just 2 houses and perhaps 100′ away, lost 8 – EIGHT – of their girls in the span of about 6 weeks. They had a run but it wasn’t secure. We’ve never lost a single chicken to predators.

    BTW, you really need to be referring to your chicks as “she”, “gal”, and “her”. You do NOT want a “guy” in that group. I love that stage when the feathers come in like suspenders. Soo cute in a fugly way! They might get stand-offish for a while while they go through adolescence but it’ll get better as soon as they start laying.

    • Karen says:

      Jenn – I know! No boys allowed. But who knows at this point. My fella and I are convinced the white one is a boy because he/she has such a large comb already. But then, what if girl chickens mature more quickly and our one “boy” ends up being our only “girl”. The wait to find out what we have is annoying. VERY annoying. ~ k!

    • Karen says:

      Oh! And thanks for the heads up on the “stand-offishness”. They are and it’s bugging me. I keep trying to pick them up and place them on my knee. They SCREAMMMMMM. They’ll jump up on my arms on their own, but they don’t want me putting them there. So rude not behaving like pets.

      • Kim K says:

        I’ve read that their feathers are sensitive during the “molt” phase. Could be why they are annoyed at being picked up. Could be they are dang teenage chickens.

        • Karen says:

          ah hah! Thanks Kim K. ~ karen

        • Jenn says:

          Kim has a great point. When ours molted last fall they couldn’t stand to be touched. They look like skekis at this stage (google it if you don’t know what those are).

          Like I said, when they start to lay they’ll become super friendly again. Keep bribing them with treats – they love anything that’s high protein & high fat (cheese, meat, crunchy beetles & crickets are favs here). Oh, and if you want to crack yourself up, give them some chips. The sound of a flock of chickens crunching on chips is pretty funny.

          Ah, the joys of chickenhood that await you! I’ve got a broody right now (she’s in the nesting box, trying to hatch anything that holds still). The screech broodies let out is unbelievable, and fun to provoke.

          But I’m evil like that.

  17. Kate S. says:

    that is one ugly chickling

  18. Emily says:

    Gah! The horror! We had chicks last year, and then something else had them… big time. Horrible. We had to tell our 4 year old that they flew back home to their momma. This year I’m thinking of building a mindfield around the coop or highering some marines to protect them.

  19. Lydia says:

    We used to live in a 100 yr old farm house and we had mice – I came down one morning to find every single one of my basting brushes just like this, and they were clean! They had also eaten all my pot holders and pooped and peed everywhere. Freakin mice.

  20. Cheryl says:

    I believe you can use this as a real testimony to the yumminess of your maple bourbon BBQ sauce!

  21. Paulina J! says:

    My friend was just telling me a story about a raccoon that was eating their trash. She said that one night she walked out to see what all the noise was and the raccoon stopped what he was doing and covered his eyes. I’m sorry, but that is so cute!

    Your brush on the other hand, not that cute!

  22. Jennifer says:

    “viewer discretion is advised” LOL! I was scared to scroll further down! Thanks for the reality check! Oh what could have been!

  23. marilyn says:

    perish the thought!

  24. sue says:

    I just had a mental picture of the raccoon chewing those pieces off and spitting them out. Oh no. Now I have a picture of his scat, porcupined with little red pieces poking out. You are a very bad influence on me.
    How could such cute babies look so “Awkward” right now? Those teenage years are the worst, even for your chickens. Soon, they will look pretty, all grown up.

    • Amy in StL says:

      Really, their teenage years DO look like mine. All awkward limbs and bad hair. Also, they kind appear to of have a surly attitude towards the camera.

  25. Amy Schmucker says:

    Oh Karen,

    I so know. The chickens I used to have. THe beautiful reds, rocks, americanas… those chickens. All of them sadly fell prey to the raccoons. They love chicken. And once they get a taste of chicken, they do not give up. We even tried trapping and relocating our raccoons. Eventually we just ended up with a big empty cage. I am sure you can outsmart them. Good luck.

    Amy in FLorida

  26. Lori @ Studio Waterstone says:

    Don’t even want to go there.

  27. Karen J says:

    Karen, I’m guessing that you’re the type that’ll build it like a tank!
    That little chick is too cute – are you naming them?

    Thanks for the morning smile.

  28. Amie says:

    Thanks for the giggle K!

  29. Bethany says:

    Not only will a raccoon eat your chicks, but now that he’s gotten a taste of your BBQ sauce, he just might try to borrow your grill and baste the chicks for dinner. Raccoons are too smart and hungry for anybody’s good.

    Also, I grew up with chickens, and I can’t tell you how many we lost to coons, possums, the neighbors’ dogs, and hawks. It was very traumatizing. Be sure that coop is built like a Sherman tank. Actually, maybe using an actual tank would be best. How big is your backyard?

      • Elise says:

        I second the tank coop. Just think, if you did get a tank, you wouldn’t have to think about thinking about plans to build a coop anymore!

    • Karen says:

      I have to echo Bethany when she says make it like a tank, raccoons are smart. I had a pet as a kid, he could get into anything, he even learned to open jars. Given time, they can figure out just about anything. They are mostly nocturnal, so you’ve got that going for you!

  30. Katie King says:

    Gotta love the awkward teenage stage! (Dare I say…SQUAWKward teenage stage? I just might…)

  31. amy walters, aDESIGNdock says:

    You’re always so funny Karen :) I like that I can have a good chuckle when I visit your site!

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