Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fidget

I don't know what I am going to do right now. We had one before, Ally Mae. We raised her and just let her loose on our place, we have 5 acres. She raised lots of kits, one time she had 6. She was not a happy mom. She just wanted to be with my son, her eyes opened with him so she bonded to him. When she wasn't pregnant he could still get her to ride on his shoulder. She got very mean and cranky when she was pregnant. It was lots of fun seeing the babies all lined up eating out of a chicken feeder trough full of dry cat food. Of course Ally had her own bowl pulled up in front of her with a very unhappy look on her face. She would sit on her butt with the bowl between her legs, grabbing at the food, scratching her belly and looking around. They are always looking around and their hands are busy doing something else.
This story ends very sadly. She killed one of our chickens, she didn't need to, we fed her and all of her relatives. It got to be quite a scene in the back yard, all the different dishes. Ally would open the screen door and let it slam closed when she wanted to eat. Well, we let the first chicken go. The next year she killed another. My husband wouldn't let it go, he shot her. It was not a happy household for a few days. We all understood, couldn't have anything that killed the livestock. It was hard on him, too.
I don't want this to happen to Fidget. He is a male and that would stop all of the relatives from living here. I can have him neutered if I get a license for him and then he wouldn't have need to wander. But raccoons are wild and should be wild. They shouldn't be caged. They are very, very inquisitive, can not keep them out of anything!!! They have hands and they use them. They are not like a dog or cat that lays around and sleeps. If a raccoon wants into a cabinet or drawer they will get into it and empty the contents out. That's fun the first time.

I don't want to dump him anywhere. I couldn't leave him to die, it's a serious decision when you take in a wild baby, one we are never prepared to make. Getting the license and having him neutered and letting him live on the place sounds good, if he doesn't kill chickens. Living inside in a cage wouldn't be a life, would it?

I don't know

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it's really hard decision. He should be able to live free and do what raccoons do, but as he isn't raised by raccoon, he will get attached to people and doesn't learn all the things that raccoons would teach him. I doubt that many wild animals raised with humans do that well on their own. Worst thing is that they aren't afraid of people and might end up to the wrong persons yard, the one who really doesn't like raccoons.

    And the killing chickens part - well, killing food is programmed in their head, our dogs kill rabbits, mice and ra if they get them, although they get more than enough to eat. It's the hunting instict that kicks in and there's not too much you can do about it. Our dogs have killed one of our cats, of course it was awful, but at the same time I can understand why the dogs killed him, it's just their nature - something running away - prey - hunt - kill.

    If you decide keep Fidget, I would make him familiar with the chickens right away, if he's raised also among them, it reduces the risk of attacking them greatly.

    Hard decisions,

    Ira

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