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Anti-raccoon measures

Electric fenced corn

Finally strung up the electric fence to protect the corn from raccoons. Powering the short, hopefully sharp shocks is a solar-charged controller. The lower wire is place about 6″ (15cm) from the ground, with a second strand about 10″ (25cm) above it. The perimeter has to be kept clear of weeds that might ground the fence, which would reduce or eliminate the shocks. In theory, this is a totally effective, non-lethal, physically harmless method, but coons are clever. Already, there’s been some pre-fence eating activity. We shall see what comes next!

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7 Comments

  1. b-dot

    are those jerk raccoons staying out of your corn still?

  2. b-dot: Um, kinda. I think we’re running about 50-50 on the first planting, Earlivee, meaning, I get 50%, they get…the rest. :) I think they’re partially deterred by the fence, or maybe there are fewer this year. It’s not a bad situation, because without rain, the corn on this already small, extra-early (57 day) variety is kinda tiny. They’re great for personal eating, but I decided not to bother harvesting for CSA shares. Maybe better luck with the second variety, called Bon Appetit. The electric fence itself needs some tweaking. The solar-powered controller with a 6V battery delivers a little jolt, but nothing like that from the normal 12V battery-powered controllers, although it should. Gotta get a fence tester (to replace the kneel-and-touch testing method), and maybe add another grounding stake…

  3. You might try a couple more rows of wire. Those little suckers can jump! They’re probably taking a running leap right into your corn buffet…

  4. Sorry – somehow posted the comment before I meant to and now can’t figure out how to delete it.

  5. Did the electric fence work?  I have had success with one like yours in years past, but lately (3 years or so) the coons get through or over it.  I strung 7 low wires, each about 3″ apart yesterday, and they still got at the corn.  So frustrating.  I am off to buy a hotter fencer in the hope that will stop them.

    Thanks for any suggestions you might have (or at least for some empathy…)

    Judy (St. Lawrence Co./northern NY)

  6. Tim

    I went with a solar fence zapper very similar to yours that was shown in one of your greenhouse clean up pictures.  It does not seem to provide enough zap.  I have been having issues with my chickens eating my plants.  I did a plug in zapper and that seems to keep them free ranging in other areas.  I like solar but think I wasted my money on the smaller one.  Do you have similar issues?  Looks like I’ll have to invest in a more expensive one.
    Tim

  7. Dan (tiny market grower)

    I plant and grow on 5 foot wide raised beds, but the way I have found most successful for keeping racoons out of the sweet corn is to have a radio playing in the middle of the crop when the corn is forming and just about ready to harvest. Rock music stations on continuous computer generated playback with plenty of generic advertising programming thrown in for good measure, seem to be most effective. Racoons have very little cash to buy things anyway.

    I do have a solar powered electric fence around about 2.5K square ft of home garden. One wire about nose height for deer (waist height for humans) and one wire about 6 inches above the ground. Works fine until the neighboring and wild vegetation gets pretty dry and tasteless to the wild animals in mid to late August. Then nothing short of 10 foot fencing or chained dogs will keep the deer out. I also plant an extra patch away from my garden to feed the wildlife.

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