The raccoons continue their attempt to gnaw their way into the chicken coop, and I’ve had about enough of it. The idea that a passel of varmints, fattened up on turkey feed, could one night breach our defenses and snack on our flock just as they’ve started laying is too much for me. So I have a plan. I will trap them. I will kill them. And, to recoup my turkey feed, I will eat them.
We don’t have a trap, but our friend Les does. And the only reason it isn’t sitting outside our chicken coop, baited with raw meat, is that we’re not quite sure how to dispatch the raccoon once we get one.
My idea of a humane kill is one shot through the heart, but we can’t discharge firearms on our property. Taking a trapped raccoon somewhere else to kill it would just prolong the poor thing’s agony. Besides, I don’t think shooting an animal in a cage is particularly safe, or particularly easy.
There is drowning, which would be easy, but I suspect there’s a lot of suffering involved. At the moment, we’re leaning toward carbon monoxide – put the trap in a box and attach the tailpipe of our catalytic-converter-free Land Rover. In the movies, people who die this way just drift off to sleep.
Before we do anything, though, I’m soliciting input. Many of you have much more experience killing things than I do, and I’d like to hear your ideas.