Remote control trebuchet

I’ve done google searches, but have mostly found instructions to make one.  I need something prepare, and it has to be remote controlled

I have a fox and a raccoon (separately, not together, this isn’t some Disney movie) that are both sniffing around my chicken coop at night.  The coop is pretty secure, but I’d like to discourage them. Trapping and/or poison are out of the question, my property boarders woods, so these guys are just doing what they’re supposed to be doing, plus I don’t want to harm them.  The first few times barking and hissing through the camera did scare off the fox, but he’s since learned that the noise is harmless 

Motion sensor water sprays are out of the question because I’m out there 3-5 times a day and I know that I will forget to turn it off and get hit myself, plus they’re pretty useless when the temps are below freezing which also happens to be when predators are most likely to become desperate for food

I was thinking of a small trebuchet or other type of scatter thing to just toss a handful of gravel at them.  It won’t injure them, but will spook them enough that they may change their location.  But I don’t want that motion activated either because I don’t want to waste ammo and have to refill it every time the deer stop by

With a remote control I could set it off when I get the motion alert from the camera 


As cute as he is, I need him to take a hint and move on

Some “helpful” suggestions from the chicken forums included killing him, trapping him, and throwing raw chicken on my neighbors’s lawns to draw him away from my house.  None of which I want to do for obvious reasons.  

Seriously, someone told me to go out after dark and throw raw food from my moving vehicle into my neighbors’s lawns.  I was afraid to ask if they were joking or if they were actually serious 


Silly, off-the-top-of-my-head suggestion: would something like a mild unpleasant noise or light work, instead of the flung gravel? With a trebuchet, you’ll be constantly reloading. Some people here have modified  electric fence gear, so that predatory wildlife gets unpleasant zaps  when approaching the boundary at night (it’s turned off during the day, so chooks can roam a little further). Others rig the electric fence gear to flash lights or ping unpleasant noise for fox/possum  rather than zap, allowing you to rest more comfortably. 
Back in the ‘80s, I knew a family that set a series of Christmas bells around the eaves and windows of their chookhouse, all connected with tripwires. Birds never set them off. Cats, possums, foxes, the occasional rabbit and an inquisitive goat did. 


This is why god created the porch, rocking chair and BB gun...


He's already marked the territory.  Get a realtor.   smile


And I thought trebuchet was just a font...


Is there a power source out there, or is this something you'd need to run on batteries?


how about one of those thingies that throws tennis balls? 


ril said:

how about one of those thingies that throws tennis balls? 

 That would work.  Can it be set up as a remote control?  I don’t want to waste it on a harmless deer, and don’t feel like getting pegged myself when I go out to feed the chickens

Basically I get motion alerts and see in real time who is out there.  If it’s the raccoon or the fox I’d like to scare them off in manner that will scare the poop out of them, but not injure them

We don’t have electricity out there, so battery powered, or I could maybe set up a small solar cell since there isn’t any tree cover out there 


Don't know how much you'd be willing to spend, but found this:

https://godoggoinc.com/fetchmachine.html

It can be battery operated, remote controlled and balls would be pretty easy to find, in order to reuse them.  Who knows, maybe the fox would get so excited about chasing balls he'd forget about the chickens!


mulemom said:

Don't know how much you'd be willing to spend, but found this:

https://godoggoinc.com/fetchmachine.html

It can be battery operated, remote controlled and balls would be pretty easy to find, in order to reuse them.  Who knows, maybe the fox would get so excited about chasing balls he'd forget about the chickens!

 Or work up an appetite.


That looks awesome, my only concern would be how far the remote control can reach since the chicken coop is about 100 feet from the house 

When I growled and barked at the fox through the camera it did take off, and didn’t come back for about two days.  But not it seems to realize that me making a fool of myself through the camera won’t harm it, so it ignores me now.  I’m just thinking that something physically moving and/or possibly hitting it will spook it enough to make it think twice about coming back to that specific area


Remember that old thread in which Calli (or someone) wrote about getting elephant wee to scare off deer or voles? 
You use it as boundary markers; because the elephant is a much bigger animal, the fox would apparently automatically recognise that it’s intruding. 
Apparently you can buy it from zoos and sanctuaries.


joanne said:

Remember that old thread in which Calli (or someone) wrote about getting elephant wee to scare off deer or voles? 
You use it as boundary markers; because the elephant is a much bigger animal, the fox would apparently automatically recognise that it’s intruding. 
Apparently you can buy it from zoos and sanctuaries.

 I'll have to use a better search term than 'elephant', which turned up 50 pages of comments with the word 'elephant' in them.  And as much as I like reading old threads and posts on MOL, this was just a bit too much to scan through.

Incidentally, @joanne, I remember getting hold of some 'dingo-doo' from a dingo rescue centre in central Victoria some years ago.  

I was told to put it around my property to keep the possums out.  Well. the stuff was vile - it stank to high-heaven!  I could only use a little bit of it.  It ponged the place out if I opened the jar too long, and made me feel quite ill.  I put some in a bucket and hung it in a tree that the possums used as their highway between my place and the neighbour's.  End result?  Nil effect.

I carefully placed the remainder of the jar in the bin, hoping like mad that nobody - especially the garbos - would investigate it, or that it would break open before it got to the tip..


A quick google search didn’t find much on elephant pee this year. Back then it was everywhere. 
However, https://www.hobbyfarms.com/urine-as-predator-protection-for-chickens-gross-or-genius/

So maybe it’s worth considering? (Not human wee, that’s a bit gross. Another article I glanced suggested perhaps wee is more for warm months and ultra-high sounds/flashing lights are for cold months)


spontaneous said:

With a remote control I could set it off when I get the motion alert from the camera 

 But that means you have to be awake for the alert, or be woken by it - not a great recipe for a good night's sleep.


If you have a long extension cord something like this could work but it might scare the chickens. It's a life-size motion-triggered Halloween werewolf. They sold this at HD a couple of years ago. Maybe it would lose its deterrent effect after a while. Maybe moving it around periodically would help. It probably would only get activated from a limited approach angle but you could work with that.

Another trick someone told me they tried with deer was to make a "fence" of fishing line. Use small enough test so that is is practically invisible. He said (not sure if it still works) that the deer seemed confused by the thing in their way that they could not see and so did not have a way to visually figure out how to jump it.


Now, if you could launch the motion-triggered Halloween werewolf in a trebuchet, surely that would keep the animals away?


spontaneous said:

That looks awesome, my only concern would be how far the remote control can reach since the chicken coop is about 100 feet from the house 

 Can you move the chicken coop closer to the house?


Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler with Day & Night Detection Modes https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009F1R0GC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_OYunEb34CE9YF

The sound of it suddenly firing up is enough to send animals running.


There is a non-zero chance that you will forget it is there and walk into the firing line repeatedly. Maybe deploy a motion activated camera to capture those special moments as well.


But how do I keep the water from freezing during the winter?


The other night I got fed up when I saw the fox on my phone again and ran outside with a flashlight. I didn’t see it by the time I got out there, but I stomped around a bit, yelled at the fox, and pointed my flashlight around.  So far he hasn’t come back

Jackson_Fusion said:

Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler with Day & Night Detection Modes https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009F1R0GC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_OYunEb34CE9YF

The sound of it suddenly firing up is enough to send animals running.

There is a non-zero chance that you will forget it is there and walk into the firing line repeatedly. Maybe deploy a motion activated camera to capture those special moments as well.

 


I have no idea of how much it weighs, but the coop is 8’x10’, the frame is made out of 2x4 lumber.  The floor is 3/4” plywood, the walls are 1/2” plywood, and it has a shingles roof.  Basically it’s pretty damned heavy 

marksierra said:

spontaneous said:

That looks awesome, my only concern would be how far the remote control can reach since the chicken coop is about 100 feet from the house 

 Can you move the chicken coop closer to the house?

 


He showed back up again.  I made noise through the camera and he just tilted his head to look at me.  If this stupid thing gets any more used to us I’ll have to give it a rabies shots and get a dog license from the town for it


spontaneous said:

 

 We’ve been pretty good on “hard freezes” this year. You could get away with it as long as you took the hose off the spigot when a big drop is expected.


marksierra said:

Have you thought about a maremma to protect your flock?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-14/maremmas-needed-rehoming-following-success-of-film-oddball/11951066

 I don’t free range my chickens after we lost one to a hawk, so a livestock guarding dog would die of boredom 

At this point it appears as though Mr Fox comes around once a night of so, and doesn’t hang around, he’s probably just going that way since it is right next to the one section of the creek that has a bridge so it is the easiest way over




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