At dusk, the raccoon family returned to try and eat our last chicken, Ruby.
Joshua ran out waving a shovel and nearly hit one. He maintains that things like raccoons and deer are very cute until you live with them around and they eat your chickens, vegetables and poop on the garden. Then they become verminous beasts.
Half an hour later Mum popped out to check and they were back: a mother and 3 adolescents. Mum yelled for me to get her a rock "I am very good at throwing things!" she said.
I turned on the hose and Josh squirted the mother but she wouldn't leave her youngsters who were hanging in the tree to see what we would do. Josh squirted them while I pointed them out with a flashlight.
After we had (finally) chased them off we checked the run perimeter and found that they had already dug down a number of inches at the door (now reinforced) and side fence (double wired).
Josh said he would check on Ruby every half hour but I still felt anxious so we decided to let her roost in the garage for a few nights while we conduct a test of our raccoon defenses. That means, in the morning we will see whether the raccoons have made it into the run and/or the coop.
We hope they haven't but either way, Ruby is safe. She is roosting on a nice 2x2 supported by a ladder and a couch with newspaper underneath.
We are tempted to keep our chicken in the garage forever.