Dad recalls years ago climbing a bin to check the corn only to find six eyes staring back at him.
Mama Raccoon and two pups had decided to call it home. Apparently, she had navigated the grain leg and drop pipes and decided the bin was a nice place to have a family. Not wanting the fight that day, he drew corn from a different bin. He went back a few weeks later, and all was well as the family had moved out.
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We've even had several raccoons take a ride with us to the grain elevator. It still baffles us how they get where they get.
I'm sure there's a seed salesman out there somewhere who wonders the same thing. One frigid winter day there was a mischievous elf who found a raccoon while loading the semi. Somehow that raccoon (already in cryogenic preservation) found his way into the bed, under the bed cap of the salesman's truck. I wonder what the salesman thought when he opened the cap. He doesn't sell seed anymore, but I don't think this prank had anything to do with it.
There is a laundry list of things raccoons are responsible for: Freaking the kids out by scratching across the roof in the middle of the night, taking the lid off the trash can on the porch where the dog food is stored (and making the dog bark every night), and worst of all, eating my sweet corn just a day or two before it is ready.
They are everywhere, but nowhere to be found, all at the same time.
Our latest experience was not a fun one. We finished a couple of bin augers to the grain leg last week at the soybean facility. The covers were only off the leg and U, though, for a day or two, but apparently that was long enough for a raccoon to climb the leg and lodge himself at the cushion box at the bottom of the load out.
When I attempted to load a truck this week, no soybeans came out the spout. The drop pipe filled up and the leg began back legging. I shut off the auger before I had a complete mess, but we still have 10-20 bushels that came out of the leg and pipe when we got things opened up. We'll have to shovel those up soon. Oh, not to mention it was fun working on that cushion box 25 feet in the air.
Neither the extension ladder nor the telehandler we borrowed from the dealership next door reached quite right. So much for what we had planned this afternoon. I admit, I allowed dad to "collect the prize" on this one!
The opinions of Kyle Stackhouse are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.