I had assumed that the raccoons were living in the relay shed that Comcast has on my property. They own a right of way here. The shed is up behind the house and works in conjunction with the cell tower on the ridge of Barton Mountain. While some of the raccoons may live in that shed (a tree blew down on the roof and broke the shed open), the tracks here show that some raccoons are also coming in from the east and live beyond the apple orchard.
Besides the threat to the chickens, raccoons here pose another threat — rabies. There has been a raccoon rabies outbreak the past few years here in Orleans County and we are always advised to stay clear of them and to keep our dogs under control so that they are not hurt. Quebec air drops rabies vaccine every summer in the forests of northern Vermont to keep rabies out of their province.
Clearly, from behaviors we observed during the height of our raccoon problem, raccoons communicate to each other. Let's hope that they have told each other to find food somewhere else.