We have a baby monitor. Ill do that.
We dont have foxes out here. We do have coyotes but they have never come down the hills that I'veever seen. I can only hear them in the latenight.
What predators would attack in daylight?
I do try and turn the coop bedding daily to keep anything out. Ive never seen anything in it before. Its quite cold though, something may have last night.
Could an opossum break a large hens neck?
Id feel so much better if i were an animal. I just dont see how the same could have done both birds. They havent been bothered once in the entire 9 months ive had them out here.
Originally Posted by ivan3
Get a cheap baby monitor and place it in coop (We've been using the same two $20.00 Safety First monitors, purchased in 2005). These are very useful if you're at home and, if volume is cranked to max and at head of bed - chickens growling/whining/clucking after the sun goes down/anything messing with fence/gate/coop (hang a couple fishing bells/empty cans on fence/gate, as well) will alert one to the ruckus and allow one to blast area with light (flood/hand held spot) and, with luck, ID whatever it is.
Attach bait (bacon/marshmallows/potpourri bag jammed full of peanut butter), on 2"x4"'s (1"x8" even better) and spread flour along/across top of the boards (if it isn't going to rain/snow cardboard boxes cut open and flattened out will work/lids from garbage cans, etc.) with the bait. This will allow one to rule out/in standard vermin (should have some tracks/smears made by tails, bait removed).
Game cam with IR function is also OK. Or, cut to the chase and put out live traps.
Human preds, like any other species, tend to travel along the least difficult paths to and from - fishing line stretched across those at about a foot above ground might clue a human to imagine more lethal booby traps closer to coop. Firing a couple of rounds from a .22 into the ground at random times will also give those humans in earshot something to think about. I'd also guess you're probably
dealing with standard pred/preds (a small opossum - not much bigger than a good sized wharf rat - can secret itself away in coop and attack a hen at a time - bite marks not always easy to ID).