Yesterday me and the wife went to get eggs from the coop and decided to check the backyard fence as we let the chickens out in the backyard to free range during the day and have had chickens taken before and to our dismay there were white feathers every where something had taken our last light brahma pullet. we tracked it into the woods and found where it appears she was eaten as all we found was feathers and the gizzard. so we began trying to find a den or something to tell us what we are dealing with that's when we found other kill sites from other chickens that went missing. so it appears to be picking our chickens off and taking them back to generally the same place and eating them. we believe its either a coyote, fox or a bobcat. does anyone know if this sounds right? im about to start hunting backyard fence from my tree stand, i cant stand loosing chickens. also i heard if you put an electric fence ground level that predators wont get near it as they sense it or something. any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Chicken's going missing!!!!
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from something I posted elsewhere
"About electric fence. . . . I've used it for decades, still do, but there are some misconceptions about it. Most electric fence including netting and high tensile, is not a physical deterrent to an animal, it is a psychological deterrent. That means in practical terms, that an animal from horse down to raccoon, who hasn't been shocked has no fear of it, no avoidance reaction. An awful lot of animals, the first time they get shocked, are as likely to jump forward and run over or through it as they are to back off, and then they are inside with your chickens. For it to be most effective you need to "train" the animals who have your chicken coop in their "territory" to stay away from the fence, whether that's the neighbor's dog or the raccoon from the woods half a mile away.
When you first install electric fence, including netting, you want to bait it to attract (yes I mean attract) the animals you want to control. Do this BEFORE you put chickens inside. If it's dogs or raccoons that are the problem, put strips of tin foil on the hot wires every so often along the fence, low enough to be convenient for them to sniff, and put a dollop of dog food or cat food on the strip. Be prepared to find some of your netting knocked over in the morning; set it back up and rebait. After your fence is staying up and your baited foil is untouched for a week or so, you've got the message to the local predators. You can still have a problem if/when a new one moves into the area, but that isn't likely to happen unless somebody kills the ones who have your place in their territory. They will also teach their young to avoid your fence. Keep in mind though, that if you start leaving it uncharged, eventually one of them will figure it out. A lot of animals handle new things in their environment by "cautious curiosity"; they try it and if there's a reward like chicken dinner they have learned to return. If there is negative reinforcement of getting shocked, they learn to avoid fence. But if there are attractive smells and sights like chickens fluttering, somebody will eventually have another go to see if the fence still bites."