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Just feathers left - can coyotes climb 5" fences?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi

We just lost one of our backyard hens (blue-copper Marans) to a predator. We heard the commotion around 5am and the alarm calls of the other girls but didn't see a thing when we went outside to investigate as it was still pretty dark. I later found 2 piles of feathers but that was all, no blood or body parts. It "looks" as if she was attacked in the open area of our yard and hauled to the back of the 5" wood fence (another pile of feathers) and that's were the trail goes dead. Our hen house which is all fenced in and topped with heavy-duty poultry netting was not disturbed. We WILL be buying an automatic door opener/closer for the house so the girls can't let themselves out too early if we forget to lock them in.

My question is: what type of predator did this? We HAVE seen raccoons in our area as well as coyotes. We have eagles, osprey and various other hawks and owls too. I'm betting raccoon just by the trail and piles of feathers, but wouldn't that have to be a BIG coon to take an 8-9 pound hen over the fence? Can coyotes climb wood fences?

Thanks for any help! ~Lisa

post #2 of 27

Sorry you lost a bird.  Could be a lot of things that took your bird but yes, a coyote can easily climb or jump over a 5 foot fence, foxes too.  Coon's are incredibly strong critters and some get quite large, no problem carrying off a chicken.


Edited by cafarmgirl - 7/20/10 at 3:03pm
wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
Reply
post #3 of 27

Sorry you lost a bird.  Could be a lot of things that took your bird but yes, a coyote can easily climb or jump over a 5 foot fence, foxes too.  Coon's are incredibly strong critters and some get quite large, no problem carrying off a chicken.


I agree ^   It could be a coyote or a raccoon.  I have a 5 foot fence as well, and found a raccoon carrying off a chicken before.  Raccoons most of the time leave a big pile of feathers, nothing else.   I would set a trap.


Edited by oliviad51 - 7/20/10 at 6:46pm
post #4 of 27

Maybe a racoon.Pesky lil critter's they can climb as well as dig and work wire.I would invest in a live trap for sure if there is one usualy more.Coyote's and fox a bit more harder to trap especialy fox.But if there is no hole under fence most likely not a fox they will dig but not good climber's.Hope ya catch it.Sooo sorry about your bird.I lost some this season already too.

A full time 2yr old grandson,One hubby lol, and daughter at home,one poodle, one cat, 2 ferret's ,one parrot,1 Kitten,As many birds as I can hold on to and Love them all!
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A full time 2yr old grandson,One hubby lol, and daughter at home,one poodle, one cat, 2 ferret's ,one parrot,1 Kitten,As many birds as I can hold on to and Love them all!
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post #5 of 27

If a human can move it, so can a raccoon.  That said, a pile of feathers sounds more like a fox or coyote.  And coyotes can easily scale a 5' barrier of any sort.

Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

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Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

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post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonoran Silkies 

If a human can move it, so can a raccoon.  That said, a pile of feathers sounds more like a fox or coyote.  And coyotes can easily scale a 5' barrier of any sort.


thumbsup

hugs Sorry you lost your girl. It sounds like a coyote to me too--and unfortunately I would know. It will be back and if they're locked up when it gets there the chances are good that it will just come back later. Electric fence is good if that's an option for you, I use a .270.

post #7 of 27

Racoons leave only piles of feathers and can climb a 5 ft. fence with no problem, possums can too. A racoon killed my old pet cat earlier this year~ somad THAT one is history. I HATE racoons and possums. Because of them my chickens no longer free range.

So sorry for you loss. Hope you get whatever it was...it will be back.

I use a 20g. pump. tongue


Edited by Bizzybirdy - 7/21/10 at 12:16am

Avatar is half of group of Ameraucana chicks looking out of the brooder...Nov.'11. They are much more grown up now. Also have White Rocks, Cuckoo Marans, Andalusians and an assortment of EE's. Oh, and one Australorp hen who knows she is the absolute queen here.

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Avatar is half of group of Ameraucana chicks looking out of the brooder...Nov.'11. They are much more grown up now. Also have White Rocks, Cuckoo Marans, Andalusians and an assortment of EE's. Oh, and one Australorp hen who knows she is the absolute queen here.

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post #8 of 27

I lost a girl early this morning in daylight, heard the commotion, went out and just feathers, five foot fence. No feathers or a trail outside the fence, but sure as hell she is gone.sad

If I ever go looking for my hearts desire...its really no further than my own backyard.
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If I ever go looking for my hearts desire...its really no further than my own backyard.
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post #9 of 27

I always equate dusk and dawn attacks to fox, I believe coyotes, raccoons and most other predators to be night time. I could be wrong abou the coyotes, but foxes are most active at dusk and dawn (and the 2 hours surrounding).

I am sorry you lost your girl, I would have thought a 5' fence would have been good enough. maybe it's time for electric.

funny how it all started with 6 chickens!
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funny how it all started with 6 chickens!
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post #10 of 27

I lived in the PNW for 20+ years and watched the coyote population explode.  Could be coyote or fox though.  Probably not a possum. They're so slow witted and dim that it would have probably still been in the coop trying to figure out how to get out.  Racoon maybe.  What about tracks?  I realize its the dry season and tracks may be hard to find, but look around and see what/if you can find any.

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