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5 chickens gone in one night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jshroo, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. jshroo

    jshroo New Egg

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    Apr 7, 2017
    we lost five large birds in one night. feathers were all over the yard...they were free range and not locked in. bad idea...we live in town and just didn't see this coming. we have 3 acres...donkeys on the area with the chickens. anyway, we found only feathers and after searching in the woods nearby found more feathers but whatever took them carried them off and ate the entire chicken...five of them. we now have only two left. bantam old English, and cooped up. they weren't on the roost where the other five were taken. got a hunter's camera and a live trap. first night, caught one coon. large...probably over 30 pounds. second night got pictures of two more large coons, but they did not enter the trap. could coons carry off 5 large birds in one night? there are coyotes and foxes are common in the area, but have not showed up yet on the camera shots. we are baiting the trap with marshmellows, bread, and fish. any ideas?
     
  2. jshroo

    jshroo New Egg

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    ok. just found tracks in the woods.... looks like bobcat. no claw marks. cats claws are retractable..coyotes and foxes aren't. so in addition to coons we likely have a cat. not sure who is to blame for the massacre though. in addition to losing the five chickens, in the days following a wild Canadian goose that was setting was eaten and all her eggs taken. no remains, no shells. also, a stringer of fish left in the pond was pulled out of the water, up on the bank, and one of the fish mostly eaten. weird. there is some serious predators here.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    It's a good idea to lock your birds in the coop at night. Every night. Most people don't see predators or just don't even think about them until they have chickens. It's not that the chickens draw them in it's that they are out there and always looking for an easy meal.
     
  4. ECarter1217

    ECarter1217 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    have to also worry about dogs if any are roaming in your area it happened to me and i lost 2 hens that day i wont let mine free range after that
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    If they weren't cooped it could have been anything that came along that night.
     
  6. ECarter1217

    ECarter1217 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so very true @bobbi-j
     
  7. MeyersFamFarm

    MeyersFamFarm Just Hatched

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    Yes very much so. Coons are like pack animals and do a lot of damage in their number. I too have been having coon problems and thus far were 10-10 they've killed ten of my chickens and I've killed ten coons. They will find any way into a coop as well it needs to be very secure. Regular chicken wire is no match. A coon will spend hours prying at things to get a chicken. And what loot they do get they take back to their "camp" and share with their coon buddies. I luckily found the "camp" and greeted them with a .22
     
  8. Birdinhand

    Birdinhand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry to hear about your loss. i've lost entire flocks to various freeloaders that come along at night. I constantly struggle with what seems like an undeniable reality, that chickens must be cooped, at least at night and that coop needs to be pretty much wall to wall and ceiling hardware cloth if possible. I have a friend who kind of sneered at how sealed up my coop is, stating that he'd been letting his chickens roam freely for 9 months without issue... then not long after that he starting losing birds. it's really so sad and no amount of success with free ranging makes you immune to sudden and dramatic loss of life, everything is fine until it's not. coons often come in numbers and can take away a lot of birds. a desperate mother and kits can be the worst. but if it's not coons it will be something else.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. sheetmetaltom

    sheetmetaltom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    when walking my dog at night i see racoons out in the middle of the street with no fear. i keep my chickens locked up at night enclosed in wire. when building my coop i put wire even under the shingles so if they decide to eat there way in they cant. dont forget to put it on the floor also to keep the diggers out. everything seems to love chicken just as much as we do, so when you think you did enough go one step further. good luck
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Red5

    Red5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hobos are making a comeback. Sorry you lost them, but you can figure it out. Pesky coons.
     

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