9 out of 12 dead..help identify please

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SilkieCRZYness, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. SilkieCRZYness

    SilkieCRZYness Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2008
    5 days ago i came home right before day break and looked in run as i was walking by and saw a black figure which is wierd bc they should be roosting still, i go over and shine my phone light, bout 2 feet away and theres a possem chewing the head off of my black cochin hen, who had 4 babies she hatched a week ago who are all dead to. i killed the possum that morning. Last night i was not home and dismorning i go look out in my coop, because i left the hatch open for them to free roam like normal and they come back at dark and roost up on a perch, and inside my coop was thousands of feathers and 3 brids. no bodies, no nothing, the hatch is a 1x1 hole that is 2 feet off the ground and they have to jump/fly up to get in and out. i have had problems with so many predators, great horned owls, possums, coons. but this ones wierd. i just went out side 10 minutes ago to shine a light bc i figured what ever it was would be back, and obviously i closed the hatch ton, i look and theres two greens eyes sitting by the coop and its a cat, i believe ferral but no bigger than a house cat. well, its dead, but is that what really eat my 10 lb cochin rooster and my other 8 full grown barred rocks and cochins? seems weird. help please thank you
  2. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    possums will kill chickens and so will skunks.
    you may want to set a live trap, usually there are more than one.
    chickens are vulnerable at night, they are easier to catch, we keep our roosts up pretty high.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  3. SoJoChickens

    SoJoChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Fountain Green, UT
    Lots of feathers and the whold bird missing sounds more like a dog, fox or coyote. If several disappeared at a time it may have been a pack of them.
  4. SilkieCRZYness

    SilkieCRZYness Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2008
    my roost is a perch 5 ft high they have to fly to it no way up?
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You're going to have to trap or use a camera to be sure. I hope you will let us know if you learn more.

    Sorry for your loss. I've lost my share to unknown predators. Trap is set tonight....
  6. You can rent or buy a night camera. These are invaluable in determining what you have wondering around your chickens at night.

    Traping is an option, but most of the time you get nothing for quite some time.

    You have Possum, coon and skunk that attacks chickens on their roost at night. A coon is the only one that will be able to climb or get its paws through an opening.

    Coon can drag a bird through bird cage wire, I have seen it first hand and it is a bloody darn mess.
  7. jus1jack

    jus1jack Critically Endangered

    Mar 30, 2009
    You can set up a baby monitor, also known as a baby alarm, it's a simplex (uni-directional) transmitter and receiver system used to remotely listen for noises. The birds will let you know when they are being attacked and you will be able to go out & see what it is...
  8. ajablu

    ajablu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2008
    Northeast, PA
    Years ago when I was a teen we had the same thing happening. We couldnt imagine what was taking our huge RIRs and leaving just feathers.
    One night my dad heard noise and went out and caught a huge possum taking a hen. He got the possum and we never lost a bird after that.
    The building had a dirt floor and I guess the possum kept tunneling in and my Dad kept trying to block the places it was getting in. This is going back more than 30 years and my Dad has been gone a long time so I don't remember every detail. I do remember that was one huge possum. I would have never expected that the culprit was a possum.
  9. SilkieCRZYness

    SilkieCRZYness Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2008
    thank you all for the post, i do believe it is another possum. i found a baby the other day, like it fell out of a nest, well lil fella wont ever be able to kill my chickens, but that just tells me there is a family and probably more out there. I just bought a game camera and will have it set up ton. im going to put some tuna fish out and put some boric acid mixed in, so i can get some pictures and maybe a few steps away i find him in the morning. I just dont get how this possum does this, okay a possum weighs what 10lbs at most, i lost approximently 50lbs last night of chickens, and not a piece of meet or bone was found in the morning. just like i said, plucked out feathers, the colors of the birds were basically in piles, so i knew exactly which bird died where in the coop. so possums will sit there and pluck out feathers like a bird of prey. i seen owls take my chicken up to a tree sit there and pluck every feather out and the feathers fall straight down and there would be a pile of feathers below the branch of the owl. i dont think this was an owl bc theres a trail of feathers heading away from my coop so it must be a legged animal. lastly, ajablu, i did find holes where the possum dug in. Im still blown away how a possum, even two or three, eat 50lbs of chickens with no trace, wierd. thanks again all
  10. Leyland-270

    Leyland-270 New Egg

    Apr 5, 2009
    Opossums climb very well, and I have seen them drag an entire chicken away. Good luck.

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