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Another help me identify this predator thread.... :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JoeOxfordCT, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    [​IMG]Hi Folks,

    It's been awhile since I posted. I have lost two full grown Black Copper Marans hens in the last two weeks. I work from home and live at the end of a wooded dead end. I had let my birds free range in my yard almost since I got them as day olds from My Pet Chicken last June. I have/had 2 roos & 8 hens. What's happened is this. I would go out in the morning to let the girls out and everybody would leave the coop and go into the yard. However, after about 5 minutes the one or two hens that were actively laying would go back to the coop while the rest of the birds would forage around our yard (1.7 acres). Later in the morning the birds that were in the coop laying would come back out and hang around the waterer which is just outside the coop. They would crow alot too. I had thought that they were trying to crow to find the other birds in the yard but the others never reacted to the crowing and they never seemed leave the immediate vicinity of the coop.

    Well what I have found is that when I have gone to check the birds in the afternoon or lock them into the coop at night is just a little patch of feathers close to the coop, no blood, and the feathers I do find are the short fluffier ones from their behinds. I am guessing this is a fox ? They are too big to be carried off by raptors. This is happening in broad daylight and only to the birds that are close to the coop. After losing a second bird in 2 weeks I have started keeping them in the covered run I have which is approx. 12'x20'. I had thought 2 roos would give me a little extra protection in that since I am home I can hear most times when there's alot of crowing. I would like to trap/kill whatever it is. Any thoughts ?

    Joe
    Oxford, CT.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  2. Chickgirl201040

    Chickgirl201040 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Kansas in the Country
    I would thinks its a fox or coyte. I have had similar things happen to me with 2 of my 7 month okd hens. but there wasn't a trace:( what I would do if I were you as soon as you here the crowing run out side or just to the window and if you have a run I would have it some where that you can grab it incease you do see what it is then you can shoot it.
     
  3. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    Sounds like fox or coyote to me. Look around the woods, brush or swampy areas nearby, see if you can find out where they are being taken to be eaten.

    A #2 coilspring trap in a dirthole set along likely travel spots from your chicken area to the dining room would be my first choice to catch it.

    How to make a dirthole set. Wear clean rubber boots and gloves. Kneel on a piece of rubber mat or clean poly. Dig a small hole with a drain spade or trowell about 6" deep angled 45 degrees. Best location is against a log, rock, rotten fencepost, dead furrow or heavy bramble patch so it can only be approached from one side. Dig out a flat area about 2"deep big enough to stake and bed the set trap in front of your hole. Stake down trap with 2 pieces of rebar at least 18"long right under the trap location (this will hold even a large coyote). Firmly bed the trap by pushing it down hard in your area. It should not wobble at all. The pan should be offset left or right center of the dirt hole, jaws should lie at edge of hole, trap flat to ground at 45 degree angle to animals approach (you want the jaws to close at 45 degrees to the animals foot Straight on or straight sideways causes problems). Cover the pan with a small square of wax paper (wax side down) that should almost fill the area inside the jaws. I like to lace a pheasant or chicken tail feather under the pan so just the tips stick out. Cover trap with sifted dry soil. Bait bottom of hole with some fresh red meat and cover with light dusting of soil. Lightly mist entire set with commercial fox urine. Place a small dap of lure on a nearby sapling about 2' above the ground. Check at least every morning, preferably am and pm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  4. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Thanks, can I set this kind of trap if there are dogs around ? My neighbor's dogs make the rounds in our yard every morning & night...they never bother (or actually get near) the chickens...they mostly nose around our garbage cans.... [​IMG]
     
  5. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Southeast texas
    Could also be a bob cat.
    I had a something taking my Grown Pekin ducks in the early morning so i set up a trail cam in the area, i want you to know that 30 minutes after i set the cam up a bob cat came right by it and i got a photo of his rear, i learned that they pretty much stay on a path and will stalk their pray,wait for them to come by and nab them ,leaving a very few feathers.
    If you can find a feather here and there follow them, the cat is not going to be able to finish the bird if it is big unless they have kittens [​IMG][​IMG]and will bury it in the leaves then set a trap right there and he will return and ya got him/her, thats how i trap the bobs here.
     
  6. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    This kind of set is indiscriminate. You may catch dogs, Opossums, skunks, cats, racoons in addition to your target canines. They can almost always be released with no more damage than a sore foot but may be bad politics with your neighbor.
     
  7. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    I catch the neighbors dog in my yard it's bad politics for the them not me....

     

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