At wits end!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by campdirector, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. campdirector

    campdirector Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Michigan City, IN
    Hey guys,

    I am new to the BYC forum so I wish my first post was on better terms. I need some help because I am at wits end. I bought 25 guinea eggs and hatched 15 of them. A couple of them had spraddle leg so I did the bandaid trick and it worked great. All of them were happy and healthy. They were about a month and a half old completely feathers and growing quickly. I live in Northwest Indiana on 3 1/2 acres surrounded by cornfields. On Monday, coincidentally my birthday, I moved the little guys out to a screened porch in a large rubbermaid container with the hopes of putting them in the barn area in a week or two. I wanted them to get used to the outside air temps since they had been inside up until then. Because of where we live I know we have coons, coyotes and possums but they have never seemed to bother my little flock of chickens who are free range and roost in the barn at night. Soooo....on Monday night I went into the screened porch to check on my little guys and to my horror a coon had tore through the screened porch and killed and partially eaten all 15 of my guineas. Happy birthday to me! I was pretty upset seeing my 2 1/2 year old daughter was very excited when they hatched and loved watching them grow up. She keeps asking why she cant see her babies. : ( Worst part is we also had 3 little ducklings she picked out at the store they were killed as well.
    So my question is, do I just have to accept the fact that I live where I live and predators are a fact of life? Is there anything I can do to repel them? We have lost a couple chickens in the past to hawks but never anything like this, it was complete carnage. This was the first time anything was so bold to tear through a building to get at them. If I buy a havahart trap and catch them and relocate to the forest preserve around us will this do any good or will they return to the house?
    I grew up in the city (chicago) and I want my daughter and my new baby due this week to grow up in the country with animals and have all the experiences I didn't have but I also don't want her to ever see what I saw when I found what was left of the baby Guineas. The other question have is can an adult guinea ward off a coon or would they be potential pray as well. I am debating whether I want to start over and buy more eggs or if I should just give up. Anywho, thanks for listening guys!

    scott
     
  2. Hoss1975

    Hoss1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2011
    north central Indiana
    Quote:Here in Indiana it is illegal to relocate,besides they would probably return or become someone else's problem.You can legally shoot them though,or call animal control after you catch them,but they will euthanize them too.
     
  3. DKPoultry

    DKPoultry Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2010
    Oh that is terrible! I hate days like that... [​IMG]
    Unfortunately, it is something that happens. I live in southern MI and we have the same problems with similar predators. We have trapped many oppossum, racoons, skunks and feral cats. I am not sure if relocating them works or not. I have a friend who would relocate them, she would drive them miles and miles away from her place to let them go. Don't know if they ever came back or not.
    There are quite a few things you might try to deter them. They have motion sensor lights and the like that may scare them off. Just the other day I saw some motion sensored sprinklers to spray them with water and scare them off. Just a couple suggestions.
    I vote you try again. As much as we all hate it, it is kind of a part of farming/country living. We just learn from it, take preventative measures, and march on. At least that is the way I look at it.
     
  4. Mtn Margie

    Mtn Margie Overrun With Chickens

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    CO Rockies - 8600ft up
    First off Welcome to the BYC! Sorry that it is under these circumstances though. You are just going to have to build a secure area. Now the predator knows there are meals to be had on your property and it/ they will be back. Hardware cloth is the best bet. Relocating can be against the law, you have to check. You can call AC but they usually won't come out and help you in this situation. They will probably tell you to shoot it. Good Luck. Hugs to your daughter. Kids can be pretty resilient, especially when they see new babies.
     
  5. Hoss1975

    Hoss1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2011
    north central Indiana
    Quote:Yes it is illegal here to relocate any wild animal,it helps in preventing the spread of rabies,distemper and other diseases in wild animals.
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    You're going to have to accept the fact that you have predators. You can kill them, but there will always be more to replace them.
    Your best bet is to keep your animals secure - primarily at night. A raccoon (fox, coyote, others) can go through a screen like a hot knife through butter. Chicken wire is no better. It's fine for hawks, but not 4 legged predators. Make sure your coop (or wherever you keep your birds, especially babies) is shut at night, with no openings that aren't covered by sturdy wire such as hardware cloth or something similar. Sorry about your losses. [​IMG]
     
  7. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry about your loss and having to explain it to a little one makes it twice as bad. Don't give up! Having birds gives you another excuse to spend time with kids and let them learn about life.

    Sounds like you need to go Ft Knox on a coop inside a enclosed and skirted run (you have been found and they will come back with their friends) Maybe add it to a child's playhouse with a large wired window for watching the birds. Go secure, then you can make it an event for you and your child to go in the coop, collect eggs, clean the coop, and sit or let them out to range while your at home. It gives the kids a pet and you a hobby. Remember a fox, yote. or hawk will snatch up a bird in broad daylight with you standing there so be alert when free ranging or consider a electric fence around the yard perimeter. Trapping probably won't help due to the number of predators in your area.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  8. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern Illinois
    [​IMG] wish is was under better circumstances. So sorry for your loss. Yes, get a Havahart and catch this predator. Now that it knows, it will be back, and maybe with friends. Do not relocate, but dispatch it. The only predator a guinea will take head on is a snake. Even full grown they'd be no match for a coon. They could possibly warn of one, but by then it might be too late. I think it's wonderful what your doing with your children and it's best to shelter them from this type of disaster. There will be a time when you'll have to explain the whole prey vs. predator thing. Hopefully not for a long time and when they're older. Best wishes.
     
  9. campdirector

    campdirector Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Michigan City, IN
    Hey guys
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  10. campdirector

    campdirector Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Michigan City, IN
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I figured relocation was not an option. I run a summer camp in illiniois and our old grounds keeper use to trap and drown the coons literally by the dozens each year. After that he would give them to a local trapper who used the fur. If at all possible I wanted to try and avoid euthanizing them since I love animals. You guys were right though, the last 2 nights he has come back and ripped through the screened porch looking for more snacks. I have outside sensor lights that dont boher time. In fact they purposely trip them and wait for the June bugs to come in and then they jump up and catch them. I use to think it was cute...not anymore. To be honest I have not had great experiences with raccoons in the past. The have ripped apart buildings at camp, flipped over garbage cans, and even killed two full grown geese I had for the campers to watch. I guess it is the price we pay for building on there homes. I forgot to mention I think one of the reasons they never venture into he barn at night to get the chickens is because I have 3 fainting goats and the male has a full set of horns. He can be a bit head butty sometimes and even stray dogs don't come near him. So I am wondering if the coons just dont want to take the chance. Anywho, I think I may start over with the guineas. I don't want this experience to deter me. Like most of you said, predators are a natural part of life and the only thing I can do is try and make the critters as secure as possible. Thanks again everyone, I love this forum!

    Scott:D
     

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