Cat, possum, or something else?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by WestNashChick, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. WestNashChick

    WestNashChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in the city, and have a fenced in backyard. I've never had predator trouble, except a hawk in day time. I have a secure coop, but sometimes I don't close the back chicken door until later at night (lesson learned)! Last night, I heard a terrible squawking. Took my dog with me as I ran to the coop. My chickens were flying everywhere trying to escape. My dog chased something but she didn't get it. All chickens were fine except my poor EE only has one tail feather left :( I've never seen raccoons, and I don't think it would have trouble killing them quickly. I was thinking possum, but then I read cats will eat chickens?! Has anyone had this experience? Any ideas about what it was? Thanks!!
     
  2. MorganC

    MorganC Out Of The Brooder

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    Yikes! That's always frightening!
    Nah, I have never heard of cats going after full grow chickens.
    However, possums and coons and skunks will easily go after adults. It could have been either of those three. If you have a serious fence around your yard, say 6 feet or taller and either wood or chain link, my money would be on a coon.
    If you have one eaten, and you notice only the entrails or the reproductive tract eaten, that means skunk as they go for the parts with the most protein and leave the rest of the poor bird.
    Coons like to grab and go, so watching for missing feathers like your poor bird, or wounds around the neck as they like to take a handful of something and stuff it into their mouth to carry with them.
    Good doggy though!!!
     
  3. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Coon or possum is the most likely suspect.
    If it comes back, get a box trap and set it where the dog cant get to it.
    Or call critter control.
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Doubtful on cats, maybe if it was chicks.

    I know for a fact we have all of those predators even though they remain unseen. 1 night my dog was going of on something. I thought he killed an opossum, but realized it might be playing possum... sure enough it was breathing. I didn't dispense it because I didn't have chickens then. We also have moles and weasels. Found a dead baby mole in the yard once, and the back half of a rat ripped CLEAN in half.

    Glad the only thing you lost was some tail feathers. Just remember, predators will come back!

    Good luck!
     
  5. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]

    Your predator is small enough to be caught in a cage trap. Get a good quality well made trap to help protect your flock. An easy bait would be canned cat food. Check it daily and in short order...you should have your predator.
     
  6. WestNashChick

    WestNashChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone! I'm going to set up a trap as suggested!
     
  7. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps




    It can be hard to tell what we're dealing with when we're trying to protect our birds. Tracks are awesome when we can find them , and sometimes conditions at the attack site are not conducive to the leaving of sign.

    Here's a nice trick...

    If You think You know how it's getting in, but the ground is hard or there is too much leaf litter to allow for sign, then dig a shallow depression maybe 13 or 14 inches across and fill it with play sand. Any critter that comes by will leave their prints in that play sand. You'll get perfect animal tracks, and it's easy to erase, just smooth it out each day.

    Do this around the coop and run at key locations when you are trying to figure out how the heck are they getting in...or what the heck is killing my chickens. Play sand at key locations will give you all need to identify the perpetrator.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  8. MorganC

    MorganC Out Of The Brooder

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    If you're not in the city limits and own a 22, or know someone who does, a quick and easy way to eliminate the threat is to eliminate the predator, that way it won't come back. Trapping can create it's own hazards with handling and relocating and most of the time Fish and Game don't really care about chicks in backyards. So, as long as it's not a skunk, you would be wise to eliminate it.
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    OP said that she is in city limits, so the .22 is out. Trapping, hauling cage away from populated area then shooting could be an option. Trapping and relocating should NEVER happen. Even if it is a skunk, elimination is the best choice. Just a little trickier.. [​IMG]
     
  10. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what do professional trapping companies do with the critters you catch?
     

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