Cat, raccoon or 'possum?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by addiedunn, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. addiedunn

    addiedunn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First, I read the article at the top of this topic about how to tell what has gotten to your chickens....and a lot of subsequent topics to try and figure out what got into mine the other night...to no avail. I think I have it narrowed down to one of these three.
    Something got into the pen/coop the other night and one of my hens has a nasty cut/gouge on her thigh. There were feathers everywhere. She seems to be ok, but a little in shock since the incident. I live in town and have a small backyard, but I have seen many raccoons around and heard there are 'possum. We also had a nieghbor's cat come into the yard one day and act like it was stalking them. That was actually kind of funny, because the cat was smaller than the birds.
    I guess what I'm asking is...if it were a raccoon, wouldn't she be dead? I can see her fighting off the cat (if it came back), but anything bigger, I think, should have won. Although they did pick the meanest of my bunch to pick on. lol.
    Also, would the rest of the flock, especially the rooster, jump in to help? Isn't he supposed to take care of his girls? Maybe that's what saved her, who knows. I'm sure there was a commotion but we didn't hear it.
    Their pen is attached to the coop and is done with the vinyl mesh. Whatever it was, broke through a couple staples and got in. We have since reinforced it, but I'm worried about another attack since whatever it is knows they are there now. And any attack would almost have to be at night because I have three dogs who stay out all day and nothing would dare come in the yard while they are on watch. They don't bother the chickens at all but they sure like to chase squirrels or anything else that ventures in during the day.
    Also, what would be the best to put on her wound?
     
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Another post said to try leaving a radio on. I would sit up and wait and shoot it. SSS especially if it got into my coop.
     
  3. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2008
    First of all, your rooster will not actually "protect" your hens. He will keep them away from another rooster, and fight bravely to keep another rooster away, but when it comes to a predator, he will make a lot of noise to warn his flock, but he will not fight for them. I'm sure that others will disagree with me on this, but in my 50+ years of raising chickens in predator infested South Dakota, I have never seen one that will.

    As to your predator, I would guess racoon. They are very clever at getting into pens, coops, etc. It may have been a fairly small one that was unable to kill the hen right away, and it might have been interrupted in it's foraging of your flock. At any rate, it will likely be back. Good luck!
     

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