Coyote or Raccoon?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LavendarFeather, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. LavendarFeather

    LavendarFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last night something got my favorite rooster. Ironically, I was driving his brother to a new home, and got home a little late--it was already dark. The birds were roosting and I locked up. I've locked them up after dark before, but at those times I was at home, and my dogs had access to the deck and would bark if there were a predator around.

    This morning--no crowing. When I went out to check, Roger was absent. I wondered if he had somehow gotten locked out, maybe looking for his brother? So I let the girls out, and threw down scratch, which would have brought him running if he were nearby. He didn't come, and I knew there was a problem.

    I found the crime scene at the base of the hill where the chicken coop is, past some brush on the gravel road. It was just feathers, but a lot of them. Next to it was a pile of excrement, similar to a dog's, but with some odd things in it (not easily identifiable).

    We have both raccoons and coyotes here, but haven't seen a raccoon in quite some time. The way the feathers were spread around remind me of the remains of cats I have sometimes found on the property. I am thinking coyote, but not 100% sure. Does anyone know if coyotes defecate at kill sites? Any other clues I should look for?

    I'm so proud of Roger. He must have led the predator away from the hens, and gave his life to protect them only an hour or so after becoming the head rooster.
     
  2. BantyChickenLuv

    BantyChickenLuv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a coyote to me.
     
  3. XavCas

    XavCas Out Of The Brooder

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    My Buff Orpington was on eggs and a fox got her. I looked around the crime scene, and I did find excrement that was similar to a dogs. There was feathers scattered EVERYWHERE and and unidentifiable stuff in it as well. Is there foxes by you.?
     
  4. LavendarFeather

    LavendarFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There may be foxes, and even bobcats, but I have never seen one. I have seen coyotes multiple times on my property, including one standing right in front of my chicken run looking at the birds. It was right outside my window, early morning, and I said "Oh [email protected]#$!" and he turned and looked at me, then took off! My runs are designed to protect the birds from coyotes--they are made from chain link dog runs with tops, and have patio stones around the interior perimeters. I coyote could probably still dig in, but it would take a little time, and my dogs would let me know what was happening (I have 6).
     
  5. LavendarFeather

    LavendarFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And sorry to hear about your Buff. That is extra sad--fox orphaned your eggs!
    Were you able to save them?
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Canid = fox or coyote. Likely bird was captured / killed closer coop and carried to location where you found feather pile and feces. This time of year both species as well as raccoons are consuming persimmons. Persimmon seeds are likely the odd things noted in feces.
     
  7. LavendarFeather

    LavendarFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks to all who chimed in. I'm sure it was a coyote. Problem is, I've seen them around her mid-morning. Might not be able to let the girls out anymore, at least for awhile. Maybe if I can get the big dogs safe around the chickens, it will be okay later. Need more fencing to keep the dogs in the yard though. Don't expect to be able to keep the coyote out with a fence, unless maybe if I ran a hot wire. But coyotes are so smart... I'm not even mad at him, I'm just really sad. I'm a bit mad at myself, but the coyote only took one bird, and he ate the whole thing. He could have done a lot worse. The girls will just have to get used to staying in their runs for now.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Do not rule out fox. I see both but fox at least as likely to go after birds, in part because less wary around humans and dogs. Get dogs chicken friendly. Electrified poultry netting also worth considering.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Vamvakas

    Vamvakas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Foxes do that kind of thing. They kill as many as they can and hide them for later, coyotes might do the same thing. Just look at it dogs, they hide bones and food so it had to be a fox or coyote cause there in the dog family. Racoons are to messy and 100% don't do this, they don't hide anything and they want to show you what they done.
     
  10. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    That sounds like I could have written that post as the SAME scenario happened to me. Lost a buff cochin that I still miss. For me it was a coyote!
     

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