Daytime predator???!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicknmania, May 21, 2007.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    5,014
    226
    331
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    This is a new one for us...this morning about 9:00AM I heard our chickens in the barn raising cain and rioting; going on and on, for about a half an hour. They had already had breakfast and the barn doors were open for the day so they are free to come and go. Many prefer to stay in or near the barn, rather than free range. It is not uncommon for them to raise a riot for whatever reason, so I didn't pay any attention. Went to the barn at noon and found a hen lying on her back under a shelf in the barn; something had eaten all her innards and head; I mean it looked like she'd been cleaned ready to be packed for the grocery, because the rest of the meat was untouched, and she was entirely intact. Anyone have an idea what would do this? We've had raccoons, possums, and skunks; in the past they have always eaten all, or most of, the whole bird, and scattered the rest! I know that dogs will not usually touch a bird after they kill it; and we have not seen any strays. Would a fox do this? And during the day?
     
  2. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Chillin' With My Peeps

    794
    1
    171
    Apr 14, 2007
    Portland TN
    A weasle/weasel. [​IMG] They did that to a nesting duck I had. They will eat the soft underbelly and leave the rest to rot!![​IMG] I would lay odds that is what it was.
     
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    5,014
    226
    331
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Really!!! Thank you!!! I'm surprised that they would be that bold, what with cats and dogs around and daylight besides. Is there anything they are afraid of that we could use to discourage them? Radios, dogs, fireworks...anything?
     
  4. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    408
    2
    151
    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    Was it plucked naked? If so, I'd bet on a hawk or owl- they often remove the head and pull off most of the feathers. If not, the weasel sounds more likely.

    -MTchick
     
  5. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    couple of questions....

    Under a shelf? Like below a shelf on the ground or is the shelf close to the ground and it looked hiden?

    Was it plucked?

    If it was plucked it's likeley a raptor, but they don't take the innerds.

    A weasel would do that, but not pluck it...so would a racoon for that matter, although raccoons tend to be a "messier".

    I'd be out there by 8 am hiding out to see what's coming in.


    I'm really sorry for your loss- I hope you find out what it is.
    Sandra
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    5,014
    226
    331
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Thank you. Thanks for your help! Well, you're partly right...(this is continued on my post about poor Whitey)....I swear I feel like the end of a long day. So does my poor son (whose chickens they really are...) and all the rest of my family. [​IMG]
     
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    5,014
    226
    331
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    PS: Saw nothing this morning, but we couldn't really stake it out as I had to work; my son had school. Were more interested in deterring whatever it was, which, thankfully, we did.
     
  8. BabyGirls

    BabyGirls Out Of The Brooder

    89
    0
    39
    May 24, 2007
    Concord, NC
    I had the same situation with mine yesterday. We lost 4 at once and I am just devastated. 1 had it's head gone (no blood) 2 others where just a scratched up and another was taken under the underneath of the side storage that attached to our coop and cleaned it form the inside but I think all the feathers all around were from the fight. It was in the daylight (early morning-we think anyways)

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Stop it now before they are all gone. As we have a coop and someone said it could be a raccoon or weasel. If it is a weasel then you need to secure every inch as they can fit within an 1"x1" area! We are trying deer mesh to secure everything this weekend.
     
  9. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

    412
    4
    151
    May 14, 2007
    SW Indiana
    Definitely a weasel or skunk!!! [​IMG] Most likely a weasel! Big dogs seem to deter them. Our lab/retriever mix worked great. They tend to space out the killings, they are really smart and brave! Sorry!
    Amy J.
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    5,014
    226
    331
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Thank you, a weasel or mink is what I think it is, too. We have been going out every night;blocking every hole we can find; stuffing or covering every possible entrance with alternately bleach, or ammonia soaked rags (you know you can't use these together)...in the morning I have been visiting the barn every fifteen minutes during the time span we think we got hit last time; and we have been keeping the barn closed until later in the morning; plus letting the dogs out to run during that same time span. At that time of day it's difficult to find the time to just sit out there and stake it out. I called the game warden and have talked to a bunch of people locally; although we have both weasels and minks, everyone thinks it's a mink. We have had two mornings of peace in a row now, and most of one night, since the last great massacre....knock on wood.. The game warden says skunks are more scavengers than predators, really, for adult chickens, and I think that's true, though we've known of at least once when a skunk killed one of ours.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by