Dead Hen & Digging Around Coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tigershep, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. tigershep

    tigershep Out Of The Brooder

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    Unfortunately yesterday I found one of my favorite Barred Rock hens dead. She had been killed and pulled through the fencing (I didn't get a picture). I saw some chewing on a few boards on the outside, but framed our newest cat. I thought for sure this cat killed my chicken, but then this morning I found some new evidence that might prove his innocence.

    I have digging around the posts of the fenced in area. It doesn't seem big enough for a dog and there aren't any tracks left behind (which makes me think it certainly isn't a dog). The ground is soft out there and I can usually spot dog tracks no problem. I'm concerned this is a fox or coyote, because I know for a fact I have a large red fox living a few feet away from my coop (I've spotted him numerous times).

    Take a look at these pics and let me know what you think. I'm at a loss for a solution, and don't have access to any traps or the money for a trail cam. Any advice?

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  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    Sorry about your hen! That may have been a raccoon. They are known to lure chickens over and then pull them through the fencing. If you have any extra wire fencing, preferably hardware cloth, it would be great if you could just run that around the coop to make the holes in the fencing smaller. That only needs to be about two feet high. Above that, the fencing is already good.

    It is likely that it is the fox you have seen that has been digging. To prevent the animal from digging into the run, you can bury wire fencing about 18" below the ground. For even more security, you can bury the wire in an "L" shape, so it is 18" down, and then 6-12" out.

    I hope everything turns out okay! Have a nice day!
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  3. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hmmm interesting. I have that same digging around my hen house. Not sure what's doing it but yesterday I was looking around and I saw some little tracks so I set two traps before going to bed last night.
     
  4. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to hear about your hen! I second the raccoon as it is most likely to pull threw the fence. As far as what is digging... it could be a raccoon (though unlikely) or it could be something else (most likely). If the ground is soft, in addition to burring the wire you may also want to consider putting paving blocks on top of the ground.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    For an apron it actually works better if you don't bury it at all, just stake it down or bury it just a few inches....should go out 12-24 inches tho.


    Don't forget the corners, scale of mesh on corners is inaccurate...photoshop fudge.
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    1 person likes this.
  6. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What aart said.

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  7. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    So I sat my traps and caught an old ugly grinning opossum... I let him grin right down to the bottom of my pond... Now that its getting warmer I'll keep the traps set 24/7.
     
  8. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where there is one there is many. Fish of any kind seems to be the best to catch opossums and raccoons. The more it smells the more they like it. Good trapping!
     
  9. TinaM13

    TinaM13 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm having a bad time with something killing my chickens and can't figure out what it is either. I don't have an outside pen, they are freerange but have spent pretty much all winter in the barn. Something is finding it's way in. First the chickens were disappearing completely, mainly my smaller ones. We did some work around the barn, closing up areas we suspected, but I think we missed one somewhere as now I'm finding my poor birds killed in one of my haystalls (which means it's climbing walls to get over to other rooms). I'm suspecting a weasel, or raccoon. What kind of trap is recommended. People say capture and release somewhere else. but I believe they'll just come back.
    I've lost 2 just this last week and I have to put an end to this now! Any other ideas to help prevent would be wonderful also..I'm getting quite distressed over this. [​IMG]





    well I decided to go out and 10:30 pm with the dogs to check on the flock and wouldn't you know it! The dogs cornered a huge raccoon trying to get into the barn..it has managed to chew a corner of the plywood we used to block off the loft to get in thru there! It's days are numbered!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  10. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raccoons come in large packs so you want a live trap, TSC has a 2 pack of them on sale for $25. Bait it with a strong smelling fish near the area that they are trying to get in. Bait it every night as there are many if you found one. I live in the country so there are many raccoons out here. I leave them alone unless they come into my main fenced in yard (2 acres where my chickens range), if there is any sign of them in the yard I bait a trap and shoot them. If you release them they can travel many miles to get back to their family so it is not really safe if you think about it. I am not trying to start an argument with anyone that believes in keeping them alive. I just don't help anything that goes after my flock, my point of view expressed only.
     
    1 person likes this.

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