Decimated flock

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by blitz1027, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. blitz1027

    blitz1027 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last year I lost roughly half my flock to what I'm sure was a coon. We set traps and caught a she coon but that was it. The killing stopped and then a couple days later started again. We lost 2-3 chickens a night. We put up an electric fence and for a few months nothing happened. All our chickens were living happy peaceful lives. Fast forward to last week. We find that we had lost 3 chickens. 2 of them looked like they hadn't been touched and 1 was completely devoured. The next day another one dead. This time it was my black copper maran. His head was completely gone.

    To make a longer story a little shorter our flock was reduced from 10 to 2 in a week. We got to the point where we were taking the chickens after they had gone to roost and putting them in a small cage next to the front door of the house. That's worked well so far but last night when I went to get them Neither were on the roost. One I found hiding under the coop and the other no where to be seen. I finally found it's headless body laying close to the coop. This was about 7:00 PM when I found her. The same time I've been going out every night to get them.

    So finally after a week of losing chickens I'm down to a single leghorn hen who looks so pitiful and I feel so sorry for. Over the week we added new electrified wire to the fence, replaced the module for it and dropped a couple cinder blocks over 2 places that looked like something tried to dig in.

    My question for you good people is, what is killing my birds and how do I kill it back? I've set traps and they don't work. I've sat out there hoping to spotlight the little blighter. I just don't know what to do. I want to remedy this situation before spring so I can try and rebuild my flock.
     
  2. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say get a game cam. Is your obnly real option. I would put the remaining hen in a cage covered in the cloth wire reinforced with electric netting in the coop and use her as bait to get the picture so you know what your dealing with and hopeful you can kill/catch it.
     
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  3. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

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    First I want to say I am so sorry for all your losses. I would mount a game cam so you could see what is getting into your coop. Also you could put a baby monitor inside to listen for noises. That poor chicken that is left you probably need to bring her inside your house I'm sure the preditor will be back for her. I hope someone else has some advice for you and have a loaded gun ready to get anything you see on the cam.
     
  4. chickenkeys

    chickenkeys New Egg

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    It sounds to me like it was a weasel. They often bite off the heads and leave the rest.
     
  5. blitz1027

    blitz1027 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice. I don't currently own a game cam but it looks like I'll have to invest in one. It just makes me so angry that I put so much time and effort into raising these animals for them to just to annihilated by some random predator. I've dealt with owls by spooking them off. I've caught coons. But this sucker here won't trip any of the traps I've set.
     
  6. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

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    I don't blame you for being mad. Let us know when you get him and good luck.
     
  7. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not use your chicken as bait. Can you imagine what she's had to endure already?
    Raccoons love tuna fish.
    Raccoons are gonna come out a little before dark.
    You are probably dealing with a raccoon but to be sure, get a trail camera.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  8. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

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    x2
     
  9. blitz1027

    blitz1027 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't intend on using her as bait. I feel so sorry for this hen. I have a live trap that I intend to set and hopefully catch it. We are thinking it's a really big male coon because when we set this trap before the bait would be eaten and the trap sprung but no coon anywhere to be seen. So our thinking is that he may be so big that the trap door can't close behind his big backside.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I would hope that your surviving hen would stick her thumbs into her ear holes and wiggle her fingers at what ever varmint it is that she lures to its doom.[​IMG]

    A Duke brand or similar dog proof coon trap is a coon catcher extraordinaire. There is no or almost no danger of catching Fido or Puff or any other non-targeted animal with this hardware. In fact you turn the coons feeding strategy against him. Raccoons are incredibly strong animals and some of them are able to dismantle a cheaply constructed live trap.

    Sometime ago someone on this forum reported catching a coon in a live trap that was sitting on an empty feed sack. It seems that in his desire to escape that the coon had reached through the wire mesh with its front feet and pulled the feed sack through an opening in the mesh and into the trap with him. Coons caught in a properly set dog proof trap however seem to display more humility and quickly settle down to await the inevitable.
     

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