Everyone is hungry now that winter is setting in...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hurricanearran, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. hurricanearran

    hurricanearran Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    Denny Island, BC
    We bought 50 Golden Laced Wyandottes in May of this year and to our surprise, all survived and were healthy. The summer went by without a hitch to the point where we'd been neglecting to close the chicken door to the roost at night. Then three weeks ago we found 12 dead in the morning with their heads missing. We suspected a mink. We only lost 12 because the door WAS open and they had the chance to run (in the 600sq' outside enclosure).

    We started closing the door at night and locking them in tight. Two weeks later, the mink found a weakness (a loose board in the wall... I saw his bloody footprints leaving from under the loose board) and we lost 30 more chickens. Devistating! I didn't let the remaining 8 out for days until I caught the mink in a conibear trap. Though I'd also set a live trap, the conibear was really the only solution because I live on a small island and with mink being territorial, killing it was the only option. I slept easy that night finally knowing that I'd got rid on one predator.

    The next morning, I happily left my shrinking flock out but still concerned, checked on them every half hour. Wouldn't you know it!? A hawk was in there with another kill. What an awful week.

    I've secured the loose wall board so mink should not be a problem in the future but will need a huge net to put over the top of outside run to keep birdies out. Now I just have to worry about that black bear that's been raiding deep freezers for the last week about 1/2 a mile from the house [​IMG] That's what I get for raising chickens in the middle of nowhere.
  2. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2009
    Wow. And I've been worried about the one raccoon that we see a couple of times a month.
    I'm glad you have some birds left, and I hope that the bear is content with the freezers until he/she goes into hibernation.
  3. biddybird

    biddybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Salado Texas
    I would consider leaving the rest locked up for awhile. Break the cycle. The mink started it and I'm sure the hawk zeroed in. You can give them some treats to keep them happy while they are in lock down, but at least they will be safe. Please don't give up, you will figure out how to keep them safe. We live in the woods and it has taken us years to get on top and still we have a problem come up ever now and then. I had to keep my flock contained in their coop and fly area most of the summer, because of a sudden huge coon problem. We have killed 24 in 4 weeks.

    Watch for that bear. Thank goodness we don't have them!
  4. BlackBart

    BlackBart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    You may live in the middle of nowhere but it is a BEAUTIFUL nowhere.[​IMG]

    Lots of Bears causing problems around me. I lent out my last two spare electric fence chargers to the neighbors that were having problems.
    If you can, put a line or two of electric up and criss cross it over your chicken run. Some people criss cross light rope back and forth over the run.
    You were lucky nothing got the chickens through the open coop door when you were leaving it open. I have to close mine religiously every night or all mine would be dead.
  5. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Must be Predator Feast time in the Northwest. [​IMG]
    So sorry for your loss Hurricanearran...that is a tough one to take getting them to the grown up stage and then losing so many.[​IMG]

    I am from BC too ( Vancouver Island )and don`t have bear to deal with here but certainly are on guard for racoon lately. We have to lock our birds up at the first sign of nightfall and I am wondering how we are going to let them out before going to work as I don`t dare let them out before sunrise. I can hear the evil little killers rummaging around the bush trying to find an in to the run and last night they figured out the garbage can lid as a second choice meal option to the chickens. Today I will be covering my pond as the next thing will be the fish.
    We are going to buy a live trap today but I hate the thought of relocating and making it someone elses problem.
    We lost our dog last month and I thought maybe that`s why we were seeing more predators....maybe just time of year though.
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Might I recommend an electric fence? Best deterrent ever covering a wide range of predators from mink to bears and everything in between. Seriously, I wouldn't be able to sleep soundly at night without it. I live next to a wildlife corridor that brings all sorts to my yard every day. Admittedly, I don't have long term problems because most animals are just passing through, but the sheer quantity that pass through are enough to keep me up at high alert always. I have found an electric fence to be my best ally.

    So sorry for your losses. Good luck.
  7. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    On a PBS show there was talk of bears breaking into houses to get to the food.These houses were closed up for winter,and one bear even made a house it's winter den! People started boarding up the homes,and some even wrapped them with electric fencing to deter the bears.

    So sorry for your loss!
  8. hurricanearran

    hurricanearran Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    Denny Island, BC
    No racoons here and I'm grateful for that.
    Thanks for the kind words. The coop is a work in progess but unfortunately Steve was called away to work in Bella Coola after the floods a month back and we never got around to putting up the electric fence. We have strung dark blue rope in a spider web over the top of the run outside and this has detered the eagles but we'll have to put up a net to keep out the smaller birds of prey. The chainlink fence is in bedrock so nothing can dig under but we still plan on running chicken wire along the bottom four feet of fence and barbed wire along the top!
    We were hoping to be selling eggs by Christmas and the community was very excited about farm fresh eggs, but we'll have to try again. Planning on incubating and hatching the 1st 4 dozen eggs to build out flock back up.
  9. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    Quote:Wildlife corridor? The perfect setting for a game cam!

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