First signs of predators at my coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Black Feather, May 4, 2009.

  1. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    669
    7
    161
    Apr 20, 2007
    I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. I've seen the first signs of predators around my coop. I've noticed for the last three mornings that something has been digging around the perimeter of the outdoor runs attached to the coop. The runs are made up of chain link fence, so whatever it is has not been small enough to go through the chain link, and from what I can gather has not tried to climb over the fence. The chain link is also dug into the ground by about a foot and the digging only goes down about 2-3 inches.

    I'm not sure what it is now but I'm going to try and find out. I'm thinking coon maybe, or even a canine of some sort....any thoughts from anyone else?

    UC
     
  2. Dirt Road

    Dirt Road Chillin' With My Peeps

    295
    1
    121
    Nov 9, 2008
    Southern Idaho
    Skunk!

    Jim
     
  3. Shanay235

    Shanay235 Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    0
    119
    Sep 14, 2008
    WV
    A raccoon will dig around the perimeter then climb over the fence. Foxes generally don't climb but they will jump over the fence if it's low enough. A fox will also dig, fairly deep. Like yours, my fencing is buried 1' underground and so far, we haven't had a fox get through, although they have tried really hard. I'm not sure if a opossum will climb a fence or not even though they're fully capable.
     
  4. beak

    beak On vacation

    Dec 12, 2008
    Kiowa, Colorado
    If you're a foot deep they'll have a lot of work ahead of them. Maybe put some broken glass in the hole in case they want to continue their excavation. Run a wire on top. If they are climbing they'll have a good ground on the fence.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  5. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    669
    7
    161
    Apr 20, 2007
    Hmmm......looks like it's about time for a good sized live trap....although catching a skunk would not be my favorite critter to deal with afterwards.

    I don't have any worries about opossums as we don't have them this far North. I'm definitely thinking skunk or coon. There is netting at the top of the runs with the fencing itself being about 5ft tall, but I doubt it would keep a coon out...although it does support my cat.

    UC
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  6. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,874
    484
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    You might consider laying a strand of barb wire around the fence at ground level. then when it tries to dig under the fence it hits the barb wire. Might make things a little less attractive.
     
  7. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    7,187
    22
    271
    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    If you think it might be a skunk, place a sack or hunk of old carpet over the trap before you set it so it can't spray you when it is time to remove him from the coop area.
     
  8. RachelFromTheBlackLagoon

    RachelFromTheBlackLagoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    879
    0
    139
    May 4, 2009
    Wallingford, CT
    Trapped skunks surprisingly aren't too bad to deal with! Other things that work well over traps are painters plastic or a cheap vinyl shower curtain. Also, if you use something somewhat clear you can see if you've caught anything without lifting the cover. Skunks are very near-sighted. Move slowly and quietly. If they stamp their feet they're getting irritated, so if you don't back off a spray will probably follow.
     
  9. Feathered Landings

    Feathered Landings Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    1
    121
    Mar 27, 2009
    Eatonville, WA
    If you want to know for sure, get a game camera and mount it where the animal is digging. I have one on my property and it has caught a few pics of a coyote. I originally did this to find out what took my two cats, but now I have it mounted right by the coop. Also, you could look around for droppings (gross, I know) but that was the other sign I found to link it to the coyote. I like the idea of glass or barbed wire in the hole...that should put an end to the digging spree. Good luck.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  10. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    669
    7
    161
    Apr 20, 2007
    Thanks guys! I really like the critter camera idea, but they are really expensive so I probably won't invest in one of those just yet....definitely a future purchase possibility though as I would like to know what creatures are wandering around the coop at night.

    The live trap is probably the way to go for me this time. The coop and runs are quite secure so I'm not overly worried just yet and I did not notice any further digging this morning so maybe whatever it was has given up? Hmmm....fat chance.

    I really like the marshmallow idea...what a great way to keep cats out! Will it attreact skunks as well?

    UC
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by