Fisher cat killing chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Clarks Chickens, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Clarks Chickens

    Clarks Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I am looking for some advice on either how to keep fisher cats out of your coop or how to get rid of a fisher cat. Our once flock of 7 is now down to 3 due to a fisher cat who has been eating them in the night for the past 3 nights. The odd part is, when we found one of the chickens dead three days ago, we buried it and this morning we found the body had been dug up and placed in the run. We believe the animal behind this is a fisher cat because of the screaming noise it makes when it comes. So far we have tried adding a layer of chicken wire to the run and setting a simple trap- neither of which have worked. Any advice would be helpful! Thank you.
     
  2. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    buried bodies is a fox behavior not a fisher. Oh wait I see you buried and animal moved it..Are you guessing it is a Fisher or you have proof?

    The screaming is NOT A FISHER. That is a Fox. I swear to God it is NOT a Fisher. EVERYONE THINKS the screaming is a Fisher but it is 100% a fox. usually a Red fox. Barred owls also make a blood curdling scream attributed to Fisher. You cannot hear a fisher at all if you are more than a few feet away. I used to trap them believe me I know

    We live where there are ALL predators from tiny weasels up to Black bear and including Bobcat and Fisher

    The only way to prevent losses is to predator proof your coop. The chickens MUST be shut IN the coop at night. Windows must have heavy hardware close or better secured well and no hole 1" or larger at all

    Outside runs are for day only use and must also be hardware or better cloth and no hole 1" or larger. Gates must have heavy latches and not able to be pulled open at top or bottom and run must be dig proof . Runs must also have secure tops NOT just netting and no chicken wire anywhere
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  3. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fishers are part of the weasel family and can get themselves in and out of some pretty tight spaces. Look around inside your coop for any possible entry points - even if you think those spaces would be too small. Photos of your set up would help to see any possible places it could be getting in. I will also add that 1/2" hardware cloth will do a much better job in keeping out predators than chicken wire.
     
  4. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A lot of animals can dig up a dead chicken...I would reckon a coon could do the same thing if it were desperate enough. However, I do agree with rottlady that it seems indicative of a fox.

    Chicken wire is definitely not the best option. "Chicken" wire is really a misnomer...so many poultry keepers have found it to be worthless at keeping coons, weasels, and other determined predators at may. I would recommend hardware cloth, which is often stronger and has holes that are smaller.

    Also, if you identify the predator unmistakably, check to see if it's endangered. If not, I recommend shooting it (but try to trap it first, as point-blank range is safer).
     
  5. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also agree that the screaming is fox (though fishers make eery noises too) but having the buried chicken dug up and returned to the coop is odd no matter what type of predator it is. The only way to know for sure what it is, is to catch it either by trap or to see it. Setting up a game camera would help. .
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  6. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    dogs are the ones that tend to return buried bodies to the scene of the crime but it sounds like this may be a small opening... Fox and Coyote pups are just learning to hunt right now
     
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