Fox or coon?

Barred Rocker

cracked egg
10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
790
32
189
King and Queen Co, Va
Something got my silkie cross roo last night or early this morning. The run door was wide open and the hens were roaming the yard when I got up. When I went to feed up there were dark feathers everywhere in the coop and I found a few drops of blood on the chicken ladder leading to the run. I followed a trail of feathers a few hundred feet into the woods until they thinned out too much to see. Since it was raining this morning I couldn't see any tracks so I'm not sure what got him. I'm leaning toward a coon but would it carry him off a long ways? I'm not sure how the run door got open, there's a turn latch about 5 feet up, something would have had to climb up and turn it to get in, the wind could have possibly worked it open but I've never had that happen before. I closed off the coop from the run tonight cause I'm sure whatever it was will be back.

say goodbye to David Bowie
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Emzyyy

Runs with Deer
11 Years
Jul 14, 2008
2,952
24
191
Derby Kansas
I don't think a racoon would carry a bird off? I don't know. I would shut your coop up every night. I don't trust anything NOT to get in my coop. Sorry about your roo.
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into_my_web

Songster
10 Years
Jun 20, 2009
188
0
109
Newfoundland
I would say coon because they are tricky, sly little beasties.
But, from what I've hear about raccoons I wouldn't think they carry the bodies away.
It's hard to say when you don't have a lot to go on, but I would assume raccoons before a fox.
So sorry for your loss by the way.
He was a beautiful little one.
 

Barred Rocker

cracked egg
10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
790
32
189
King and Queen Co, Va
I spent the better part of the morning trying to track it's route into the woods but after about 200 feet I couldn't find anymore feathers or any evidence at all. Whatever it was it would have had to climb up the chicken ladder, I guess it would be possible however difficult for a fox to accomplish that. I always thought a coon would eat its meal where it kills it. I think weasles leave the carcass as well. This is a first, I've had my problems with hawks but this is the first time anything has gone into the run and up into the coop to snag one of my chickens. Bowie was very protective of his hens so I'm certain his sacrafice saved them. The little door to the run is shut tight tonight. I'll check tomorrow to see if anything attempted to get in. Maybe I'll find tracks next time. One other consideration, we've had reports of cougars and mountain lions in the area for the past few years so that also would explain a few things.
 

into_my_web

Songster
10 Years
Jun 20, 2009
188
0
109
Newfoundland
Weasels do often take their food.
I had a weasel come and drag it's food under the coop.
But I doubt a weasel would drag a dead chicken through the woods.
 

Barred Rocker

cracked egg
10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
790
32
189
King and Queen Co, Va
Quote:
Yeah, I'm pretty familiar with a coons capabilities and I'm not ruling out that one actually unlocked the door. It's a simple wood turn latch, however it's 5 feet up and it would have to climb chicken wire to reach it. Now I know that coons are clever but the run is 20' X 25' with one 2' X 6' door. It would have had figure out where the door is, where the latch is and climb up and turn it. I can understand if it was closer to ground level but if a coon did this it was either dumb luck or it's scary intelligent. I'm beginning to believe that the wood latch was not turned enough to keep the door secure and either the wind or whatever got my roo pushed on it enough for it to come undone. Since this happened I reinforced the lock and the door and I shut the chickens in their coop last night. No evidence that anything returned but then again maybe it isn't hungry enough yet. I'm going to shovel some loose dirt around the run to see if I can get some tracks to at least figure out what I'm dealing with.
 

jwchicklady

Songster
10 Years
May 29, 2009
174
0
109
Howell, MI
Just saw coon last night--the coons are out of their partial hibernation and looking for food. I think it is too early for their babies to be born, but a coon took one of my chickens last year to feed her babies.
 

Barred Rocker

cracked egg
10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
790
32
189
King and Queen Co, Va
Coon! I shoveled loose dirt around parts of the run yesterday and checked for prints this morning. Definitely coon prints. I didn't see any attempts to climb the fence or trying to force its way in, maybe it isnt hungry enough yet. I've got a few traps that could take care of the problem.
 
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