Help! What WAS this?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by WooingWyandotte, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

    8,965
    50
    276
    Apr 25, 2011
    Nor cal
    Long story short, a thing almost killed my pullet. My mom saw it, it was black and sleek. It's tail was NOT bushy as a raccoons, it was a long thin tail with long legs! It was about a foot tall maybe. The thing was plucking feathers out of all my chickens. LB pullet got the worst of it, in some places her skin is GONE! The thing had to be very strong to rip a cage door off, which it did. This thing did not have hinges, it was latched on. I'm so confused! It sounds like a raccoon, but my mom insists on what she saw! Any ideas?
     
  2. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

    816
    14
    141
    Jul 4, 2011
    Adirondacks
    Sounds like a young black phase fox to me. The juveniles always look skinny and slinky in late summer. So sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     
  3. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

    8,965
    50
    276
    Apr 25, 2011
    Nor cal
    But a fox has paws...this thing was ripping feathers out...and somehow broke the door on the coop.
     
  4. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,933
    78
    173
    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Not knowing what part of the country you live in and the vague description it could be a mink . Black and sleek although their back legs are longer than their front. They will eat their prey where they catch it,versus say a fox which are theif like and take it with them. Bear in mind just guessing with the info you gave. Could be a fisher as well,black tail and copper chestnut coat but will change coat color to black during change of seasons.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  5. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

    8,965
    50
    276
    Apr 25, 2011
    Nor cal
    We live on the west coast. I'm not sure if mink live here...we do live out in the booneys. Anything is out there.... [​IMG]

    Edited to say my mom also said it seemed catish in the way it moved.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  6. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

    816
    14
    141
    Jul 4, 2011
    Adirondacks
    Oh, it was plucking with it's paws? I'll have to side with you on the raccoon theory. Raccons get real dark too, and can lack a bushy tail when they are changing coats. Get a trap and find out. it will be back.
     
  7. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

    8,965
    50
    276
    Apr 25, 2011
    Nor cal
    We might be going to town tonight. I want to pick up some harware cloth and a trap! We moved the coop to fresh ground, Ramona my LB is healing up and we made a new ceiling and took care of any nook and cranny that could possibly be a danger. The coop is now twenty feet away from the house. This morning itwas 100 ft. Im not sure how close this thing will get to the house...
     
  8. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

    816
    14
    141
    Jul 4, 2011
    Adirondacks
    They always come back until the supply is depleted. I always wanted a trail/game cam to see what might be thinking about stealing my girls. I just might get one.
     
  9. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

    8,965
    50
    276
    Apr 25, 2011
    Nor cal
    Quote:I know, that's what scares me. If it's something both smart and strong I want to kill it. What type of traps are the best?
     
  10. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,933
    78
    173
    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Where you mom said it moved catlike seems to discredit a raccoon theory clearly they dont move catlike its more of a controlled waddle. Glad your girl is doing better. Maybe log onto your state fish and game dept and gets some pics of predators that inhabit your area. Show your mom the line-up and see if she can match up to what she saw.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by