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Help with predator-graphic

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by kroder, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. kroder

    kroder Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 11, 2009
    Canyon, TX
    I have been losing poultry over the last couple of weeks to an unknown predator. I have been keeping chicken for 10 years and this is the first problem I've had. I have lost more chickens to loose dogs than anything else. I have lost 3 juvenile Muscovy Ducks, 10 young assorted Bantams that all disappeared in one night and a few grown standard hens have gone missing. They have been disappearing without a trace. No blood or feathers. This morning we found the head of a Blue Cochin in the pen and the body far out in the pasture (about 2 acres away from the pen). The hen did not seem to have been eaten and there was not a trail of feathers between the head and body. We are in the Texas panhandle and it has been VERY hot. We run a swamp cooler in the house during the day, but open the doors at night to keep them cool. The pen is secure but not covered. We have set 2 raccoon size and 1 coyote size live traps, but have only caught 1 small feral cat. We have chickens, ducks and 6 Pilgrim geese. They free range all day, but are locked up every night. We do not have a lot of cover or hiding spots on our place (5 acres). Our closest neighbors do have several mature trees. I have never seen a fox or raccoon around our place, but I know they are in the area. I have 5 dogs but they sleep inside at night. The pics are from the hen today. Any help or ideas would be appreciated.
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  2. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    From what you've posted, it looks like the heads, necks and crops have been eaten.

    That looks like a classic raccoon kill. This time of year, it could be a big male or a family unit. They will return time and again until the food source is gone. Reinforce the coop to make it as predator proof as possible, raccoons are very strong.

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    You want to get a well built cage trap, two would be better.

    I would recommend a Duke Brand cage trap...their heavy duty 30" X 12" X 12" size would do all that you need.

    Bed the trap firmly so that there is no wobble, and bait with canned cat food, sardines, or even canned salmon. If they trigger the trap and escape, it's going to be harder to solve the problem.
     
  3. kroder

    kroder Out Of The Brooder

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    0
    35
    Mar 11, 2009
    Canyon, TX
    That is what we've been doing. We have had two of the medium (racoon) Haveaheart live traps and 1 large (coyote/dog) set, with cat food and mackerel for bait. We have only caug the one cat. The head wasn't eaten today. It was so odd that the head and body were so far apart. Tonight, all the poultry is locked up in the houses and the traps set outside the house doors and outside the fence. Wish us happy trapping!
     

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