how can I find out what's lurking by my coop?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by YolandaT, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. YolandaT

    YolandaT In the Brooder

    May 10, 2010
    Austin, TX
    My coop is about 50 feet away from my house. Late at night when I let my dog (a black lab) out to potty, lately she runs over there and barks hardcore and runs around the coop. She is very familiar with the chickens, and this behavior just started, so I am positive she's not barking at the chickens!

    How can I find out what is lurking back there? The coop is in the corner of our fenced in yard, there are trees around it and a flood channel behind our house. I'm sure we have various predators milling around the area, but is there any way to find out what specifically she is barking at? Our neighbor has a jack russel and has also been barking lately on their side of the fence around the same area.

    I live in a neighborhood in north Austin, Texas.

    Any ideas? Should I just set up various traps or what? I know my coop is secure but it still bothers me and I know it must be bothering my chickens that something is lurking around them!

  2. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    You might want to try one of those trail cameras. They are set off by motion and take pics of what ever is out there day or night. It depends on how much you want to spend though...I think the cheaper cams run about 60 bucks. If you have a drainage area behind your coop my bet is that it is a coon. If it is you had better trap it quick!!!
  3. Giammona farm

    Giammona farm In the Brooder

    Aug 1, 2009
    Point Reyes Station, CA
    I love my trail camera I get many cool pics. I use a Moultrie or cuddeback . This is what I got. [​IMG]
  4. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    You can also put a layer of flour around your coop, and as long as it hasn't rained or your dog hasn't been running around the coop, you will see footprints in the flour. that way you can identify your prowler, as long as it is walking on the ground of course and not in the trees.

    Other than a game cam, the only other thing I can suggest is to sit out there most of the night with a bright flashlight to shine into the trees when your chickens start making noise.

    Hope you find out what is bothering your chickens.

  5. hennylove

    hennylove In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2010
    Eastern WA Rural
    We had a similar issue, only we could see that something was digging around our fence/barn where the chickens were. The live trap set in tall grass with marshmallows as bait caught a skunk to our surprise. Since then the digging has stopped. We also use a camera, electric fence etc. I know we had a raccoon kill in July but I think our better electric fence has caused him to move on. The flour is a great idea as well. Good luck!

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