I am in disbelief.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by remuda, May 17, 2016.

  1. remuda

    remuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2015
    I had some pullets staying in a little A frame until they got bigger.
    This morning my little silkie hen had been pulled through the wire.

    I had set a catch and release trap because I thought something was prowling around. I caught something, it ripped a hole in the bottom of the trap and then dug it's way out.

    I've caught coons in this very trap before. Never has anything come close to escaping. I guess tonight the pullets will be going in with my big hens, no matter what. I am just sick, what in the world am I up against? A T-Rex that's a foot tall? Godzilla?? What could have gotten out of this trap?
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    May 11, 2010
    Aw, dang. That's terrible. I've had big ol' male coons break off their teeth trying to get out of a trap. I nearly had a giant male raccoon escape by tearing the wire apart but I arrived in time to deal with it.

    Sorry for your loss.
  3. remuda

    remuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2015
    I'm starting to wonder if it really was a coon? The whole in the trap was just about 4 square inches. And no fur left behind for a clue. Aliens?
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    May 11, 2010
    A weasel can really tear up a trap, too.
  5. ChickenLover200

    ChickenLover200 Overrun With Chickens

    May 10, 2013
    I'll be in the barn!
    Yeah... Might be a weasel... I've had a few of those rip through chicken wire and dig through concrete mix, go through welded wire, etc.
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I vote raccoon. That's their modus operandi.
    A weasel is a possibility but they only need a 1" hole to escape from. They don't even need to tear the trap up, they only need to pry the door open a slit.
    However weasels usually only kill and lap a little blood, they usually don't eat much if any meat.
    Raccoons on the other hand are notorious for pulling a whole bird through wire and eating most of it.
    They are also extremely strong. I bought a large trap from Harbor Freight and a raccoon completely tore the trap apart that very night.
    many raccoons are trap wise and won't enter a cage trap.
    A dog proof leg trap is the way to go for raccoons.


    However, you'll never trap out an area completely. Even if you trap all in your area, more will quickly move in.

    Chickens of any age have to be kept far away from any wire with openings large enough for a raccoon to reach through. 1/2" mesh hardware cloth is the biggest I would go.
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  7. BeardedWalrus

    BeardedWalrus Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2016
    sounds like a coon to me as well.
  8. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    SE, Louisiana
    I have voluntarily helped many of our neighbors over the years with nuisance predators. Coons and possums are notorious for pulling the heads of chickens through the wire and eating them.

    ChickenCanoe hit it right on the money. The "dogproof" traps are also "foolproof". I fill them with a combination of jelly (any flavor) and fish guts. Sardines or tuna will work fine also. I also drop a couple of globs around the trap as well. You set these traps out, with any good bait and you will catch coons. We have no skunks either but, I've read where the dogproof trap catches them and weasels as well.

    The advice ChickCanoe gave you regarding the size of your wire's opening is also right on.

    The only member of the weasel family we have here is the mink. And, I've never had to deal with one since they hang very near the water's edge. Maybe some of the problems I came across were weasels and I never knew it since the first thing I always recommended was to close even the smallest gaps with hardware cloth. I never would have suspected that weasels were that strong though.

    As far as more coming to replace the one's you've eliminated; Killing is 100% effective. As I always say, it's math and science.

    Science A dead predator cannot kill any more chickens.

    Math One less is ONE LESS!!!
    2 people like this.
  9. remuda

    remuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2015
    The problem I have with any trap that isn't trap and release is that I am a crazy cat lady with 10 cats. Some I feed but are wild and live in my barns and grain bins. Couldn't bear to hurt one of them.
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Live traps baited with corn, grains, fruit, or marshmallows, will not catch your cats. On the other hand, trapping cats is a good idea, so they can be tested, neutered, and vaccinated. They then are much safer to have around! Any varmits trapped should be shot, never relocated, so only trap if you will then shoot. Mary
    5 people like this.

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