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I learned a valuable predator lesson last night~very large Badger

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by minnehaha, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last night the rain was pouring down in buckets, and it was pretty cold out. Our driveway gate had been left open when one of my friends had gone home. I have 3 ducks whom come and go as they please, they have a coop and pen, but it is open. But, what I didn't know was that my auto door to my hen house had malfunctioned and the door was open and the chickens were unsecure. All around my house (2 acres) is fenced with 6 foot deer fencing with another 2 foot extending down beneath the ground to prevent diggers from coming in.

    I thought to myself, it won't hurt to leave the gate open one night, no predators will be out hunting in this miserable cold rain.
    BOY was I WRONG![​IMG]

    Thankfully, my husband who has an injured leg growled at me to go close the gate or he would hobble out there and do it. This caused me to spring into action and run out with a rain coat, flashlight and muck boots on to go close the gate.

    Walking down the very very dark wet gravel driveway lined with trees and downhill (we are on a mountain with 18 acres) I pointed the flashlight ahead of me. About 30 feet in front of me I saw movement that caught my attention, what was it? It was very large, wide and furry with short legs as it waddled towards me. It was hard to see through the sheets of rain coming down, but I finally identified it as an extra large nasty mean badger, a creature you do not ever want to tangle with!

    It was already through the gate and heading towards the chicken coops when it finally saw me and turned around and leisurely and without fear went back out the gate, then turned right and dropped into the woods. I secured the gate and made my way back up towards the coops realizing that this very large badger would have eaten all 3 ducks. I decided it was time to start securing the ducks in the hen house with the chickens, It was easy to catch them, because they were afraid and actually ran to me. After I put them into the hen house, I noticed the pop door was open and my auto door had not shut. This meant that the badger would have polished off the ducks and then made his way into the hen house for chicken dessert.

    The lessons I learned are as follows:

    1. Hungry predators hunt in any weather because they are hungry
    2. Never assume leaving something unsecure for just a short while is Ok, because just once is all it takes to lose your flock.
    3, Always double check equipment because they malfunction.
    4. Even though ducks love their freedom, and usually party all night in their wading pool lock them up at night, they will be fine.
    5, Keep listening to the husband because he knows what he is talking about sometimes.[​IMG]
    6. Always grab the shotgun on your way out.



    The auto-door was reset and is now working fine, but it does not mean I will relax and not double check it!!

    What do badgers look like?

    They have very long claws and very sharp big teeth, and fight like the devil.

    I did not take these pictures, these pictures were pulled from the internet. But this gives you an idea what this predator looks like.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    My driveway, it's another 1/2 mile to the the road:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Great advice for everyone hope everyone has a good read and just thinks a little more about safety and predators. I now check triple check at bedtime to make sure everyone is in, having learned the hard way and losing my chickens to a fox attack.
     
  3. Tenneesse

    Tenneesse Out Of The Brooder

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    I hope you keep a loaded 12ga available that Bad boy will be back. Guaranteed. It will look great as a small throw rug.
     
  4. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yorkshire, you are so right. We should ALWAYS be vigilant and practice predator safety!

    So sorry that you lost chickens to a fox in the past, those are cunning creatures!

    My cousin on the east coast lost most of her flock a few at a time before she figured out that a fox was getting in by climbing over her 10 foot chain link fence. A few strands of electric wire fixed the problem. I am amazed at how agile and clever a hungry creature can be!
     
  5. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Yorkshire, UK
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    Thanks yes it was very hard lesson. They are so sneaky I thought my perimeter was safe but was not it had made sneaky hole and got through into the garden then over the run perimeter too and in. Could not believe it. I have now fox proofed or as much as I can. New run perimeter and extra locks on pop holes which are now locked every night.
    Thankfully my better half is a shooting man and stayed up for nights on fox watch and it was caught coming back in the garden a week later and swiftly dispatched with.
    Although there are more around I can hear them late at night and early morning calling. I think they are haunting me!!
     
  6. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tennessee, I agree that it will be back. We live in some thick woods in the mountains so it might not be easy to find the den, but I will continue looking for it. The weird thing is, is that we usually have a loaded shotgun sitting by the door. I was going to grab it (like always) but it wasn't there. My husband had moved it to the back door. I didn't bother asking or looking for it, and if i had, I would have been armed. I must say, it was dumb of me to go out without being armed...that will not happen again either. I should have included it in "lessons learned"

    However; I need to find the laws regarding Badgers. So far it looks like you must have a trapping tag, and they can only be trapped. They are furbearing and their fur is used for stuff like shaving brushes.

    What I need to know is if they can be legally dispatched to protect livestock.

    We stay armed up here because we have large predators. We have neighboring large loose domestic dogs, bears, fox, cougars, bobcats and coyotes. This is why the fence is tall and buried 2 feet down.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
  7. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I should mention why my auto coop door malfunctioned, it may help someone else who might have the same door.

    I have an Ador, auto chicken coop door. Best purchase ever.

    I could not figure out why the door did not shut that night, the battery seemed fine, it opened and closed perfectly and strongly with a manual press of the button. So, I went to Ador's website and read the troubleshooting section of the manual. I learned that if there is any reflection of infrared light reflecting anywhere around the photo sensor (to include a red heat lamp), it would fail to shut because it would think it was sunny out.

    I happen to have several coops and just a few days ago had moved some chicks out of the brooder in the house and into a brooder coop outside. I turned on the red heat lamp in the coop because the chicks need it. The coop has glass windows that face the hen house, so the red light was reflecting towards the photo sensor which is on the outside of the hen house,causing the hen house door to not close. To fix the problem, I put a shade on the brooder coop window and close it in the afternoon before dark. The chicks will feather out soon and I will be able to turn the light off, so it is just a temporary problem.
     
  8. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, that is one clever fox Yorkshire!!!!!! It does not matter how many stories I hear, I am still always surprised at the clever cunningness of predators, especially a fox, they are the smartest! If i I heard them at night like you do, I would be laying in bed going through a mental checklist, did I lock the pop door? Is the gate shut? did I count the chickens to make sure they are all in....did I miss anything??? I would call that "haunting" as well!!!

    Kudos to your husband for the swift dispatching of the fox that was breaking in!!!
     
  9. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Badgers are so mean and nasty that bears and cougars walk away from them!
     
  10. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2014
    Spokane, WA
    So right you are, and they are not afraid of anything, hence why it simply turned around and left with no fear. I am very lucky it didn't challenge me!!!!! I was 30 feet from those claws and teeth!!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014

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