So, went out this morn about an hour or so after having let my peeps into thier run for the day, was doing the morning walk around, checking to see that all was safe and secure. Well, last nite we apparently had an UNWELCOMED VISITOR and I now am on a mission. I feel violated and very uneasy as I know this creature will now return, in hopes of getting one or all of my babies. Ugghhh, I am glad however, that we just had some dirt leveled around coop, so I was able to find these tracks in the new muck...but I think it is a coon, not to sure, what do you all think??? I am now actively looking for a trapper or a trap, and will have the weapon loaded. I am pretty confident in the security of our coop, but...not liking the idea of this. This is the first of many, I am sure...however....I am going to do whatever it takes to capture it quickly!!! I hate the thoughts of my peeps in thier coop at night, being awakened by a predator trying to make it's way in. It looks as though this visitor walked around the back side of coop and possibly put its paws on the side of coop where I had the hardware cloth window propped open. I know it will be back, now am nervous and needless to say....this thing has given me grouchy pants!!! On a mission...to destroy!!!!
That's why you have a secure coop for at night. I have bear, mink, fox, coyotes, raccoons and who knows what else prowling around my yard at night. The only one to worry about is the bear since my coop is secure. I'm certainly not going to try to trap them all.
Remember those coon are strong and sneaky so plan for it. the bad news is if you get it, it's friend may show up for the funeral!
A easy trap that is pet friendly but permanent is to drill a 1" hole about 4" deep into any handy tree or post, run about 4 nails in at angles so the tips are within a 1/2 inch of touching then put a bait in the bottom. Coon's paw will go in, press between the nail tips, to grab the bait but it don't come out. Word of warning, it's a permanent fix to that coon, this is not a catch and release trap!
Ok, so if it is an Opossum...what is recommended to catch it??? I am new at all this stuff, so I appreciate any and all info I can get!! Thanks for the previous responses and hoping for more help, on what and how to do it!!!
If it's a possum, it's more likely after feed, though they can kill chickens. They are lazy scavengers and will go after the easiest meal. One of their favorite foods is cat food, so if you have barn cats don't leave food out for them over night. You can trap possums pretty easily by taking up all feeds at night and leaving a trap out with feed in it. Coons tend to be a little smarter, but the same kind of trap can work for them, also.
Ok, soo....my son borrows a trap for me, we go get it and happily set it up!! Yahoo, I am thinkin', gonna catch this bugger and find out exactly what it is!!! All is fine, we sit outside, enjoying the rain free evening....roasting weinies on the grill...when across the road...I see this large black bear....running across the field...all is good...we watch it as it makes its way across the field and dissappears into the woods (taking pics and guessing the weight)...after it is gone, we decide to drive up on the hill and see if we can get a pic of the footprints..with no luck we return home, son is giving me advice on the box trap and telling me what to do with it....ok, got it!!! Well, after watching my fav tv show, off to bed we go. Well, I have this very BAD habit of waking up at least twice in the night, acting like a rabid cookie monster, raiding the snacks for BF lunches, not a big deal, and although I would like to break the habit, I haven't yet, so no big deal....last night I wake up about 1:15am, thinking nothing of it, except my timing was off usually I get up before midnight and around 3....anyhoo, i am sitting on the couch enjoying my peanut butter cookie, in almost total darkness...nothing new....and the next thing I know....I am startled by the most terrifying scream, utter kaos, skreetches, and the sound of almost death...I wish I could give you the sense of fear in whatever it was....at first, I thought OMG, somehow this thing has gotten into my coop, and it terrorizing my chickens....it was so loud and just horrifying...I sit there, shaking in my pjs thinking, at first, there....that will teach that bugger to mess with my peeps, as I thought I had captured something in the trap!! Well, after setting there, scared out of my mind....and the screeching, screaming continues, I start to worry about my birds, thinking...they must be scared to death....oh I felt awful as we set the trap just behind the coop, so I decide to get my scaredy pants off the couch and turn on the light to see if I could see anything....as I am thinking to myself...oh this trapping is so not gonna work for me, the shrilling screams is making me feel so bad, and not to mention scaring me to almost death!!! So, i turn on the light to see nothing, creeping myself out, I close all the mini blinds in the house, thinking this thing is coming to get me....how could I be so cruel....I sit back down on the couch, the screaming stops....I get up from time to time, thinking I need to go outside, i need to wake the BF, something is going on out there....but....I take a couple peeks through the mini blinds....see nothing, hear nothing...so my shaking butt...I sit quietly thinking...OK. The trap has worked and it will be there in the morn....decide to take my scaredy pants back to bed...it is now 1:48am....I turn out the outside light and go crawl into bed, covering my head as I just know it is coming to get me.....OMG,OMG,OMG....I am laying there....second guessing myself, how could I be so cruel by setting a trap...and then saying...hahaaha sucker...gotcha!!! As i lay there, just start to drift off, and the scream is back, sounds as though it is right outside of the bedroom....I knew it, it was there to get me.....well, the screaming terror kind of fades and off to sleep I go!! I wake this morning, without waking the second time around 3am, and later than norm, I slept in until 5:45, very anxious to go see what I had captured....get my coffee, open all the blinds...look out the back window to see that the trap was empty!!!! Oh my....slip into my muck boots and run out the door to make sure my peeps were OK....open the pop door and they all file out...unharmed...looking and acting as norm, so lock the door to the run....and start my walk around.....trap is empty food is not touched...so I decide to close the trap for the day and see if I can find any foot prints...mind you I am now shaking, as I still am....what in the world happened out there last night, what could have made such a horrible ruckus....the fact that the trap was untouched, just sent me into a whirlwind....as I thought that made perfect sense for all the screeches of urgency...I had caught something and it wasn't happy...so now what in the world could this be....I can only tell you, it sounded like a woman screaming for her life...just awful, gut wrenching, like terror beyond justification!! I can't find anything...I am at a loss, and totally creeped out....wouldve been so much easier on me to wake and find the trap with a creature in it....but no...nothing...I am just left with the awful sounds in my head...what do you think it could be???