Just feathers left - can coyotes climb 5" fences?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by elless, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. elless

    elless Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 6, 2009
    Pacific Northwest

    We just lost one of our backyard hens (blue-copper Marans) to a predator. We heard the commotion around 5am and the alarm calls of the other girls but didn't see a thing when we went outside to investigate as it was still pretty dark. I later found 2 piles of feathers but that was all, no blood or body parts. It "looks" as if she was attacked in the open area of our yard and hauled to the back of the 5" wood fence (another pile of feathers) and that's were the trail goes dead. Our hen house which is all fenced in and topped with heavy-duty poultry netting was not disturbed. We WILL be buying an automatic door opener/closer for the house so the girls can't let themselves out too early if we forget to lock them in.

    My question is: what type of predator did this? We HAVE seen raccoons in our area as well as coyotes. We have eagles, osprey and various other hawks and owls too. I'm betting raccoon just by the trail and piles of feathers, but wouldn't that have to be a BIG coon to take an 8-9 pound hen over the fence? Can coyotes climb wood fences?

    Thanks for any help! ~Lisa
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Sorry you lost a bird. Could be a lot of things that took your bird but yes, a coyote can easily climb or jump over a 5 foot fence, foxes too. Coon's are incredibly strong critters and some get quite large, no problem carrying off a chicken.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  3. oliviad51

    oliviad51 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2009
    North Carolina
    Sorry you lost a bird. Could be a lot of things that took your bird but yes, a coyote can easily climb or jump over a 5 foot fence, foxes too. Coon's are incredibly strong critters and some get quite large, no problem carrying off a chicken.

    I agree ^ It could be a coyote or a raccoon. I have a 5 foot fence as well, and found a raccoon carrying off a chicken before. Raccoons most of the time leave a big pile of feathers, nothing else. I would set a trap.​
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  4. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Maybe a racoon.Pesky lil critter's they can climb as well as dig and work wire.I would invest in a live trap for sure if there is one usualy more.Coyote's and fox a bit more harder to trap especialy fox.But if there is no hole under fence most likely not a fox they will dig but not good climber's.Hope ya catch it.Sooo sorry about your bird.I lost some this season already too.
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    If a human can move it, so can a raccoon. That said, a pile of feathers sounds more like a fox or coyote. And coyotes can easily scale a 5' barrier of any sort.
  6. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA

    [​IMG] Sorry you lost your girl. It sounds like a coyote to me too--and unfortunately I would know. It will be back and if they're locked up when it gets there the chances are good that it will just come back later. Electric fence is good if that's an option for you, I use a .270.
  7. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    Racoons leave only piles of feathers and can climb a 5 ft. fence with no problem, possums can too. A racoon killed my old pet cat earlier this year~ [​IMG] THAT one is history. I HATE racoons and possums. Because of them my chickens no longer free range.

    So sorry for you loss. Hope you get whatever it was...it will be back.

    I use a 20g. pump. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  8. Rohnasmom

    Rohnasmom Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 4, 2010
    Bradford County .Pa.
    I lost a girl early this morning in daylight, heard the commotion, went out and just feathers, five foot fence. No feathers or a trail outside the fence, but sure as hell she is gone.[​IMG]
  9. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    I always equate dusk and dawn attacks to fox, I believe coyotes, raccoons and most other predators to be night time. I could be wrong abou the coyotes, but foxes are most active at dusk and dawn (and the 2 hours surrounding).

    I am sorry you lost your girl, I would have thought a 5' fence would have been good enough. maybe it's time for electric.
  10. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    Milton, Florida
    I lived in the PNW for 20+ years and watched the coyote population explode. Could be coyote or fox though. Probably not a possum. They're so slow witted and dim that it would have probably still been in the coop trying to figure out how to get out. Racoon maybe. What about tracks? I realize its the dry season and tracks may be hard to find, but look around and see what/if you can find any.

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