1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Lost our first girl - GOT A PIC OF THE EVIL PREDATOR!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by drsmile, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. drsmile

    drsmile In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    N. Ga
    Wife let out our 8 hens and 1 Roo yesterday am around 8, as usual. The backyard is 1.5 ac fenced w/ combo of 5' high chainlink and wooden fencing (next to house). They have been free ranging w/ no predator problems for 9mos. Last night about 8 I went to lock up the pen and coop, and we were one short - a sweet little EE that had been laying a prefect green egg every other day for a few months. I took my spot light and wandered around and found her. Something took her. About 1/4 was gone - head was gone - no skull, only shreds and 1/2 a beak. Neck was stripped, w/ a little tissue left btwn each vertebrae, and a small portion of the breast w/ the stomach exposed full of grains. I was heart broken - the wife is disturbed. I happened during daylight. I really don't know what did it, we have coons, yotes, fox, cats, and even a bobcat has been seen on the road. My $ is on a coon - there was just too much left, imo, to be a larger predator. I removed the carcass, left some bits and placed my hunting/game camera close by. Any suggestions on finding out what did it? Baiting to figure it out? I have no quams with eliminating what ever has done it, I just need to find out what did it! I can take a pic of the carcass, but I thought that would be a bit graphic for some. For now, the birds are staying in the pen.

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010

  2. Now that your birds are on the food chain, you have a serious situation. You could lose all of them. You need to roof, and with a mind to excluding anything that can reach through or squeeze in. Fortunately you have a framework on which to base a reno...[​IMG]
  3. frankenchick

    frankenchick Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Benton Twp., Michigan
    My $$ is on a raccoon. Have to agree with Lynne about the sit. Ugh!

    So sorry about your loss. [​IMG]
  4. drsmile

    drsmile In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    N. Ga
    My pen or run is enclosed w/ 1/2" square metal pen fencing - all 6 sides. I goes 6" below grade, then 4" away from run. The access door has the same on it that laps beyond the reveal, so there is not even a gap there! Not even a medium sized snake could get in. Run is 6' wide by 15' long (90 sq ft) for 8 birds - is that big enough, or add more?
  5. dlolato

    dlolato In the Brooder

    Oct 6, 2009
    My money is also on a coon, and the problem becomes that they tend to communicate with their family members and you will have many of them eyeing your flock. We had never had any problems, and then two years ago, a young coon wandered in a made a successful kill and before long we hand mom, dad, brothers, sisters, grandparents, etc.

    That was a terrible year getting rid of them. We set traps and captured thirteen and relocated them twenty miles from our house. A local farmer said that if you don't take them far away, that they will find their way back to the original homestead. They are a very cleaver and resourceful animal and will sit and watch and figure out a plan to get in!

    Lock up and be careful!!!!!
  6. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee

    I think it is a coon too. No problem climbing into back yard. He will return now that your place is imprinted as a food source. Trap using marshmallow as bait. Stake trap. Shoot or drown it. [​IMG]

    You might consider an auto-pop-door. Timer and AC power does the work of opening and closing it. Can set to let them out a good hour after daylight. No way to get them in earlier than dusk tho as that is their nature. There is an extra hazard in having them out in the last hour of daylight.[​IMG]

    Might do a fence charger for entire yard with hot wire at top of the fence? No help for tunneling preds tho.[​IMG]
  7. drsmile

    drsmile In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    N. Ga
    Well - I can't believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got a pick of the culprit. I appears to be a Coopers Hawk! You cannot see the pile of feathers he is standing on, but that is the spot where the carcass was. How in the .... do you deal with this problem? Help - anyone!

  8. Mr chicken dude

    Mr chicken dude Songster

    Nov 7, 2009
    Quote:I would suggest a .22
  9. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Songster

  10. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Quote:I would suggest a .22


    The only thing you is protect them with netting of some sorts. Call you local Dept of Wildlife and ask about a nuisance permit to get rid of the hawk...but without one you can face fines and/or jail time for harrassing, harming or killing one...even for possessing a single feather.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by