lost three hens what could have killed them

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bigdawg, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    i lost three out of five just started laying pullets to a unknown predator. rooster was badly injured. one eye swolen and no tail feathers left. hens were not eaten just killed. the live ones have been relocated. weasel,stray cat? coons and possums would have taken them out the way they got in. i have three live traps set and nothing but bait in them. what should use for bait to trap a unknown predator. please help. any ideas.
     
  2. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    I'm so sorry to hear that - it is very sad.

    My guess would be a raccoon since they are know to kill whole flocks without eating any just for the sake of killing.
     
  3. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    i just read another post and it said to take a large garbage can and put the dead ones in it and place it under the roost board so they will climb the roost and go into the can after there kill and cannot get out. i am going to the coop now. garbage can and shotgun in hand. hit the lights and blast anything in there.
     
  4. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2008
    I live in west TN and the list of predators if pretty long. When did the attack occur (night or day time)? Were they in coop, house, pen or free ranging. If they were in the coop can you figure how the pred got in?

    Foxes and hawks often leave feathers or nothing and usually take what they want to eat. Dogs will kill for the fun of it but they usually kill them all unless they are interupted. Racoons and opossums kill and may eat part of the bird and leave the rest. I have had a feral cat come back to eat on one that was missing part of it's head and upper body but I don't know for sure if it killed it. All of these predators have attacked at various times of day for me. You may can solve the mystery with the trap but I caught so many types of predators that it was totally confusing.

    Sorry about your loss and hope you can save your other birds. Point of lay is an awful time to be loosing them.
     
  5. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    they were in the coop.at night. birds were moved. closing ever possible point of entry with hardware cloth tommorow. going to coop now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  6. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2008
    I would guess racoon or opposum. Good luck.
     
  7. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    Sounds like a dog to me. Coon, coyotes, fox, bobcats, just about any of the usual suspects would have eaten the birds or at least eaten a large portion of them. Killing them and leaving them laying there is the M.O. of your neighbors pooch.
     
  8. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    well it was a big fat coon. i just saw it climbing the wall and flying through a 3 in gap in the rafters. two traps set and a large garbage with a dead hen in it next to the lower roost board. i hope it comes back. i will also be asking my coon hunting neighbor to bring the dogs and open season on them tomorow night. traps are in the coop. from now on trips to the coop at night, i will be packing the 12 guage. i can patch any holes i make shooting that sucker.
     
  9. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    I hear coons find marshmallows irresistible . And sticky buns. So sorry about your chickens. It really stinks.
     
  10. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    Get yourself a 220 connibear type trap and a pair of setting tongs (unless you have gorilla arms). Use 2 heavy spikes to secure spring loops so opening of trap covers existing point of entry well above ground. This trap will usually break the neck, if not death will occur rather quickly from strangulation. You want the jaws to close vertically in relation to the animals entry.

    If you use a box trap, coons cannot resist a combination of bacon grease and anise or vanilla oil. Let it set up and goop it right on the pan. Wet cat food also works well, as will the carcass of one of your fallen heroes. Short time in chickens, long time trapping. Happy hunting.

    Lead poisoning is the surest cure. #4 or 6 shot at close range is plenty for a coon and will do less damage to your buildings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

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