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Michigan, lost my flock, now to what???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tororider, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. tororider

    tororider Songster

    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    Something dug in and got our flock, all fifteen. Trying to figure out what it is that got them. It dug in around an unburied fence skirt, and under a bottom rail. It didn't dig out much space. My first thought was racoons, but my bil's family thinks that it might be a mink/ferret/etc. Any thoughts on predator in SE Michigan. It left some dead chicken carcasses if that makes a difference.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    Aw, geez! My condolences for the loss. It could be a raccoon or a dog either one, IMO. I dont know if a mink would need to dig much-they can squeeze through 1" holes. What exactly was eaten? That might help determine the predator.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  3. tororider

    tororider Songster

    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    yeah it was a big bummer, the good news is I have some older chicks to replace them, but I want to make sure we "proof" whatever type of predator it is before they go in the run. I know we need to bury the skirt, and that has already started to happen. I think I am going to get a live trap as well.

    With regards to what was eaten, from what I can tell, most everything was eaten from most of the hens, there are a couple bodies left that were more or less maimed and left, but I don't know if that is because it was full or what.
  4. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member 10 Years

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Wow, that is so sad to hear! I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.

    On a positive note, you know how whatever it is got in, so you know what you need to do to keep it out (you know it will come back and try the same technique again). I suggest installing some hardware cloth around the perimeter of the fence, buried in a trench. Bend it outward from the run fencing at least 1-2' and cover it with cement.
  5. Zookeeper9000

    Zookeeper9000 Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Gladstone MI
    Sorry for your loss, I loss 18 last month to a dog went right thru the electric fence. Sure hope you catch what ever it is that got your birds. I got Roo's if ya need any LOL I am in the UP about 2 1/2 hours from here to the bridge, depends on how ya drive LOL.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    I'd certainly send you some hatching eggs, if you decide to go that route to replenish your flock. I have Barred Plymouth Rocks and Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons. It's a tiny bit hot to send eggs just yet, but in a couple of weeks it won't be.
  7. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    Can you describe what part of the birds it ate? chest or neck and head only? I'm having mink troubles (according to the local trapper place) because my ducks are being killed in the water and only the neck is eaten and head is removed.

    It doesn't take much space for a mink or weasel to under a fence.

    Do what others have suggested, attache 1/2 inch harware cloth to the bottom of the fence (overlap the fence a good few inches and connect with wire) and then bury it down a foot and then bend it out a foot as well. Yeah, it's not the cheapest stuff around but it's worth it for the peace of mind.

    IF it is a mink, live traps may not catch it, they like live food. However, they could get raccoons if the trap is big enough and baited with tasty stuff. So far, I haven't caught any raccoons in a month of trying.

    We've now resorted to a "weasel box set" baited with stinky fish and duck eggs, and taken the ducks away.

    Good luck with whatever you do.
  8. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    we have been seeing an overabundance of mink lately here in the Flint/Lapeer area.

    my neighbor's dog had one by the neck in the yard next door-he made the dog release it!

    mink's are crazy things and can get into VERY small spaces. great diggers.

    dark brown hairs would be a clue.

    if you need some chickens, i have 40 in the brooder right now, i will be selling 8-10 of them in a few weeks when i am sure that of sex. (ordered all pullets, but odds...you know)
  9. tororider

    tororider Songster

    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    I will take a closer look at the "leftovers" to see what other clues I can glean. I think if I remember correctly that the heads and necks are gone but some bodies are left.

    SpeckledHen, I would definitely be interested in some bbs orp eggs. Let me know when you are going to start shipping and how much. Thanks.
  10. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    sorry to hear about your flock [​IMG]


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