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My Backyard-a HubBub of Nighttime Activity

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Since i heard and saw a raccoon in our yard week or so ago, i moved our Scarecrow (motion activated water sprinkler) over by the side of the yard i saw the critter. And since then, i leap out of bed whenever i hear it go off. i have a teeny flashlight that i can sometimes see into the dark with. Otherwise, i sprint to the other side of our house, turn on the large floodlights in back, and try to catch a glimpse. My husband just loves my 3-4am antics (as that is about the time critters emerge).

    Anyhow, so far i have found we have not one but four raccoons that waltz through our backyard every couple of nights, one regular size possum, one possum the size of a mack truck, and now one mystery animal. From what i have been able to glimpse, it looks like a medium size dog, bushy fur, narrow legs. i've never been quick enough to catch a good look, it moves too fast. It also appears to move like a dog. i saw it last night, in the distance, turn by rearing up it's front feet, leaping, then quickly moving off. i've never seen raccoons or possums move like that.

    One idea is that it's a coyote. But i'm not aware we have them here. i've never heard howling in the night. We are on (almost) half an acre, but in a residential neighborhood, neighbors on both sides and behind. A coyote would have to go through at least one other back yard to get to ours. Fences in the back are low wire fences, maybe 4' tall, easy for just about anything to get over. Luckily, nothing has gotten to our chickens yet.

    i'm going to put our night vision baby monitor out in back tonight and hope to get a good glimpse. He's been here two nights in a row now. i kinda hope it's just a neighbor dog passing through.
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Not a fox?
     
  3. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Well, maybe. i'm actually not sure if we have them in this area. But after looking at some on youtube videos just now, i suppose it is about the right size and shape.
     
  4. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    If you think it "moves like a dog" it likely is a dog.

    One thing about wild animals, they don't move like domestic animals. They move way better. Sometimes, at a great distance, I can't tell the difference between a coyote or a deer. But I don't have trouble knowing that it isn't a dog or a goat, say.

    Anyway, I wouldn't feel too relieved if it is a dog. Dog will rip up your livestock as badly, or worse, than a coyote or fox. They are more likely to go on a rampage for fun and kill everything.
     
  5. Zookeeper9000

    Zookeeper9000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2008
    Gladstone MI
    Could it be a fisher?
     
  6. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Quote:i'm almost positive we don't have fishers here.

    and brandywine, you're right, dogs can do a lot of damage. i'm staying up tonight to see for sure what's out there.
     
  7. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2008
    Houston(ish)
    they have motion activated cameras that take a picture of what ever causes it to turn itself on, you just take the little USB drive, plug it up to you putor and see what it is. Just an idea, you (and your husband) might just get some sleep.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  8. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    Quote:i'm almost positive we don't have fishers here.

    Yikes, I sure hope you don't have fishers where you are, because then we'd have them too. I'm in the foothills just outside of Placerville. We have enough to worry about without those creatures!
     
  9. NancyDz

    NancyDz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
    airheart,

    I grew up in Fair Oaks, there's definitely fox there. I'm not sure where you are but our house for over 30 years was on an acre, off of Kenneth, near Winding Way. Because of the close proximity of the river and lots of open area, there is still quite a bit of wildlife and open land. My mom was still getting deer, raccoons, fox, possum at her house a couple years ago before she sold. We didnt see coyote but I'm sure there are some on the parklands by
    the river. I've thought about getting one of those motion activated sprinklers.. sounds like it's scaring them off at least.


    Nancy [​IMG]
     
  10. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Hi Nancy, we are off Fair Oaks near Bella Vista High School. Kenneth is just blocks away. i know there are coyotes by the American River. Had no idea we had foxes in this area.

    The motion activated sprinkler is not scaring anyone off, it just alerts me to something in the yard. The flood lights i turn on scare critters off. i'm probably attracting critters as i put peanuts and water out for the squirrels. i'm sure it's just a matter of time before they find my chickens, which is why i spend every day fortifying my coops and pens.

    i plan on staying alert all night so i can see what we have here. Wish i had a night vision camera. But all i have is the night vision baby monitor i bought to keep an eye on my silkies. That will have to do.

    Looking forward to seeing what sneaks in!
     

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