Name that predator!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by April Way, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. April Way

    April Way New Egg

    May 7, 2013
    Went out in the morning to check the chickens and found one of the young chickens dead. Head laying in pile of feathers. Middle of run. Found some entrails and feathers on top of pile of wood in fire pit. No body to be found. Other chickens don't seem phased. Usually locked up at night but last night got home late. My 2 dogs seemed excited really early this morning; just about/before dawn. Did not see any digging into pen. There is netting over half of run but not under the pine tree. 6' fence on 2 sides that lead into neighbors fenced in yards. Other 2 sides are 5' chicken wire which I know isn't the best. I've narrowed my guesses to owl, raccoon maybe but doubtful fox or possum. There are roaming cats but I don't think it was them, most of them are too fat to climb a fence. Too early for hawk? Any guesses? Is it wrong of me not to be to upset since it was my not very pretty or nice Cornish game hen? It better not get my Cochins or Jersey giant!
  2. Elzy

    Elzy Out Of The Brooder

    Well depending on where you live it could be any of the below:

    Red fox
    Bob cat
    Mountain Lion

    Hope this helped :)
  3. April Way

    April Way New Egg

    May 7, 2013
    Ok, let me help you narrow down that list. I live in suburban Lancaster, PA. No bears, mountain lions, minks, badgers, bob cats or giant chicken eating squirrels here. No stray dogs running, no skunk smell, and have never seen a snake in this area. My bet is on fox or owl. Still, I really don't want whatever it was to have an open invite to this "breakfast table"!
  4. KalisCoop

    KalisCoop Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 28, 2013
    Central Missouri
    It sounds like a raccoon to me honestly although skunks will kill a chicken and leave a mess without a smell.
  5. beakmaster

    beakmaster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 3, 2013
    Panama City, Florida
    get a good cage trap from a tractor supply or somewhere (like this one, bait it with dry cat food or your least favorite chicken [​IMG]. While I was hatching at our new house I caught 2 feral cats, 3 possum, and 3 raccoon in a cage trap. When you set the trap (this is critical), they have a trigger on the floor that has a wire/arm that holds the door up, set the wire at the end of the catch so that it makes the door close on a hair trigger. If you don't do this many animals won't set the door off and they will eat and leave.
    As far as getting rid of the animals.... you could relocate them but you risk getting fleas or lice in your vehicle. I did move a couple possum but other animals are not as docile. They might attack you instead of just leaving. You could shoot them. If you have a 50 gallon drum fill it with water and sink the trap in the water. They go faster than shooting them most of the time. If you do this put a good bit of liquid soap in the water to prevent bugs from jumping out and getting on your dog. This may seem cruel but you reduce the risk of loosing birds, someone getting rabies, and your animals getting attacked by these animals. It sounds like you could have more than one culprit so keep at it. If killing isn't your thing, you can try calling the Wildlife Resources Commision... tell them you have some birds getting killed and they may send a warden out to set traps or give you a number to someone who would do it. Or you could put an ad on craigslist, many trappers would love to trap them for free. Good luck.
    1 person likes this.
  6. April Way

    April Way New Egg

    May 7, 2013
    I work at a vet office. Have a trap ready to go. When I went out this morning early with my dogs, they started to bark, growl and raise their hackles like something was lingering in the direction of the neighbors yard. (Very unlike them) I saw a breif shadow. In my mind I thought it looked like a canine (fox) shadow. However, by the time I reached Into the door to get a flashlight, it was gone. Girls are still getting locked up regardless!
  7. snowflake

    snowflake Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    traps work good we relocated a lot of coons last yr. most people kill them, we have not had a problem this yr as I put the food in trash cans now most nights. we also instaled an electric wire 12" off the ground
    once they kill they will be back , keep up your gaurd tuna works well as baite for most animals
  8. dwalters

    dwalters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2013
    Southern Michigan
    Shooting coons is better than relocate. They are very territorial and by relocating them you are condemning them to die anyway. Others coons will attack and kill strange coons that don't belong in their territory.
  9. April Way

    April Way New Egg

    May 7, 2013
    We were out puting up a brand new, safer, much better fence to the chicken run today. Chickens were out free ranging about -20' from us. Without warning a huge red tail hawk flew down at the chickens. He got a pair of work gloves that were right where the chickens were. Guess he thought they were chickens too. My girls were safe, hid under a bush for almost an hour. Could still hear him in the area. Do you think he would've chanced going into pine trees to get a chicken or was this a coincident? Trap set for 3 days, nothing caught, girls in at night. I think the gloves are going to be ok!
    1 person likes this.

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