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Need help identifying predator that killed my chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by blackthorne, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. blackthorne

    blackthorne New Egg

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    Oct 1, 2015
    Unfortunatly this being my first post is not a positive one. I went out today to find my 3 chickens killed. 2 were still in the chicken run area and the 3rd was missing, but many feathers outside of the coop looked like hers.

    Im hoping somone can help identify the predator so I can plan accordingly before getting more birds. First off live in south central pa, so I guess the most obvious would be fox, racoon, or weasel. There was a hole in the lower part of the fence about the size of a soft ball.

    It looks as though the torso of the birds were opened. The heads were still on the birds. Some feathers were removed from the neck areas and had bloody wounds. I do have a picture of a foot print. Its the only clean one I could find. Thanks for any help.

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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I can't determine the size of the print but it looks like a raccoon. And that would be the damage they would cause. A fox would probably take the bird away. A weasel wouldn't eat anything, they'd just kill them all and drink some blood.

    Likely raccoon. They can tear a hole in fencing and squeeze in small holes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  3. PerfectPlumage

    PerfectPlumage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Raccoon. I can recognize the tracks anywhere.
     
  4. blackthorne

    blackthorne New Egg

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    Oct 1, 2015
    Thanks for the responses.

    I probably should have put something down for scale. I would say the prints are about 2-2.5" in length.

    I currently have chicken wire about 6.5' high surrounding the the run area with a wood roof covering it. Would a more traditional metal fencing w/ chicken wire work better for keeping them out? Im worried now that the animal will return looking for more food. Of course the earliest I could get more birds would be next spring.

    I certainly wouldnt want to put more birds in harms way to die like that. Theyre kinda like pets. Raise them from babies and they follow you around.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Chicken wire is for keeping chickens in, not keeping predators out.
    The best is hardware cloth but small mesh woven wire fencing can work but a weasel can get into a 1" opening, raccoons and opossums can get into a 2 or 3 inch hole.
     

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