Need help identifying the culprit!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lady feathers, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. lady feathers

    lady feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Over the past few months I have slowly my mixed flock has dwindled in size.

    The first victim was a guinea hen. We found her in the morning about 10 feet from the coop (she had been roosting on top of the coop when I last checked them). I found a lot of feathers and down closer to the coop. She was missing her head neck crop completely and was hollowed out a bit.

    Every 10 days roughly the same story....another guinea, followed by chickens. We began collecting our free range flock every night and putting them into the locked coops at night after e lost the first one...however occasionally the birds perched too high for us to reach hence the occasional victim every 7 to 10 days.

    All the chickens and remaining guineas are now copied at night behind locked doors, but this morning I found one of our ducks same M.O. With a little bit less missing and fewer feathers. I can only assume it was tougher.

    My best guess would lead me to believe m it's one of three suspects.....i need help deciding which so I can extinguish this predator.

    First guess was racoon. We have found all but one bird near the water's edge. But I would have thought attacks would be more frequent and more than one bird at a time.

    Also w have a ferrell cat our dog chased off one morning futon a carcass, but not sure if it was just finding left overs.

    Third guess, was maybe an owl. But I thought it would carry them off a distance. I am going to check the duck from this morning for gages in the sides from talons.

    Also thought it could be a weasel, but we lost one chicken during the last few weeks that we are certain was a weasel (had bite marks at the base of the neck and it's head and neck were completely intact unlike any of the others.

    Any ideas please help. We have set a live trap... The previous chicken was still in there this morning when I found the duck.... Thats what led me to think owl, the trap wasn't messed with at all.


    We have a large chop and two smaller coops that sit roughly 15 to 20 feet from the waters edge. Large pines and hardwoods behind that the chickens free range in as well as gras pasture surrounding.... So could be something from woods, open air, or, even water.

    Only one bird at a time, roughly 10 days between attacks, and heads and neck/crop is completely gone. Feathers on ground to indicate a struggle and visits fly intact and left generally by waters edge but not always.

    We plan to set up a can but it's det season in northern michigan so it's being used burnout somewhere else.... Please give ideas our suggestions. Everyone is locked up except the lone duck w still have who swims out to center of the pond if you try to catch him.
    Thanks!
     
  2. lady feathers

    lady feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Another note ask birds have ben light colored....faverolles and fawn runners, besides the two guineas.Pp
     
  3. KandiandJerry

    KandiandJerry Chillin' With My Peeps

    my guess would be owl they are usually the head snatchers and dont always carry them off my second guess would be the coon....
     
  4. lady feathers

    lady feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Thanks... I did check the body of my duck today and there weren't any talon marks on the body.
     
  5. fishman65

    fishman65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2009
    flat rock
    possums usually eat head and crop and that is usually all...the water doesnt make a difference in my eyes..since the trap was'nt messed with i would say your dealing with a possum and not a racoon...I would keep the traps baited with the stinky sardines and cat food and hope for the best...if any big trees close to the coop, that is where i would place some traps....good luck
     

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