No longer unknown predator - update 4/12

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jasonbennett1, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. jasonbennett1

    jasonbennett1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2009
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    I have 5 completely free ranging OEG chickens who roost 50+ feet in a tree next to the house. This past Sat. (the only day of the week I am not up and outside before the chickens are down) I found a trail of piles of feathers, and one chicken missing. The others were all spread out in different trees squaking. Sunday morning the remaining 4 were again spread out and squaking. I think something has timed it's attack and is getting after them just as they're flying down. I was out this morning before they were up and everyone seemed fine, I go in to brush my teeth and come back out to seperated chickens squaking like hell. Not sure what it was but something came through and chased them around. I have a live trap out with raw pork in it and the past two mornings I have found it shut, with all the bait, and moved around. This makes me think dog, but I have yet to lay eyes on a dog.
    Any thoughts? Will foxes eat raw meat bait?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  2. palominotwist

    palominotwist New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2009
    Foxes will definitely go for raw meat.
     
  3. DiVon80

    DiVon80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pearl River,Louisiana
    OWLS!!!! My neighbor on 5 acreas had the jungle fowl. They roosted in the trees. When its dark chickens get kinda dumb. An owl just goes there and gets them. We would here the poor chickens screaming in the middle of the night. OWLS![​IMG] The birds need a safe house. You could also have 2 things going on. One in the air and on the ground. What time in the morning? Foxes will eat raw. What size trap? Could it be to small? Someone sticks there head in,eats the bait. Owls have to do there hunting before the hawks wake up. Hawks eat owls also.
     
  4. jlmann

    jlmann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you thought about racoons? They are good climbers and will definately go after chickens. Also with your trap being closed , I have had racoons reach through the bars on my traps to try and get food - they are smart enough to figure out not to go in. I normally take a raw chicken leg and wire it to the center of the trap so they can't reach it and most of the time this will get them to go in. Hope you can figure out what it is. Good luck!
     
  5. lone cedar farm

    lone cedar farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2009
    Menlo, Ga.
    Its really hard these days to free range chickens, almost impossible because of so many predators. I've had every predator problem there is and dealt with all of them accordingly but now we only let our flock out when we are out with them and even then I keep a shot gun close by. Dogs will wait for chickens to fly down off the roost at first light, my advice is be there at least thirty minutes before sun rise and hide back out of sight, odds are you will get your chicken killer or killers and I sure wouldnt give them any mercy [​IMG]!!

    I agree Though Owls are the #1 killer of free ranging chickens at night but you wont find a trail of feathers maybe just a pile as they will fly to the ground with them to make the kill. If something is stealing your bait and tripping the trap could be a coon, try bananas!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  6. jasonbennett1

    jasonbennett1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2009
    North Central Florida
    I no longer think it's a dog. The past two nights the bait has been missing from the trap and the trap door is shut. The bait is pork ribs which are dang near impossible to get out of the trap any way other than the door. So, I have something long enough to get to the bait with its butt still sticking out of the trap, keeping the door from shuting until it backs out (trap is too small like DiVon80 said above). It's 32"long, but I guess I need a longer one. Now I will wire the bait into the back corner to make it very difficult for it to get taken without the animal having to commit more of itself to the task. Maybe it will be further in when the door shuts. Thinking racoon or fox. Only possitive of these past few nights is that the pork seems to have satisfied it enough that it hasn't messed with the chickens.
    lone cedar farm: what's with the banana advice; good racoon bait?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Sweet stuff is good raccoon bait. Lots of folk use marshmallows. I'd probably wire raw meat and something sweet in there.

    My bet is dog (but it is a bet....)
     
  8. lone cedar farm

    lone cedar farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tie the bait down to bottom of cage in back so it has to struggle with removing bait, he'll mess up sooner or later. Or you can use a snare or leg hold in front of the opening. Could also be an Otter is there a creek near by?
     
  9. jasonbennett1

    jasonbennett1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2009
    North Central Florida
    There is a river with otters in it about 1.5 miles away, but we're up on a sandhill; very dry. Lots of fish in that river too, don't know why an otter would need to get too far from it. That would be quite a thing to walk out and find an otter in the woods. My bet is racoon or fox.

    I've upped the ante; I’ve acquired two more traps. Now I have three traps of various sizes and types in the woods. Surely something is going to get it!
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Let us know!
     

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