Poor Miss Betty...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LilRalphieRoosmama, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    My neighbor called me at work yesterday morning to ask if my chickens were ok. I told her I assumed so; I had fed them before I left and everything seemed fine. She said about 2am they heard a horrible ruckus - sounded like animals fighting and they smelled skunk (I had my AC on so I didn't hear anything). They were going to come over and check my pen but after smelling skunk, decided against it. I didn't give it another thought.

    This morning my DD was feeding the banties in the pen when she realized my favorite hen, Miss Betty, was gone. I happened to be in the garden picking tomatoes at the time and when I heard her say that, I looked over by the compost bin and...found Miss Betty...

    Why does it always have to be the GOOD ones??? Wish whatever it was had gotten my roo or the hen that only lays the "fart eggs" instead. That would explain why the rooster attacked me when I went to feed - must have been something terrorizing them at night and I never knew. We are going to reinforce the pen today.

    Do skunks kill or only eat dead stuff? I thought they were just scavengers so I'm guessing it was a raccoon. We live in a rural-ish suburb and my yard is fenced in. I don't ever see or have evidence of raccoons or skunks in my yard so I'm pretty stumped.
  2. dixiechick

    dixiechick Songster

    [​IMG] So sorry for Miss Betty! And for you!
  3. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Skunks will take birds if the opportunity arises but I'm betting that something else was the culpret and tangled with the skunk. And since you live between both borders and oceans I can pretty much guarentee that you have Racoons, Skunks, Opossums, Fox, and Coyotes all traipsing through your yard at one time or another. I've even seen Badger around here in recent times too, the hunting pressures are easing up and there are more people fleeing the city for rural life and trash left out, chickens, cat and dog food are all attractants to these critters. And BTW listen for any neighbors talking about their dog getting "skunked" Wild critters know to avoid them.
  4. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Oh - could have been an opossum - didn't think of that! I thought skunk because my neighbors smelled skunk that night. I have a 4 foot chain link fence around my yard and the chickens are in a 10 x 10 x 6 chain link dog pen. Had to be something smaller to be able to squeeze through the chain link at the bottom - which I am carefully zip-tying now. Shame on me for being so careless [​IMG] I learned the hard way.

    We probably do have coyote, fox, and badgers here too so that can't be ruled out.
  5. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    I am sorry about Miss Betty.[​IMG]
    All these predator posts are going to make me paranoid,lol, but better THAT than losing chickens I suppose!
    I always thought skunks were more scavengers but lately been hearing they are actually opportunistic predators.
    Raccoons...one of them recently got two of my aunts ducks. There are a load of them around here but since the dogs are pretty "anti other animal" (except for what I tell them is MOMS), that should help.
  6. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Sorry that you lost Miss Betty.
    I've not had a problem with skunks.
    Raccoons, and hawks definitely.
    Coyotes haven't seen em in a while.
    Badgers would probably dig in, while coons will bend back wire or climb.
  7. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Skunks can and will kill chickens. My neighbor lost plenty of birds to skunks a few years back.
  8. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I had no idea that skunks would kill. Now I'm actually GLAD that there are so many smooshed on the road! Oh...that was bad...sorry...but I sure miss my chicken.

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