Possum or Raccoon? Help!?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Orpington2813, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Orpington2813

    Orpington2813 Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    22
    Nov 13, 2014
    Ok, I'll just start out by saying that me and my renter free range (our renter used too) our chickens. I have a nice hen house that I can walk into. About a two months ago our renters called and said they had a chicken disappear with just a pile of feathers. A couple nights went buy and another one disappeared but this time there were feathers and a body with no head. The next night it came back and got the body. This continued a few weeks until they only had one chicken left so they gave it to us. I shut our hens door at night so nothing can get them and we had no problems for a long time. But one day in the middle of the day one disappeared and we found a body with a bite to the neck and back and feathers here and there. A couple days went buy and another one gone with feathers and a mangled body with bites in the same area. Now it comes about every 5-7 days. This last time it got three of my chickens in one day and injured one! I found 1 body with bites on the neck and back. One pile of feathers and no sign of one. I put all the chickens up and put out two live traps but have not gotten any thing. Does anyone know what I'm dealing with and what I can do!? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Rocky64

    Rocky64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    649
    27
    94
    Jan 25, 2015
    If there are bites to the neck I would think mink, they typically bite the neck to kill it and they will most likely kill more than one chicken at a time. Their killing instinct is based on panic from prey, they kill for fun, it seems. Opossums don't go after chickens unless the chickens are asleep. As for coons, they will chew on the chickens head and neck. Mink don't drag their prey to a different location and I don't know about coons.
     
  3. Orpington2813

    Orpington2813 Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    22
    Nov 13, 2014
    I meant to put that what ever it is always takes the body even if it is the next day. And I sometimes find them half eaten on the property and sometimes were a half eaten one was it will be gone in a day or two.
     
  4. Rocky64

    Rocky64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    649
    27
    94
    Jan 25, 2015
    Coyotes maybe. Could be more than one animal, one kills a different one scavenges.
     
  5. Orpington2813

    Orpington2813 Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    22
    Nov 13, 2014
    That's what I'm afraid of. I think I'll put a game came out.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,699
    6,824
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Not coyote, they would take body...could be hawk,
    Agrees could be different animals, killers and scavengers.

    Tho no animal, other than humans, 'kill for fun'...it's all instinct with predator animals.
    Some often kill more than one at the same time, taking one with them and coming back for other carcasses.
     
  7. Orpington2813

    Orpington2813 Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    22
    Nov 13, 2014
    This last time I walked up on one body and it was still warm. I walked away to look for the others and when I came back it was gone with some feathers leading off into the woods. The other two there was no body just a pile of feathers. I really don't know what to do.
     
  8. Rocky64

    Rocky64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    649
    27
    94
    Jan 25, 2015
    Do you have a dog? If so you could take him around the perimeter and let him mark stuff, that ought to keep some things away.
     
  9. Orpington2813

    Orpington2813 Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    22
    Nov 13, 2014
    Yes I have a dog that comes with me down there every morning. The dog being there has done nothing. But today I smelled a skunk and I noticed the smell yesterday too. Would a skunk be killing them like this?
     
  10. Rocky64

    Rocky64 Chillin' With My Peeps

    649
    27
    94
    Jan 25, 2015
    Skunks go for the eggs, I have not heard of them killing chickens, but one killed some of my bobwhite quail while they were sleeping. If the killings were in the daytime I imagine the chickens could out run a skunk.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by