Predator attack, 5 dead 1 injured, 9 left, 1 night.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CuzChickens, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Guys, guys, guys. Yesterday was THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE. Definitely the single most terrible and emotional day of my chicken keeping. I have been raising chickens for over three years, this year is my first with layers, but I have been raising broilers for 3 years. I have never had a SINGLE predator attack. So, since I have been raising them for so long with no problems, I am not quite as strict about completely surrounding the portable hoop houses with cinder blocks and I only cover up the gaps. 2 nights ago, something dug where there was not a cinder block, upon getting inside, it killed 5 of my 8 Golden Laced Wyandotte pullets (9 weeks old) and injured one of my 7 Partridge Plymouth rocks. It did it so cleanly, there was no blood anywhere, some of them were still in sleeping positions with their heads under their wings, after VERY close scrutinizing, I managed to find a little bit of evidence on them like maybe a few missing feathers, or 1 or 2 puncture wounds. None of the wounds looked like enough to kill them, just something that would need some Silver Sulfadiazine cream, and they would be fine. When I found my Partridge rock baby (her name is Rey) I thought she was dead, her neck was twisted underneath her and she was in the pile of dead chickens(whatever it was piled them up once it was done with them)I picked her up by her feet to put her outside to bury her and she barely moved. I thought it was just reflexes, but as I set her down to examine her, she was alive, I did not think she would live, so I decided not to give her special attention, and figured she would die in a few minutes. I was still trying to figure out if they had smothered each other, (Not very likely in the middle of August, with a nice coat of feathers) a disease had killed them, (nobody had been acting sick at all) or a predator(NO BLOOD ANYWHERE!!) After I finally figured out it was a predator and buried the others, she was still alive. I am one that can not kill anything and always give anything that is even remotely alive a sporting chance to live, so I set her up a box in the office. She is still alive 36 hours later. I do not think any bones are broken. But she can barely stand up and she is still in shock. Oh, I cried so much, every time I looked at that pile of golden feathers I started crying again. Does anybody know what predator this was? I am inclined to think weasel. Whatever it was killed for sport, because there was nothing missing on any of them.
     
  2. gmfwlbrdr

    gmfwlbrdr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How big hole did the varmint make?the varmint will come back ,if the hole is less than a golfball a weasel or mink can enter,mostly thrill killer s are weasels ,you probably should have pulled back the feathers to see bite marks maybe even pluck the feathers in the area ,the bites would give away the culprit,,, to catch a weasel get a shoe box shape and size item go to hardware store by a large victor rat trap ,bait it with Chicken liver from the grocery store ,stick the trap back into the dark box with the bloody liver,,, keep the liver fresh ,also keep the baited liver trap away from cats and your chickens, goodluck, if that is the culprit.
     
  3. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    I did very closely scrutinize each bird, there were a few pin-head sized puncture wounds on each bird, the hole was about 3 to 5 inches wide and about 3 inches deep, which is the only clue that I have that makes me think it was not a weasel, but everything else points toward that. I have moved the surviving babies to a temporary pen inside the big chicken's run, and at night they sleep in the coop with the big chickens.
     
  4. gmfwlbrdr

    gmfwlbrdr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok ,could be mink but ussaully they eat something, if not how bout big RAT ,if you bait the inside of the coop with some thing attracting like liver ,then pour flower over entrance of the hole and it comes back tonight ,you may have tracks by morning ,,,that is if you have no rain to mess up the flour ,tracks will show you what your dealing with .
     
  5. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Hmmmm Rat. I do not know. I have never seen a single rat on my property.....I actually put a rooster in the pen so he would leave the babies in the run alone and have left my dog next to the pen so she would scare off anything (she loves killing little animals like that) so I am not sure it will be coming back until I move the rooster and my dog. Then I probably will bait the pen to figure out what I am up against because I am about to have to order 100 broilers and I do not want it killing those!
     
  6. gmfwlbrdr

    gmfwlbrdr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    YOU wont see rats but you will see mole like burrows near barn edges,if its A mink the rooster will be no protection, ,your dog will be the best protection.
     
  7. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Ooops! Sorry I did not specify clearly! I put the babies the the big chicken run, but my rooster was beating up on them, so I put HIM in the pen that the babies WERE in and put my dog there for protection. The pen the babies were in was nowhere near a barn or anything, it was just in an open field. I know it is rare to see them, but I have lived here for 12 years and never seen evidence of rats.
     
  8. PingoBags

    PingoBags Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have much experience with weasels but I've owned lots of ferrets and polecats over the years while living in the UK.
    I can tell you, they don't leave any blood or removed feathers when killing pigeons.

    To me, a weasel is like a ferret and a mink is more like a polecat.
    Lovely animals and very very smart but can hunt like no other small animal I've seen.

    Weasels are really **** small too so if you have one, it's gonna take some work to keep it out.
    Unless you wanna kill it, a rat trap will work. Bait it with some smelly meat.

    If you have a game camera or any sort of motion camera, face it towards one of the dead pullets and see what takes it.
     
  9. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Yeah, I am pretty much convinced it was a weasel. Because the one that lived was very very weak for 2 days for no apparent reason and now she is getting better, and the only thing I can guess is that she was low on blood because the weasel sucked it. But she is better today, she can kinda stand now, whereas she could not for 2 days and now she can stand with the support of her wings. I would hate to kill the weasel, but at the same time, I can not afford to have anymore of my babies die and if I can kill this one, there will not be any more that have tasted the chickens and are not determined to get in there because they have tasted them. My neighbor let me borrow her game cam, but I have not set it up yet. I have already buried the pullets though. I would probably just leave some chicken liver or something because I save it when I process my chickens, but I never really eat it.
     
  10. PingoBags

    PingoBags Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have basic wood working tools, you could try making a simple box trap out of scrap wood.
    I've made live traps for squirrels many times.

    Secure the chickens the best you can and set that camera up.
    Maybe it's a chupacabra! jk. You might not know for sure until you see it.
     

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