predator identification

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Romeacresfarm1, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Romeacresfarm1

    Romeacresfarm1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2013
    It's getting frustrating as we were sure we had a coon problem finding eaten carcasses in the chicken barn and also other areas in the big barn so we caught a couple of coons and buttoned up any openings that a coon could potentially fit (leaving nothing larger than an inch). Each morning we are still finding dead birds in lock down. Some with missing entrails, some with just necks chewed like corn on the cob and some that are just sitting on the floor with their heads to the side but no marks, not even under the wings. Outside the pen in the high fence one looked like had been chased there as it roosted outside the chicken barn (and who can blame her) and she had a few feathers pulled and discoloration on her skin. Ducks sitting in other locations have had their back ate up and ducklings/eggs eaten. One duck left her nest sometime before midnight last night sitting in a dog house next to the house (quite a ways from the barn) as I was prowling the parameters. Her eggs were still warm so what the heck caused her to leave her nest and fly over into the high fence with the turkeys? I put her eggs in the incubator as they are ready to pip.
    Multiple predators???
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I’ve been keeping track this year. Since the first of the year I’ve permanently removed 5 raccoons, 7 skunks, and 10 possum form my property, practically all these right around the coop and run. Several times I caught raccoons or possums on consecutive nights. A few years back I shot 16 rabbits out of my garden before I got the one that was eating my beans just as they sprouted. Multiple predators is extremely likely, either different kinds or the same kind. To me this demonstrates the fallacy of just shoot it or trap it and your problems go away. Obviously I’m in favor or permanently removing harmful critters from my area but your only real protection is good barriers. With the number of different fowl you have and what I think is the size of your operation that can be a real challenge.

    It sounds like your problem inside is a weasel. There are several different sizes of weasels from mink on down. They can get through tiny holes and often kill multiple birds, usually going for the head area. I haven’t had a weasel problem, thankfully, so I can’t tell you how to trap one.

    My first thought on what would scare a duck off like that is a fox but why didn’t it eat the eggs? It could easily have been something else. Perhaps the duck flew in with the turkeys and could not figure out how to fly back out. Was that why the nest was abandoned? Another thought is if a duck can fly in why don’t the turkeys fly out? I had to put netting over my run to keep the turkey in. Turkeys are usually really good flyers but I’ve only had the smaller ones, like Midget Whites.
     
  3. Romeacresfarm1

    Romeacresfarm1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2013
    "My first thought on what would scare a duck off like that is a fox but why didn’t it eat the eggs? It could easily have been something else. Perhaps the duck flew in with the turkeys and could not figure out how to fly back out. Was that why the nest was abandoned? Another thought is if a duck can fly in why don’t the turkeys fly out? I had to put netting over my run to keep the turkey in. Turkeys are usually really good flyers but I’ve only had the smaller ones, like Midget Whites."

    I am wondering if the cat scared her but she has been sitting that nest for almost a month as the ducklings are at hatch stage now and the house cat is nothing new.
    We used to raise deer and elk so our fences are 10'. Ducks and Guineas fly in and out all the time but too high for the but last night, 3 of the 5 ducks we have left (one is still sitting in the barn where my Silkies had been eaten and one in a crate with injuries forTurkeys apparently om night before), who are usually sitting outside the fence on the woodpile since their young disappeared (minus the one who was sitting in the dog house). All 3 had flown inside the fence to sit with the turkeys. This is a separate pen from the chickens but still just as easily accessible from the barn as the back door is open for them to roost (but only duck and a rooster in there since my sitting Silkies got ate) but no dead found in that pen.
     
  4. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With all holes bigger than an inch sealed up its about got to be a weasels. It could be rats but it'd have to be a lot of them to cause that much damage.
     
  5. whirlwind2357

    whirlwind2357 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Definitely a weasel or a mink. Try baiting a small trap with some sort of meat to catch it, and try using 1/2 inch hardware cloth instead of, or on top of chicken wire to keep it out of the pen/coop.
     

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