Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by new chick family, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. new chick family

    new chick family Hatching

    Aug 12, 2007
    We were given 13 chickens in April from a friend who could no longer care for them. We have came to love them very much. This morning when we arrived to feed them there were feathers everywere. We counted and they were all there however as the turned around we could see one was badley hurt. Her tail feathers were all gone and something had bitten a big chunk off of her back end. My husband seems to think it was probably a racoon. I really dont think a dog could have gotten into their coop. I would appreciate any information anyone could give on this! We definately do not want to loose anymore! The only other clues we have notice are eggs have been missing. I should also mention we also have 3 babies that hatched this week! Thanks again for any help.
  2. Bubba

    Bubba Songster

    Jun 18, 2007
    Does it look like one huge bite or maybe a bunch of smaller bites/chewing as in rats eating it... (Sorry for the mental image)

    Raccoon or Opposum are possible. What part of the country do you live in? Local people can chime in on what it most likely is.

    Regardless I would seperate the injured one. The other birds will pick on it and it will be the first to get targeted by the predator. Have you thought about putting motion detectors up(Put it on a timer so its only on at night, nothing more annoying then a bell all day long)? If you put them on your enclosure facing outwards then rig it to a bell inside your house it will wake you up with out blasting light into the area and scaring off the predator (Light will only scare them so long) You are left with a few choices, make it so the predator cannot get to your birds, trap it, kill it or let it continue to eat your birds.

    Hope this helps you,

  3. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    sounds kinda like a coon,but maby not anyone else,
  4. new chick family

    new chick family Hatching

    Aug 12, 2007
    We live in southwest VA. The bite did look like one big bite. The chicken did die later in the day. We are setting traps. If we get anything I will be glad to let you know what it is. Thanks a lot for your responses! This is all new to us and any information helps.
  5. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I'm sorry you lost your girl and I hope you catch the critter that killed her.


    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!!!
  6. lady chicken whisperer

    lady chicken whisperer Songster

    Aug 8, 2007
    Sounds like a weasle to me. Weasles normally go in from the back end....i know its discusting. If it was a weasle your going to have a hard time predator proofing your coop. Weasles can get in a hole the size of a quarter.
  7. new chick family

    new chick family Hatching

    Aug 12, 2007
    We did not catch anything last night. The good news is the chickens were all okay this morning. I am curious if anyone has ever caught a weasle in a trap. Thanks for your responses!
  8. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    If it is a raccoon, he cannot resist sardines in a live trap. Spread the juice all around in front of the trap and start putting chunks of the fish in front of the trap, and all the way back to the trigger.
    Weasel might be tough. We don't have them down here.
  9. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I've never heard that about weasels. We had one. I researched the wounds on my chickens,which were very consistent, and matched what I learned on the web with our problem; that's how we learned what it was, though one night I did see the weasel. Weasels will grab a chicken by the back of the neck (the nape) to kill it. They do that by wrapping their body around the chicken's neck and their weight will pull it down and either damage the spinal cord, or break their neck. They will then eat the innards of the chicken, but leave the good meat. The chicken looks as if it's dressed for the store. I suppose you might say they start from the back end,when eating it, but that's not how they kill it; they're much more efficient. I'd say a raccoon, most likely; was what got your bird, if you're sure a dog can't get in. It was a weasel that killed my good Whitey roo, and all it did was leave the teeth marks at the base of his skull; didn't touch him at all or try to tear him up. It it's a raccoon you'll definitely have to trap it; believe me, we tried everything under the sun to discourage the coons from coming in our barn; we did not want to trap them...but they really didn't leave us much choice. To them, it was like an all you can eat buffet.
  10. nairba57

    nairba57 Hatching

    Aug 18, 2007
    I posted on another one the ame thing. Racoons will usually kill the chicken and pop the neck to drink their blood. Usually do not tear apart the chicken. Possums however tear up the chicken wherever they first strike him. Motion detectors never worked for me as the predators get used to them and end up using the light to find their prey. Electric fence has secured my whole yard.

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