preditors; heartbroken and worn thin

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by PandorasLie, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. PandorasLie

    PandorasLie Hatching

    Jun 22, 2009
    Yesterday I started adding to my family. Because that is what all the animals I take in I became the proud owner of two ducklings, a very young turkey and 7 chickens nearly old enough to start laying. (but not quite old enough to sex) We didnt get the coop finished in time for night so our very temporary housing became two large mink cages devided in to two large sections (wire cutters took care of the dividers in it so that it became a 5'lx3'x2' wide, long section for the chickens to run in and a much smaller section for the ducklings) The 'holes' in the wiring are about 1''x2''

    Up off of the ground we covered them all with a large and very heavy tarp for the night and continued to work on our coop until nightfall. When there was no more light we went to bed. I woke this morning to find I only had 2 chickens left of the 7. The cage had not been breached, the tarp still over it. All that was left was blood and feathers, a foot here and a wing there.

    I Am heartbroken...What possibly could have pulled 5 nearly grown chickens through 1''x2'' holes in the wiring? How could this have happened?

    I am not a person with a lot of funds, I cant afford to go out and get an eletric wired fence. Im going to have to stake out the coop tonight because I know whatevver it was will be back. I cant stand to loose my last two chickens, and I'm worried now that two chickens will not be happy being just the two of them. Do you need more than two? And what if they both end up being roosters? Then I will only be able to have one as I am told you cant keep two roosters together.

    And on top of it all Im worried about my little turkey. The chickens are eating happily, the ducks as well, but the little one refuses to eat. I caught him a few bugs and he picks at them as if he wants to eat them but he just wont quite eat it. He wont eat the normal feed. Help!
  2. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    sounds like your local raccoon population has found your birds. You can get setup with a cheap electric fencing system for about 30ish depending on size, traps start about that price, or a box of shells.
  3. PandorasLie

    PandorasLie Hatching

    Jun 22, 2009
    I've got plenty of guns, almost feel bad about it but I'm out after my own little twisted revenge. I'll be staking out the chickens tonight, I know that the pred will be back. I just have a very hard time imaginine something able to do that to chickens. I am absolutly heartbroken. I can't get any more chickens either as I have no contacts in getting any. I got lucky at a swap meet with these. [​IMG]
  4. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    Quote:It does sound like raccoons .. my friend had a huge raccoon problem in her rabbit barn .. they were pulling GROWN rabbits apart and ripping them through the wire ..

    They ended up trapping and/or shooting abou 6 HUGE coons .. it was CRAZY...

    She lost like 30 rabbits one night .. horrible.
  5. Where do you live ?
  6. PandorasLie

    PandorasLie Hatching

    Jun 22, 2009
    Northern Wisconsin... so the raccoon does sound like it is the villan in this. Now if I could just stop crying long enough to get some traps set. I just dont know what to do. Will he come back during the day? Should I be worried about the last two chickens and the ducklings?
  7. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    Chances are it was a raccoon, cats can reach into cages, but they usually don't leave much carnage. Cats won't usually dismember an animal when they reach into a cage, raccoons will.

    Electric fence is pretty inexpensive. Probably one of the most inexpensive fencing out there, we fenced our 8 acres with it to keep the horses in.

    You can set out and wait and shoot it when it comes up, the risks with this are, there will always be another coon or predator. You also may have collateral damage when shooting at a predator, hitting buildings and the livestock you are trying to protect.

    I hope you get the coop done and I hope it is pred proof from now on. Look into electric fencing, you don't need a large livestock fence charger, those are the expensive ones. Dog sized chargers will do the trick, they'll ward off anything about the size of a dog, which eliminates most of your poultry predators. The only exception to the rule would be if a bear decided he wanted what the raccoon was having, then you would need some serious voltage.

    As for the duck not eating, try the Duck section. Most people have dealt with a finicky eater before and would be able to help.

  8. wendid1

    wendid1 Songster

    Apr 29, 2009
    North East Missouri
    We are having the same problem. We lost 4 chickens in one night. We got one with a broken wing and one that was scalped. The one that was scalped was in a cage with a partner (because they were new). I don't know what animal got them but it pulled the one threw the cage (1inx3in) and all that was left was feathers. 3 completely disappeared with not trace and we found a wing and breast bone of another under the shed. I do know that wild animals will keep coming back until your flock is completely gone. Your best defense would be getting your coop done and make it super secure. We borrowed some traps from a neighbor, the clamp kind but whatever it is can pull it's leg out of them. I've heard that some people will but a radio out buy the coop on a station that plays music and has a lot of talking. They said that deters predictors. Also maybe a light by your temp coop would help. Chickens will be fine with only two as long as it's not two roosters. But that will be a waiting game to see if they are boys or girls. Maybe try craigslist or a friend for a trap. I'm trying to get my hubby to sit up with they gun but he kinda likes his sleep. Raccoons generally wont come in the day but foxes can.Best of luck to you.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  9. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    North Central Florida
    Raccoon...oh that devil. I gave up poultry for 10 years after the last raccoon raid. Sick, it leaves you so sick to your stomach, yet its nature...and so is trapping and/or just taking matters in your own hands.
    Recently had one in the hen yard that is wire from top to bottom, wood around the base and all that stuff, during daylight in the hen house eating from the feeder (thank God) and I scared him out.
    Hardware cloth is the only thing that keep those paws out of your outside critters.
    And take it from your BYC family, there isn't anything you could have done. Some of us have been at this for many years, get comfy and regret it.
    Hang in there, keep working on that Poult, perhaps if you have someone with a poult or two near you, a play date might be in order.

    Don`t be surprised if the predator doesn`t show again for a night or two. Most times they nap for a while after a big meal, but they could return sooner.

    The Recipe;

    I keep a live trap set 24/7 using a couple eggs as bait. Eggs can stay for a month and aren`t as messy as other baits. Most predators will go for an easy meal first.

    Assuming the trap won`t work, go to the feed store and get some Golden Malrin. It`s a fly bait used in stables. It is in the equine section and comes in 1 lb and 5 lb cans. Put 1/2 cup of Golden Malrin on a pie tin or styrofoam plate. On top of it place 1 tablespoon of anykind of berry preserves. Very humane. Kills within 10 ft. Put it out in several locations at night and pick up the predators in the morning. Caution, cats will not eat it as they don`t like the chemical smell. Dogs will eat it so put the puppies up when The Recipe is out. Don`t get it on your hands. Works on coyotes, fox, coons, possum, etc. I always warn the neighbors when The Recipe is out so they can control their dogs. I put mine out after dark and pick it up before daylight, being sure to put it where my free range geese can`t get to it at night.

    I spent a lot of long nights in the yard with a gun trying to kill many a varmint and control skeeters at the same time. Now I put out The Recipe and sleep like a baby. Let me know how it goes. Good luck......Pop

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