Raccoon=David Copperfield

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ourbackyardflock, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. ourbackyardflock

    ourbackyardflock New Egg

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    Jul 5, 2010
    Similar story to alot of other post on this topic. Very new into our chicken venture (this past spring) we love our new hobby. We have six 14 week old chickens. A mix of gold sex links, RIR's, and white leghorns. We are having such fun we just bought 6 Barred Rocks and 3 Red Stars all pullets. We have built a very nice and over budget coop with an attached pen. 6 1/2 foot sides on pen but with no wire on top. What would possibly get over that, right?
    Because of the difference in size the new birds (4weeks old) have been inside the pen, inside a small $99 starter coop with the idea that over a couple of weeks all would get used to each other so that we could intergrate them all into the big coop. This starter coop is totally enclosed with 1/2 inch square type wire on the sides and a solid top.

    This past Sat. morning I went out to let the big birds out of the coop into the pen when turning the corner to enter I saw feathers..... I immedaitely saw two birds laying on the bottom of the starter coop. Next quickly counted 6 live, very still and quiet little birds. The starter coop was completely in tact, secure, no gaps. One barred rock totaly missing, gone. Laying on the floor of the cage one barred rock with head gone, and one red star partially eaten. Also a single toe missing from each of the other two red stars. Funny how attached we have become with all this. The entire family is in disbelief, sad.

    The first thing I thought was raccoon based on previous reading. We had seen one by the trash can bin a few nights before. After telling my life story here, main question is how did this happen? I know the coon must have climbed over and into the pen. (now completely enclosed) Could this thing possibly have reached its hand into the 1/2 inch squares and pulled them towards the wire and eaten/killed them through the wire??? I mean one bird was completely gone?!! Wife, older son and I examined the starter coop for half an hour and could not come up with a way how it got to them, not unless it closed the latched door behind itself. We do feel horrible and have learned a very valuable lesson in making this costly rookie mistake.

    We did get the 2 pack of live traps from TSC ($35.99) and set the larger one Sat. night with a can of cat food in it. Low and behold we caught him. This thing came back the very next night for more!

    As many of you have stated, never under estimate a raccoon.
     
  2. naked_heels

    naked_heels Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Des Moines, IA
    Sorry for your lost, hopefully you catch whatever it is and get rid of it permanently. DO NOT WASTE TIME RELOCATE..LOL.
     
  3. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Toes missing usually indicates a rat....head gone indicates raccoon/weaseal/mink etc. However, rats kills birds as well. If the coop is secure and untouched, I would look for a small opening somewhere that you would not think twice about....and look for a rat.

    Raccoons will climb a 6 - 8 foot fence with ease. If there are trees near your run, they will drop down from them as well.

    Sorry about your losses and I hope you catch the villian.
     
  4. ourbackyardflock

    ourbackyardflock New Egg

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    Jul 5, 2010
    We caught her. Raccoon...... She owes his life to my children who as upset as they are about the loss of the new birds (kids had names for them all) made me promise to relocate her. I took him to a friends acerage and let go. All and all, we all have to eat. I don't blame the coon, I gave the opportunity by not having the run covered. Have since done all I feel I can do. All is enclosed. Even put a layer of chicken wire over the screen on the windows of the coop.

    Let me ask you a question though. The two red stars that are missing toes.... I sprayed the wound with blue cote and have been giving them the antibiotic (yellow podwer, name begins with a "D" I think) in their water since Sat. and its been HOT (live in Va.) Is there any more I can do for them? I have been looking for what I know to be infection. Redness, puss ect. All appear to be ok.
     

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