Rat or weasel??!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickspea, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. chickspea

    chickspea Out Of The Brooder

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    Today, in the middle of the day, and in just a matter of an hour or 2, 10 of my chicks were killed (7 week old and 3 three weeks old), two disappeared (the larger 3-4 week ones), and two babies wounded.

    They were in the garage, homed in cardboard boxes, with the older ones flying/walking freely. I opened the door temporarily to let some fresh air in, then closed the door and went to pick the kids.
    I don't remember to have seen anything wrong when I left tho I checked as I closed the door. After we arrived and the kids were fed I went again to check the chicks and found half of one box literally flattened at the botto
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't think a rat or weasel would be capable of flattening the cardboard box. Your situation sounds like something bigger got them, like a dog or maybe a raccoon. You say you closed the door before you left to pick up your children, so if it were a dog, the mayhem would have had to have happened before the door was closed. Is there any other way for a critter to gain access to the garage, an open window perhaps?
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    So sorry! Chicken is on everyone's menu, and only real security will keep them safe. Your varmit could have been dog, raccoon, opossum, whatever, and it will return, so build a safe coop ASAP, because birds in the pantry won't be fun either. Mary
     
  4. chickspea

    chickspea Out Of The Brooder

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    I had racoon and opossum attacks before and they are very different.
    Both killed one bird a night, after dark or at dusk. Opossums ate it on the spot, while the raccoon tried to carry it away.

    These chicks were small, just a week to 3 weeks old, 3 bodies disappeared (2 babies and a 3 weeks old).

    All the dead chicks I found in the box had a small bite at the long tendon at the top of their thigh (left leg) to cripple them.
    It definitely was small size predator which knew what was doing.
    Two had their intestines pulled out, one of them its eye..
    The others had just the one bite on the leg, and no sign of other physical damage..
    Two babies that survived have the bite, one will probably recover, for the other it looks more likely that the tendon was cut through and her leg is useless..

    It definitely wasn't a dog, and I would be very surprised if the racoon or even the opossum would come into the garage at plain daylight.
    It is very disturbing that I don't even know whom to protect the chicks from.. :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  5. Jen2016

    Jen2016 New Egg

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    This is what I'm afraid of! We have new chicks and all I want to do is keep them alive.
    Could mice do that to little chicks? Or, chipmunks or squirrels?
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would think rat more likely than weasel....or could be chipmunk.
    Wonders if there is a gap at a corner of garage door?
    I had mice and chipmunks coming the gaps created by to short gaskets at bottom of door, shoved gasket over and stuffed gap with rag.
     
  7. chickspea

    chickspea Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow! Thanks!
    Yes, rat makes sense.. Not sure where they come in, but I saw one large walking on the water heater one night..
    Never expected them to make such a damage tho..

    And we have ground squirrels around, but never suspected them before, either, I thought they can steal only the eggs.

    Well, I will have to make a well secured brooder even for the garage in the future..
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If you saw one rat, you've probably got dozens.
    I assume the water heater is in the garage?
     
  9. chickspea

    chickspea Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, it is in the garage..
    In theory we don't have rats/mice in the garage, but I saw their droppings close to the garage door.
    Have a rat/mice repellent device that keeps rats and mice in control with ultrasound.
    Their number is significantly lower around the house since we have the device, and I haven't had mice in the pantry.
    But they still come and pass through, and we live in an area that is full of rats, unfortunately, there is no way to keep them away.
    I might add few more devices and check their position..

    Or I'll have to think of other trapping methods as well, poisoning is not really welcomed by neighbors with dogs..
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sounds like you have some experience to assess and deal with the issue.
    Is this your first foray with chicken?
    You may have to step up your defenses as rodents are greatly attracted to the birds and their feed.
     

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