SOMEONE is killing my hens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by am040608, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. am040608

    am040608 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live way out in the country. Everyone here has chickens, cows, horses, sheep and the list goes on. We do have one rooster however he is young and does not even crow yet. All of our other neighbors however have very large very loud roosters who crow as early as two and three o'clock in the morning. Also our "neighbors" are a good distance away. There is a good bit of land between us. So I don't believe that noise would be a motivator. As far as shooting someone, the reason I mentioned it at all is due to thee fact that whomever mutilated the first hen clearly used some sort of blade. My objective would be not to fire however but to deter the armed individual from my home.
    My chickens yard / run is attached to the side of my house. So whomever is doing this is literally feet away from my family.
     
  2. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Void where prohibited.
    I don't know your set up, but I might try sweeping the ground at the entrance after you are done in the run. Just to see if some foot prints show up when/if it happens again just to verify if it is indeed a human.
     
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  3. am040608

    am040608 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can certainly give that a try, at least its more evidence if it works. Its awful wet out here in winter and I keep straw down to help with the mud so it may not work.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I would not rule out a predator yet. Several do as described.
     
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Can you describe your chicken yard? Is it predator proof? Like centarchid, I suspect a four legged or winged predator.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  6. mix3dbreed

    mix3dbreed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was going to say the same thing. Nany cam also.
     
  7. am040608

    am040608 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What would go in the coop and ring her neck, and not even eat the hen or take off with it or bite it or leave a single mark? Just leave her there, not fuss with the other 10, and leave?
    I've never seen a predator not leave a single bite mark. For her not to move either? Or even lose a feather? Shes a BIG hen. However shes completely calm around people. But if my dog gets too close to the yard when I take him out (on a leash) she will start squaking at the fence pacing back and forth. After the first one was killed I inspected the fences and all was secure. Ill take a photo of our setup.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Large bird being left behind as a headless and neckless carcass caused by predator not trying to pack it off. Such generally rules out a coyote or bobcat but can be very consistent with a fox or raptor. I would leave the carcass out, possibly tying it down and seeing who comes in. My bet is your culprit is watching your activities and the kill sight waiting to come back in when hungry. Then you can make an ID. Once bad guy known you can target your antipredator measures for that type of predator if the secure coop approach not a first line response.
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Get a cheap baby monitor and place it in coop (We've been using the same two $20.00 Safety First monitors, purchased in 2005). These are very useful if you're at home and, if volume is cranked to max and at head of bed - chickens growling/whining/clucking after the sun goes down/anything messing with fence/gate/coop (hang a couple fishing bells/empty cans on fence/gate, as well) will alert one to the ruckus and allow one to blast area with light (flood/hand held spot) and, with luck, ID whatever it is.

    Attach bait (bacon/marshmallows/potpourri bag jammed full of peanut butter), on 2"x4"'s (1"x8" even better) and spread flour along/across top of the boards (if it isn't going to rain/snow cardboard boxes cut open and flattened out will work/lids from garbage cans, etc.) with the bait. This will allow one to rule out/in standard vermin (should have some tracks/smears made by tails, bait removed).

    Game cam with IR function is also OK. Or, cut to the chase and put out live traps.

    Human preds, like any other species, tend to travel along the least difficult paths to and from - fishing line stretched across those at about a foot above ground might clue a human to imagine more lethal booby traps closer to coop. Firing a couple of rounds from a .22 into the ground at random times will also give those humans in earshot something to think about. I'd also guess you're probably dealing with standard pred/preds (a small opossum - not much bigger than a good sized wharf rat - can secret itself away in coop and attack a hen at a time - bite marks not always easy to ID).
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  10. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My money would be on a young male neighbor with serious emotional disturbance
     

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