Something got into my secure henhouse last night...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fatpossum, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. fatpossum

    fatpossum Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2008
    Upper Middle TN
    Something had gotten two of my hens in the last week or so, so i decided to start locking my flock up at night.

    They are out in a large (1/2 acre) fenced area during the day.

    The other two hens were just *gone*..I saw a few feathers in the field in the morning.

    Last night I locked them up and set a live trap with catfood. This has always worked before, whether it be possum or coon or cat, so, i figured it had to be one of the "usual suspects"...
    I set the baited trap righ in front of the door to the closed-up and locked chicken house.

    This morning, I went to let them out..the trap was sprung, nothing in it, and i had 2 dead chickens, partially eaten, head and feet and most of the bodies left..

    Now, the wiring on the top door and window is 2 inches wide by 4 inches long (roughly)..

    Whatever it was had to be small enough to get through a 2 inch rectangle..

    I am at a loss...A racoon or possum or cat of any size (that was capable of carrying the other hens off, as there were no bones or carcass left) wouldn't be able to get through a hole that small...and, I'm sure it isn't a bird of some type, again, the hole is too small..

    I'm thinking weasle..but, having chickens for almost 10 years and never having any problem except the occasioanl coon or possum...Do you guys have ANY idea??

    And, are there even weasles in Middle TN???

    Thanks for any help!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  2. fishman65

    fishman65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    possum....they can go through 2x4 wire quick and kill lightning fast......keep using the trap and if possible put hardware cloth or chicken wire over the 2x4 wire. i was amazed at the game cam pics that I got of a possum doing the exact same thing
     
  3. fatpossum

    fatpossum Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2008
    Upper Middle TN
    A possum...really ???

    This is 2-inch wide by 4-inch long..not 4 inch wide...
    I could see a weasle, or rat...

    Oh, i'm not doubting you..just that I've never, ever had something go INTO the closed, locked-up house.

    We did put hardware cloth (small hole fencing) over all the other fencing this afternoon.

    I have caught several coons and possums and 2 cats over the last 10 years...I never thought one could go through the fencing...Yikes!

    Definately will be locking them up and setting the trap until we catch the culprit..

    However, seems like he/she comes every other day, but, I'm not taking a chance..I set that trap tonight!
     
  4. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes a coon can go through a 2x2x4 inch hole this site tells about a coon.I saw a study on animal planet and they showed a coon go through a 2x2 inch square to get a treat on the other side of a cube. If they want bad enough they will.
    http://www.billhicks.org/dealingwithwildlife.html
     
  5. animalpro24

    animalpro24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Possum!! Or coon. Sounds like you got it under control so I don't think I have anything to say....but Good luck!
     
  6. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

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    Depending on where you live could also be a Weasel, no prob getting through a small opening and they don't eat a whole bird just the parts they like....
     
  7. fatpossum

    fatpossum Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2008
    Upper Middle TN
    Well, the mystery is whatever it was the two time previous (last week) dragged the chicken it killed off..i could see feathers in the field.

    If is is a weasle, my question is, are they strong enough to carry of a full grown dead chicken? (full size hens, not bantams)

    As I said earlier, we have recovered the 2" wide X 4" long wire with hardware cloth wire...

    And I reset the trap again...

    If it hadn't rained last night & today..I would do the cornstartch/ talcum powder/ flour thingy on the ground, to see what type footprints it leaves...But, it's so wet out there now...
     
  8. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    you might have more than one predator. One big enough to carry a chicken, one that is smaller so it just eats parts. Sorry about your hens.
     
  9. fatpossum

    fatpossum Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2008
    Upper Middle TN
    Still no luck.

    Whatever it is is studiously avoiding the trap, and it apparently canot get into the chicken house since we've reinforced it.

    I'll continue to lock them up at night until I catch something.

    Now, if it will STOP RAINING for a few days, I'll do the cornstarch/ talcum powder/ flour trick...
     
  10. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    make a small bait box out of hardware cloth and wire it to the trigger
     

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