Suggestion to identify predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ukrkoz, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. ukrkoz

    ukrkoz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had almost a year of happy free ranging and finally had the 1st loss.
    One of our small hens was killed.
    I am curious what could have done this.
    I found her under wide laurels shrubs. Not all the way deep, but about a foot from the edge under.
    Entire head, neck, and part of the breast were stripped down to the bones. The rest was left intact.
    We are fully fenced and never saw a racoon or else anywhere around. Squirrels and rabbits - yes. Stray cat one in 10 yrs in the property.
    Yes, I know - do not free range them. But I am not the decision maker in the family. Also, I want to rule out possible other factors. I had no chance to investigate the scene yesterday, as wife was "looking around for many times" during the day and didn't see her, and I found the body with flashlight dark outside 9 pm.
    Any ideas what will strip head and neck and leave the rest? It's horse acre property backed against trees in loosely populated area.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    That sounds consistent with a bobcat, but of course there are other suspects. It’s not always straightforward. You might read through these for clues since you are the one looking at it.

    http://icwdm.org/inspection/livestock.asp

    http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-2111/ANSI-8204web.pdf

    http://www.extension.org/pages/7120...mall-and-backyard-poultry-flocks#.VDQPcxEtCUk

    As you know when you free range you are at risk. Many decades ago I grew up on a farm where we totally free ranged our chickens. We only had two predator attacks in all that time that had to be dealt with, a fox and a dog. Some people get wiped out immediately. You can never tell when it will happen or what might be the real danger.

    Good luck on identifying it.
     
  3. ukrkoz

    ukrkoz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you.
    This matches more or less the description:

    Raccoon.
    If a predator visits only once each 5 to 7 days
    and eats the head and the crop of the dead birds, a raccoon
    is probably responsible.


    We'll look for tunnels under the fence. But as far as I know them, they can also easily climb over the fence too. Hmmm... Why do I hear word "shotgun" whirring in my mind?
     
  4. attimus

    attimus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bobcat or raccoon would be my guess. I just had my first incedent as well. Coyote tho. Now I get up before the girls do every morning and walk around the property with a rifle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I suggest getting a live trap and baiting it. You can't always be in the right place with a gun but that trap can get results.
     
  6. ukrkoz

    ukrkoz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have issue with trap. I already tried squirrel trap and birds get in and get trapped. Raccoon trap is a larger version of that trap, and chances of them getting in are even higher. As far as I know, they eat same stuff that will bait raccoon.
    I may spread some cayenne pepper and other "condiments" around the perimeter. If we figure out where he came from.
    What we need is a guard dog. THAT will do the job. Except that I am not the decision maker.
     
  7. carsonwild

    carsonwild Out Of The Brooder

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    A picture of the bird would help with the identity of the culprit.
    In my opinion you have a Hawk or Owl that took your hen.
    I had one this fall get two of my chicken and about 6 of my pigeons.
    The birds had the head and breast striped to the bone.
    I put the birds up for a week or so the only and the only time i let them out was when i was outside to watch over them, i also lock the birds up at night
    It worked i have not had any problems scene then .
    Good luck with the problem.
    Carson
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    If it is a live trap, release the birds unharmed. I've done that with doves when trapping squirrels. That's a huge advantage in using live traps. You have options.

    Or just set it at night. The chickens should be on the roost then.
     
  9. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Bird of prey got your bird.
    Sorry for your loss [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. ukrkoz

    ukrkoz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Similar appearance. Except that in our case, neck was completely stripped down to bare bones along with part of the chest. Head was also down to bare bone.
     

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