Tell How Predators Got Your Chickens. Save Somebody Else From The Bad Experience

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by okallthis4eggs, May 24, 2012.

  1. okallthis4eggs

    okallthis4eggs Songster

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    Just wondering how many people would be willing to share their horror story of how they lost their chicken or chickens to predators. I think it would be helpful to the people who are just getting into raising chickens to understand what could happen if the necessary precautions are not taken when putting together their coop and run.
     
    3 people like this.
  2. bj taylor

    bj taylor Songster

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    i lost 10 of my 14 birds. it was completely my fault. i was in a rush. i missed closing a gate & my 1 y/o german shepherd girl killed them. she didn't tear them up - no marks. they were scattered all over the yard.
     
  3. Kyoht

    Kyoht In the Brooder

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    I have a coop with a run covered in netting. I had no problems since I had moved here -4years. But this year my chickens started disappearing one by one. I couldn't find out how the predator was getting them out. One day I found a chicken carcass halfway pulled through the fence and I placed my game cam there. It showed a raccoon climbing up the fence and there was a weak spot where the fence connected to the coop and the netting.

    I started reinforcing the coop door for the night but it got that open too. Finally I placed triple wire over the spot and used concrete blocks in front of the door. Then I placed a live trap with marsh-mellows and I ended up trapping 3 coons.

    I would suggest to make sure that the coop and fencing around the coop is secure during the night. If you can pull it up then a coon can too. I even had thick welded fencing (not chicken wire)- but it wasn't nailed properly at that spot. Also use locks that coons can't just lift up and get in - that's how they got into my coop.

    As for what caused the attack - I believe it was due to my refrigerator going out lol. I had to dump a bunch of stuff in the back of my property and I think it lured the raccoons to my house. I was used to dumping things like that when I had dogs at my other place and I think that the dogs kept the coons away. So I would advise not dumping food and feeding wild predators - even though they can be cute.
     
    6 people like this.
  4. okallthis4eggs

    okallthis4eggs Songster

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    Good information bj taylor. People sometimes forget that even their pets can be predators as innocent as they may appear.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. okallthis4eggs

    okallthis4eggs Songster

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    Would everybody agree that coons are enemy #1 to people who keep chickens? Seems they are at least the smartest from what I read in kyohts comment and others like it.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. Dutchess

    Dutchess Songster

    Yea, racoons are bad but a fox will take one right from under your nose in broad daylight!
    I recently lost three of my four girls while they were free ranging. I happend to be in and out of the house that afternoon and wasn't paying enough attention to where they were ranging. They went to the edge of the woods and were scratching around in the dead leaves finding all kinds of good stuff. When I saw them I should have tempted them away with a treat, but I got lazy and figured they would be okay. PROBLEM #1. Never think they will be okay alone while free ranging. "I'll just leave them for a minute." That's all it takes.
    I have to agree that racoons are very smart creatures. They can easily open a latch with their little "hands." But, they can be caught rather easily in a havaheart trap. Foxes are pretty smart when it comes to the havaheart traps. Very hard to catch! We did get a shot off at one of them last year, then we didn't see them for a long time. I say THEM because we saw two, together on a knoll in our front yard.
    Now they're back feeding their spring time babies, again! [​IMG]
     
  7. okallthis4eggs

    okallthis4eggs Songster

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    We have a few foxes around here but I hear and see coyotes all the time. I would think they would be a bigger problem but most stories are about either foxes or coons. Probably a lot more foxes than I expect they just don't carry on like the coyotes do at night
     
  8. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

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    I had my ducks free ranging for over a year with no problems. Then some of their young ducklings started going missing. I thought a large fish was eating them. After all 5 ducklings vanished the half sized ones started to go. I could not believe a fish was big enough to eat them! I thought maybe the aggressive drakes had chased them away into the rice fields.

    Then after they had gone I started loosing the adult birds at about 1 a week. (4 went missing) I thought someone was stealing them! Normally the ducks are smart and will make a lot of noise and go onto the lake if a predator like a dog is about. I never heard any noise. I never found any feathers or evidence of a struggle. I was at a loss.

    Then I came home late (4am) and went to check on the ducks with my torch before I went to bed. I saw them all snoozing on the island in the middle of the lake. I turned my torch away and was about to go into the house, when I realised something was not quite right. I thought I saw something different about the island. I shone the torch back.

    I was shocked to see (only inches from one sleeping duck) a long thick 'tree branch' laying nearly the entire length of the island ... about 7 foot. I took a closer look and froze as I realised it was a huge PYTHON!!!!!!

    It must have grown that big eating my birds! My ducks did not recognise it as danger as it moved so slowly and made no noise. They were literally 'sitting ducks'. I made some noise to wake the ducks up, but they just looked at me and quacked, annoyed I had disturbed their sleep. I had to throw a palm frond out to the island, which did not bother my ducks (who thought I had gone mad), but the snake vanished in a split second into the water - with out hardly a ripple.

    It was no way like on the TV. I was shocked by the speed of the thing. After that day I sadly had to re home my remaining ducks to a friend. I kept 2 in my chicken run, but they were not happy without the lake to swim on, so I gave them away too. So sad. About a week after seeing the snake my neighbour found a huge snake skin in his garden, but no one has seen the sneaky reptile since. Now his fast food shop is empty I think he was gone away looking for new prey.

    At least my chickens are still safe as I lock them in METAL dog crates in their run at night. I live in rural Thailand, so its not too unusual to get snakes about. If the farmers see a big python they will kill it and eat it. They say its delicious. I quite like snakes (despite what this one did), and I hope he is still alive some where else.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. wildriverswolf90

    wildriverswolf90 Songster

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    I didn't believe that chicken wire couldn't protect my chickens and lost 3 of my babies to a neighbors dog :( there is nothing like seeing the babies you hand raised die, to make you want to protect them better! So urge people to, at the very least, cover the bottom to feet of fence in hardware cloth!
     
  10. okallthis4eggs

    okallthis4eggs Songster

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    Good advice wildriverwolf. Or use hardware cloth on everything. A coon will chew thru chicken wire too and he will climb up the side to do it. Some folks use a electric fence around the chicken wire for added protection. Without it I think your a sitting duck (chicken) depending solely on the chicken wire
     

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