*UPDATE* Page 3 - Lost ANOTHER one today (graphic description)

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LilRalphieRoosmama, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I came home tonight to find a chicken missing. It was a peep that I had hatched that never integrated with the others (which are down to 5 hens and 1 rooster due to other predator attacks). I lost track of age, but this little rooster was almost fully grown. I realized it was missing and set off with my flashlight. Found him near the corner of the fence gate with the feathers on his side ripped out and I could see his heart beating. I picked him up and turned him over and realized his neck was ripped open but the windpipe was intact. I put him out of his misery but am wondering if a cat would do this? I've seen a stray and he's a big boy. My yard is fenced with a wooden privacy fence but there are gaps at the bottom. When I got home it was already dark, appx 6:45. I know there are raccoons, possums, skunks, possibly minks and foxes. I also lost some to hawk attacks but this is not a hawk or even a dog attack. The feathers that were ripped off were not all single feathers - looked like they were torn off. Would a cat do this? I have a call into the animal control officer who will hopefully call me back tomorrow and I'm going to set a trap. I've lost 3 chickens in two weeks and only one was from a hawk. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  2. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2009
    Seminole, OK
    It wasn't a cat - at least, not of the house cat variety. It's extremely rare for a cat to bother a near full-grown chicken. My barn cats don't even bother the babies for fear of momma! Most likely it was a coon or a possum.
  3. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    Nah, not a cat. Probably dog or racoon. A dog will pull the feathers off of the neck and back while holding down a chicken. I have seen that in person. UGH! and a racoon will pull the head off. Could also have been a possum but sounds like it was more than likely one of the former two predators. Lock the chickens up, it will return whatever it was.
  4. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    Poor thing. To prevent others from being picked off one by one, you know you need to lock them up in preditor proof run during the day and then lock them up tight at night in preditor proof coop.

    With the shorter days, you'll want to use hardware cloth around the run to prevent your fuzzy butts from being pulled through chicken wire.

    Best of luck to you in doing what you can to protect the ones you have left.
  5. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    So sorry to read of another loss! When we lived in that area I was able to rent a cage for $50(get back when you return cage) to catch cats.If it is racoons or possums animal control will not take them.Those you have to take care of yourself.
  6. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Thanks all [​IMG] I know it wasn't a dog. I have a 6 foot privacy fence around 3 sides and a 4 foot on the driveway side. Neighbors on all 3 sides have dogs and there's no way they can get in. Whatever it was either flew in or climbed over/under the fence through tiny gaps. I guess I'm just stubborn and will have to take my lumps but I don't want to lock them up during the day. Everyone is locked up securely in the garage coop when I get home from work, usually around 5:30-6:00.

    The humane officer just called and he said it could have been a number of predators that we have in the area - hawks, bald eagles, coyotes, foxes, raccoons and he has seen cats kill his own chickens so he didn't doubt that. I told him this attack was definitely not a hawk; I've seen what they do (first one I lost). He asked if I found any of the bodies and I told him two out of the three. The second one I only found the head (so assuming raccoon) This one was different. He said he'd come out in the next day or two and look around. In the meantime, DBF is setting up an ambush [​IMG]
  7. ErieSpurs

    ErieSpurs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Elyria, OH
    Sorry for your loss. I agree it sounds like a raccoon. Raccoons are very large and boisterous in our area.
  8. FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    North Carolina
    sorry for your loss but you must be the protector of your flock.
    build a predator proof setup unless you want this to continue.
    chickens are prey, simple as that. loss will occur unless you lock up the flock and protect. Loss will come from everywhere, at any time of day, at any minute from free ranging birds. can not be helped.
  9. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    The humane officer called me from my backyard today. He also believes it was a raccoon and said I could set a trap so we'll be doing that. He also suggested that I get a dog but I don't want to; I'm not home enough to properly care for one. In the meantime I purchased fox urine so I'll put that around the base of the fenceposts. I know it won't help if they raccoons can climb right over but it's worth a shot.

    ErieSpurs - welcome neighbor!!
  10. ErieSpurs

    ErieSpurs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Elyria, OH
    Howdy neighbor.

    I previously lived closer to Vermilion and we had raccoons slaughter ducks. They were very large and very gutsy. Even coming out while it was still light.

    They also learned how to avoid traps. They even learned to flip foot traps over with out disarming them. We were able to get quite a few by placing multiple traps near each other, so when they would step over one trap, they would hit the next.

    I've even seen one run through 1x2 galvanized wire. Not over or under, but right through like it wasn't even there.

    Campout shoots were the most successful. I've got stories that would freak folks out, about how powerful these local coons are.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009

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