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Video Camera? Which model?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Solsken Farm, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. Does anyone have a suggestion for an inexpensive wildlife video camera that we could buy to try to figure out when and what is stealing our chooks and cats?

    In the past 2 months we have lost our 3 house cats, 2 of our free ranging pullets and now a cockerel in a pen (no top on it) (the chooks have been in the last 2 weeks). We have someone trying to help us with the fisher that has been roaming our property and neighborhood. However, the missing cockerel just perplexes me. He was with 14 other hatchmates and there are just no signs of anything, nothing. I don't understand why something would climb over the fence into the pen when they could pluck more free rangers easily..... We also lock our critters up in the late afternoon at dusk.
    I am home most of the time, and never hear anything. We don't let our chooks free range when we aren't home. I am completely stymied.....
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  2. k0xxx

    k0xxx Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    North Central Arkansas
    It depends on how you are set up. I suggest doing a search for a "game camera" on eBay or a similar site. They have a motion sensor and a flash to capture a photo when something enters their field of view.

    Another option, if you have a PC that is set up for video input, is to purchase a wired or wireless CCD camera and record the video on the PC. That way you can review it and erase if nothing is seen. Harbor Freight has one on sale (I believe) for about $30.

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck!
  3. HeartlanderMom

    HeartlanderMom Hatching

    Apr 8, 2008
    It has to be something big in order to be taking cats. Can a fisher take a cat? Could it be a coyote? The birds in the pen are like fish in a barrel- a perfect target that never moves. Around here (central OH) coyotes are around all the time, sometimes very bold. They love to grab cats out of backyards. I live in typical suburbia with lots of developments, plenty of shopping, and an interstate nearby. They've integrated so well and blended in so well to this town that we NEVER hear them but I see them dead on the side of the interstate. There is a gradeschool nearby and more than once this year they've kept the kids inside at recess because the coyotes (size of big dogs around here!) were hanging out in the schoolyard in THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! And yes, there have been a lot of cats disappearing in that neighborhood. Many of them were taken in the day. Coyotes adapt. 3 years ago when I first moved here, I came face to face with one late at night when I was taking out the trash. It stared at me, then dashed off, looked both ways as it crossed the street, and disappeared between the neighbors' houses. Now THAT is adaptation, I thought! I didn't even know they were in the area until that point. Better build a TOP on your run. My coop is a shed inside my fenced backyard. My chooks don't have their own run, they range all over the backyard, but as soon as dusk comes on, I herd them inside for safety for the night. If your free-range birds roost in trees, then it's probably a coyote as the fisher would climb a tree to get them.
  4. Thanks for the replys. Heartlander mom, all our chooks are locked up by dusk. When I say free range, I mean, not in a pen during the day when we are home.

    I like the idea of a camera taking a shot when there is motion.

    Coyote is certainly a possibility, but the pen the cockerel is in was not accessed by them.

    Since we have seen fisher recently, we are sure this is at least one of the cuprits.

    Edited to add: Okay, they are called scouting cameras. Does anyone have a make and model they like? As with anything, seems like there are lots of options.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  5. Rollandwasteland

    Rollandwasteland In the Brooder

    Nov 20, 2008
    Although I have not personally used a game camera, I started working at Wally World a couple of months ago in the sporting goods section. All the hunters around here like the Ghost camera (130.00), it is a 5 megapixel camera, that has motion, infrared detectors. When deer season closes you might be able to get a hunter to lend you his camera for a couple of weeks. Another good brand is the Moultrie 4.0 mp for 100 dollars. There is a cheaper camera that is 49 dollars. Go for the 100 or 130 brand, I have heard good things about them. But everyone hates the cheapest model.

    If you have a water line to your coop, you could try setting up a Havahart sprayer. It is a motion detector that sprays water to scare away the pests. They go for around 50 plus shipping.

    Best of luck.
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    You can get cheap webcams for $20 and then download motion detection software to run it on your computer. The downside is that it is attached to your computer. That may not be a big deal if you capture the action from a window in the house. Even easier with a laptop.
  7. Both good ideas. Gosh, the motion thing during the day is a problem because of the free rangers. I guess I could keep them in and see what happens......

    Edited to add: Well, my cockerel got himself wedged behind some hay bales I put against the coop for banking and suffocated or died from exposure. So I am back to worrying only about the free rangers.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008

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