Was it a raccoon??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lori9878, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. lori9878

    lori9878 Hatching

    Feb 19, 2010
    McDonald County, Missouri
    I've got a group of guineas--three are 10 weeks old, and seven (well, now six [​IMG] ) are 8 weeks old. I am keeping them in a coop while they're still little. Anyway, I went out this morning to check on them, and I found one laying dead near the door of the coop! It seemed whole (not touching it until my husband gets home in about 1/2 an hour), but it was clearly damaged--there are obviously feathers missing. I found feathers strung about outside of the door (there is a SMALL crack--an inch at most--between the door and the coop wall). I've heard that 'coons sometimes try to pull their prey through openings. However, my guinea was laying about a foot or foot and a half from the door. Also, the rather large feeder was toppled over on it's side, which could not have been an easy thing to tip since it's quite wide at its base. I have not had any predator problems with this coop since I completely re-did it after a coon or possum (never did figure out which ) got in and killed all my chickens back in June. Sooooo, I'm really eager to learn what happened here, so that I can make any necessary changes to prevent it from happening again. Any thoughts/suggestions are appreciated!
  2. carolagirl

    carolagirl Hatching

    Aug 18, 2010
    I'm not sure what got your little one...sounds like a raccoon to me, though, those coons surely are wiley!

    I found an awesome thing called "Nite Guard" which you can buy online...I learned about it in the book, "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens." It's a little solar-powered red light that only comes on at night and flashes a small LED red light intermittently...it makes predators (including raccoons, coyote, fox, and MORE) think there is already a predator on-site...it looks like their eye! The predator then supposedly flees the area.

    We live in a very residential suburban area but have some woods behind us (less than 5 feet density)...there's more wildlife here than I originally thought!

    I started with four chicks earlier this spring, and two were taken by probably a fox or a coyote and carried off (they unfortunately got out of their run early in the morning).

    We added 3 more chicks immediately but they were taken from their home from our deck RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR DOOR by a raccoon, who left pieces around our deck. It was awful and heartbreaking for our family.

    THIS WAS ALL BEFORE I STARTED USING NITE GUARD. Now our chickens are more secure and hopefully we are keeping predators away, anyway!
  3. downstownlady

    downstownlady Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Conroe, TX
    I haven't got 1 yet...but the cheapest I have seen them are Natures Hatchery in their products section.
  4. Giammona farm

    Giammona farm In the Brooder

    Aug 1, 2009
    Point Reyes Station, CA
    coon probably, maybe a weasel or a group of wood rats. .22 or a break barrel pellet gun will kill both.
  5. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    I was going to say it was a rat until you said that it knocked over a rather large feeder. Since you had something in the past break in and kill all of your birds, I think you have a coon problem! You had better get a trap set ASAP because he will be back!
  6. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    Greene County, PA
    I have 8 NITE GUARDS around my coops. A coon got in before i came home and killed 4 chickens. Has far as i am concerned they are useless.
  7. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    I agree, a racoon is most likely the guilty party. The feeder could have been knocked over by the wounded guinea or the other guineas when it happened and they were scared. Buy a trap and you'll know for sure. The dead guinea laying a foot or more from the door can be explained by flopping after it was wounded.
  8. chkn

    chkn Songster

    Jun 27, 2010
    Whatever it was must have got all the way inside don't you think?

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