Weasel or rat?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lisa Walker, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Lisa Walker

    Lisa Walker Out Of The Brooder

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    For about 8 months, we've been battling what we thought was a weasel. We found several of our younger chickens in the hen house dead with the back of their necks bitten and their entrails removed through a hole in their bottom, which from what I understand, is the MO of a weasel. We also would have eggs that had been cracked open and eaten.

    We recently started finding tunnels between our two chicken pens, one tunnel is very long, probably about 6 feet. This week, we set out some rat traps at night in the chicken pens using pieces of chicken as bait; and last night, we caught a big rat. So now, I'm wondering if this was the culprit that's been killing my chickens and eating eggs, or if there still might be a weasel lurking around. We're going to keep setting the traps, just in case. But can a rat kill almost grown chickens?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  2. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  3. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ignore the spoiler thing I accidentally clicked on that
     
  4. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well the article in the previous post does make it seem like you have a rat problem. I don't think a weasel would eat eggs like you mentioned. Rat or weasel, the trapping methods are pretty much the same. If it really is a weasel, then youll probably catch a bunch of rats before you catch the weasel. But if not, then keep catching those rats.
     
  5. Lisa Walker

    Lisa Walker Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! We'll keep putting the traps out and see what we catch. I'm hoping to get rid of these things. We lost all but 3 of our 14 pullets we hatched this spring. (Not all to the critter attacks though.)
     
  6. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hopefully you don't find any more chickens dead in the morning and hope you catch some more rats
     
  7. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a rat problem from a neighbor across the street, who didn't use garbage pickup and then abandoned the house, so the rats migrated. They were small, maybe 6 inches long, and living underneath the pallet house I was keeping 3-4 mo roosters in. My young roosters were never attacked. It sounds like every attack from a weasel that I have heard chicken owners complaining about. A rat will kill to eat. A weasel will kill for sport.
    http://www.britannica.com/animal/weasel

    "...weasels are also notorious for raiding chicken coops. Because they cannot accumulate fat and thus must eat frequently, weasels often kill more prey than they can immediately consume and will store excess food for later use. This explains the carnage often seen after they discover captive domestic fowl."
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I think weasels usually just drink the blood from neck wound...eating viscera sounds more like rat.

    Not true that they kill for sport (only humans do that)......
    ....as is stated in your quote "kill more prey than they can immediately consume and will store excess food for later use"
    Most animals kill more to cache for later.
     
  9. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well even if they don't actually kill for sport it sure seems like it
     
  10. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Almost every predatory animal on earth kills for sport - its a fantastic way to hone skills.
     

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