What could this be????

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by StallionDuck, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. StallionDuck

    StallionDuck In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2013
    So last month I had a cat coming and getting my chickens, we set traps and the remaining two were so stressed they stopped laying and started pulling feathers out.

    it stopped about two weeks ago, until tonight when I went to find an empty house and drag marks... thinking it was the cat again I followed them, hoping that it only got one and was in the trap.... unfortunately i found both of my remaining chickens mangled near the fence dead, when my stepdad and I investigated some more we discovered that whatever got them ate the heads and just left them there, whatever it was also left tiny tracks in the snow that were not cat tracks. We were trying to figure out what it could have been and I was wondering if any of you had any ideas.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Both birds were left together and headless? That and the small prints would have me thinking weasel/mink. Did you happen to take any photos of the prints? Is your coop enclosed at all and, if so, how? This will help factor in the most/least likely culprits if we can know what sort of obstacles they may have had to overcome.
    Whatever the culprit, given all the birds lost it seems the best approach if you want to prevent future losses to any birds you decide to restart with would be to consider a secure enclosure. Trapping, etc is all well and good, but only addresses the predators you catch - secure enclosures prevent them getting to your birds.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  3. StallionDuck

    StallionDuck In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2013
    We have chicken wire along with regular fencing around the entire enclosure, the only part that is just the regular fencing is the one side along the garden, this is where the prints started from. We also have a mini rock wall built around the edge of the back of the fence to prevent animals getting in or out since that's where we figured the cat was getting in. I didn't bring my camera when we saw the prints, we were thinking it was a weasel but we are unsure.
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    It's not possible to overbuild a coop from a predator protection standpoint. Before getting any more chickens, invest the time a materials to build a truly safe night time coop and a good run; free range time is then a bonus for the birds. Chicken wire is useless, and small predators go right through chainlink. Mary
  5. chickamy

    chickamy In the Brooder

    Dec 13, 2014
    I agree - Now that predators know the location of your birds they will be back - again and again. Invest in a chicken coop fort knox! Racoons can pop staples from wood/chicken wire! We thought we had a completely safe and re-enforced coop and ended up adding 1/2in hard wire mesh stapled to wood and covered by more wood!

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