What is killing my birds?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ozarkmomma, May 26, 2016.

  1. ozarkmomma

    ozarkmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the ozarks
    I have something hitting my flock in the late afternoon/early evening while it is still daylight. We have lost 1-3 chickens in a single day. 1/2 of them have been beheaded, some of the heads are totally missing but some are still laying there. Any thoughts? We have set live traps and the only thing we have caught is possums. I am starting to get really angry!! My flock ranges in a fenced in area. We are planning on running electric tape around the bottom of the fence this weekend. There isn't much else I can do.
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Lock down!!! Keep your birds in their safe coop for at least ten days or so, until this situation is resolved. Electric poultry fencing works well against ground predators (premier1supplies.com). Hawks tend to take one bird at a time, and either carry it off, or eat parts on site. Possums aren't likely to catch birds during the day, although I hope you shot any caught in your live traps! Young small birds are fair game for SO MANY different critters, it's about saving the remaining birds, and maybe trap and shoot for varmits that show up in your yard. Mary
     
  3. ozarkmomma

    ozarkmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what we are doing, trap and shoot. I am just so frustrated right now.
     
  4. lcertuche

    lcertuche Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd always heard that opossums are the critters that take the heads. They will even climb trees to get them while roosting. They are nocturnal (mostly) but have been seen during the day time from time to time. Especially if hungry. Once they find a free lunch they will keep on coming until you do something. Do you have a dog you can keep with the chickens? Mine thinks chickens are chew toys but there are some dogs that make good use of scaring off critters. Electrifying the fence is probably the best answer to your problem.
     
  5. ozarkmomma

    ozarkmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an anatolian shepard but she is just 5 months old and I don't trust her with the chickens by herself. I have been trying to hang out around the chicken area in the early evening with my hand gun but didn't get home till later last night and "it" got my rooster.
     
  6. abelardo

    abelardo Just Hatched

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    it might be the possum [​IMG]
     
  7. ozarkmomma

    ozarkmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well it will be a dead possum when we catch it. I take my Sig with me every time I go out there now.
     
  8. abelardo

    abelardo Just Hatched

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    DONT GIVE UP try to catch that monster [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. two j farm

    two j farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could be a coon I caught one in the middle of the day trying to get mine. Happy to say it didn't make it[​IMG]
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I think the bigger question would be, "How can I protect my chickens from whatever is getting them?" It doesn't really matter what it is. If one type of predator can get them, so can several others. I don't know how many chickens you can afford to lose, but if I were losing 1-3 a day, I'd quickly figure out some sort of covered run to keep them in. (My coops would hold them, but would be too hot right now.) How is it getting in? Climbing over the top? Can you cover your run? Are there trees near the pen they could climb down from? It might be time to consider rethinking your coop/run setup. Predators can usually sense when you're out there, so I doubt you're going to get one that way. Maybe - there are some that are more stupid than others. Good luck!
     

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