What kind of predator does this?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mom2jedi, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. mom2jedi

    mom2jedi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Had a migraine yesterday most of the day so wasn't out and about with the girls other than checking food and water in the morning. DH came home with a migraine even worse than mine (must have been the weather) and was in bed before I left for work at 6:30. I didn't think to remind the kids to shut the pop door before I left since he was feeling so badly and of course didn't think of it when I got home at 11:20 either. I don't recall hearing a ruckus yesterday and my birds were out in the run in the afternoon like normal.

    This morning I went to the coop and all the birds were inside and my 3 month olds were acting a little funny, all up in the nest boxes and hovering around my feet. Noticed my little buff silkie boy (also 3 months old) was missing. Headed out of the coop and into the run with butterflies in my stomach. Found what was left of him right around the corner of the coop. A trail of feathers like he put up a fight were in a line from the fence to where I found him. I lost a silkie a few weeks ago to a hawk and this was nothing like that, all I found that time was a circle of feathers left from when it landed on her.

    In So California, land predators are less varied than other parts of the country. Even though we have Coyotes, don't think it was one of those, it would have to clear a 6+ foot fence and I doubt it would have only killed one. It's possible it was a stray cat but cats tend to take their kill with them and this was a very neat kill. I'm left with either raccoon or possom and am curious as to which it would be. If it was in fact a raccoon, DH thinks we need to change the latch on the pop door just in case since they are very smart and all we have keeping it closed now is a hook and eye. The head was gone as well as all of the insides but the wings, back, and feet were left intact. Does that mean one type of predator more than the other?

    Very sad as he was super friendly and I was hoping if he wasn't too loud DH would let me keep him (he doesn't want a rooster disturbing the neighbors even though we're allowed to have one). I suppose he did his job though even being young still. He protected all his girls, even the ones that are 4 times his size! [​IMG]
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That's the way a mink or a weasel kills; not sure you have either where you are. But that's what they do, eat the insides, and leave a lot of the meat.
    You're right, a hawk wouldn't leave a feather trail. A fox or coyote would take the whole thing away.
     
  3. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The way I understood it, minks only suck the blood. We've had a hen that was laying dead under her roost one morning. There we're only 2 holes one on each side of her head. Hardly any blood. And everyone I've talked to says thats what a mink does.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  4. chick-a-bone2

    chick-a-bone2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe a skunk? Did you check to see if anything dug under your fence? I'm up in Vista and recently dealt with two pitbulls who pushed through my fence and got one of my girls. Just some ideas to consider.
     
  5. mom2jedi

    mom2jedi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Fence is intact and no dig spots so something went over. I haven't seen any skunks but that doesn't mean we don't have them. I think if it was a dog my dog would have alerted us. He may not be a guard dog but he certainly doesn't like it when other animals come into his yard. Doesn't touch the chickens or any of the other animals he knows belong here.
     
  6. mom2jedi

    mom2jedi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Don't think we have minks or weasels.
     
  7. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Minks and weasels only suck the blood and will occasionally eat part of the head. If it were a mink or weasel you would not have any birds left alive. They don't just take one. To me it sounds like an opossum or a raccoon. You could set a live trap with the remains of your bird or some raw meat from the store to try to catch it, but there's no guarantee you'd catch the actual animal that ate your bird. You might just lure others in.
     
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Don't think we have minks or weasels.

    Not mink, but you probably have weasels. And definitely skunks, which can go over as well as dig.
     
  9. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That is not true that minks and weasels ONLY "suck" blood. Weasels will bite the neck and lap the blood, but they have also been known to eat more
    than that. Minks absolutely will kill the way you described and just eat the innards; also they do not necessarily mass kill. If they are startled by something
    they certainly will not. When we first got chickens I was told by several farmers in the area here that that is how you identify a mink kill, and I know it is true from
    personal experience. Furthermore, for two years we had a short tailed weasel come in to our barn who would just kill two hens
    every spring, and never any more, . Cali is probably too warm for mink, but there are lots of related animals in the mink/ weasel family.
     
  10. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've dealt with fox killing my chickens as well as raccoons and owls. I have also had mink kill large numbers of my chickens and ducks on two seperate occasions. The only way that a mink would only kill one chicken is if it got startled. In that case he would run and not take the chicken with him. I seriously doubt this was a mink kill. Put out a trail camera if nothing else. Whatever it is will be back trying to get another meal.
     

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