What kind of predator!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by marie_martin, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. marie_martin

    marie_martin Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    For three days we have had some type of predator invade our coop and kill one bird each time and several babies are missing. The birds that were killed were juviniles (3-4mo) no adults. We have a wooden coop where they sleep and an enclosed run where they stay during the day until we get home. The run is made of 2x4 welded wire with 1" chicken wire up two feet from the ground and also buried under ground at least a foot. The top is covered with 1" chicken wire all the way across and down about 18". So there is a section about 2 feet or so of just the 2x4 welded wire. We do leave the coop pop door open so the birds can come out as soon as they want in the morning. We have been doing this for a while and it has worked. I have looked at the list of predators and I just can't figure out what I have. The girls that were killed were left in one piece except for the head and neck were gone. I would say raccoon but can they get through a 2"x4" square? I am in Mississippi and don't know if we have weasels? I did not smell any skunk odor? And whatever it is would have to climb. I will be closing the coop from now on but wondering if you have any ideas? I hope it doesn't dig under my coop. I have wire buried all around but if something got in they could not get out! There were a few feathers but no massacre. No blood either. Thanks,

  2. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    I'm so sorry. It was probably a coon. They will literally reach through the wire and when a chicken runs by, grab it by the head.
  3. marie_martin

    marie_martin Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    If they were in the run I would tend to agree.. But these girls are in the coop, in the nest sleeping (i don't know why silkies do that) But anyway, there is no open wire in the coop. So whatever it is would have to squeeze into the 2x4 wire. We did some repairs on a few holes tonight that I guess something may have gotten through, but I don't see how? Just being cautious. There was a slight gap under the door about 1/2 inch that I fixed. And I put a light in there to maybe keep critters away? I am also gonna park the trailer back there and play a radio. They will for sure be closed up at night from now on though. Will see what happens. I sure hope nothing else gets in. It just makes me sick.

  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    My guess would be weasels or maybe rats. Either one can get through a pretty small hole.
  5. GwenReaper

    GwenReaper Songster

    Sep 7, 2009
    Memphis, TN
    I had a raccoon chew through some old chicken wire. It was rusty and the coon was determined. I head some commotion in the coop and went out there and the raccoon already killed 2 of my chickens. I shooed as many chickens out as i could and I shut him in while my boyfriend got the gun. If you let it go it will just come back. I had not had a coon since last year when it killed 2. Well I had an attack last night. He killed 2 that I had in a cage. Decapitated one and pulled the other out through a tiny slot in the cage. They are determined little predators. I used to think that raccoons were cute, and used to have one as a pet when I was young... but now any good raccoon is a dead raccoon. All my birds are my pets... and all raccoons cause me is saddness and stress. I cant sleep tonight because I am worried that the raccoon is trying to get in my coop. I did set a live trap. I hope it goes for the bait inside the trap other than my birds.
  6. Dutchess

    Dutchess Songster

    So sorry for your loss, the same thing happened to me Wednesday Night!

    I had four beautiful RIRs that were laying every day. They were going to be one year old August 1st. Then, Wednesday when I got home from work one was missing (they free-range all day). I don't know what happend but I haven't seen her since Tuesday.
    I hadn't been locking them up so I decided to lock them in the run, but leave the pop door open to keep the air circulating in their small coop.

    Well, something got in there, dug under the door of the run and killed two of the three I had left. Feathers everywhere inside and the coop and the run and both chickens were found next to each other in the run, head and crop missing on one of them. [​IMG] I was so sad.

    Now, I have one lone chicken. She survived the fight with the racoon (I think it was a coon, the head & crop were missing, bodies still there.)

    I'll be getting her some company very soon, I just hope she can wait and survive until I can make some permanent modifications on the run.
    I've been very lucky until now. I will be putting up a game camera to see what we can capture on film.

    Good luck to you and yours! Hope you get that bad critter!

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