What predator can rip through hardware cloth like this?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mountainbunny, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. mountainbunny

    mountainbunny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2016
    Central Arkansas
    Sorry I deleted this post a while back (or tried to anyway). I had a very bad migraine and didn't feel like arguing about how well or not my hardware cloth was installed. The coop was properly reinforced right after the predator broke in. I really only wanted to know what others thought could have ripped through the actual cloth itself. From the replies I got below I am guessing it was one of the neighbors dogs. I just didn't think a dog could tear through hardware cloth like that! I was guessing maybe a coyote as I've heard them in the distance but never seen one. We've also seen a bobcat on our property once. I never found any scat near the coop. I don't think we have bears in the area. Anyway as I've said our coop has been properly reinforced and we haven't had any other issues. All my chickens are safe and secure and only free range with human supervision due to the large population of hawks about. Thank you for all your guesses on what could have done this. I have just always been curious. We will eventually get a game can to see what all lurks around our land in general.
    Going to try to repost the picture of the tear in the hardware cloth that was ripped.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  2. bucky52

    bucky52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    I am thinking Bear.
  3. HARRY47264

    HARRY47264 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2016
    Bismarck AR
    Most likely a big dog I once had two of my G. shepherds tear out the hardware cloth on the bottom of my rabbit pen and ate 2 rabbits
    did they get tour chickens
  4. mountainbunny

    mountainbunny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2016
    Central Arkansas
    Okay. One of the dogs that I sawwas a German Shepard. So maybe. He still lives in the area but hasn't bothered the coop since I chased him off. And of course the coop has been reinforced.
    Oh and no, amazingly none of the chickens were harmed. We found them hiding in the roost area!
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  5. 1cock2hens

    1cock2hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    dogs are stronger then they look // my 55 pound pitbull has destroyed chain link fences, chewed them up enough that she could just casually walk under it with even putting her head down, she could easily get through that if she wanted
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    200 lb logs?
    Anything big/strong enough to move logs that heavy would have likely done much more damage to the HC.
    That is a classic case of terribly installed HC...I guess you thought the logs would protect the loose edge of HC.
    Did you lose any birds when this happened?
  7. mountainbunny

    mountainbunny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2016
    Central Arkansas
    Oh the HC was very well insulated. The logs were only there as temporary reinforcement of the base after we moved the coop to our new land a few days before our house. I had to go out to the land each day to check on them until us and the house were moved.
  8. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    To the OP - do you have bears in your locale? How about bobcats? After you discovered this breech, did you happen to scout around the area for poop? Usually, a predator will leave scat both to mark territory as well as from excitement. Almost always, you will find sign, and it will tell the story of who you had visiting.

    That said, if I were to offer a guess, I would say dog since the torn metal mesh is very localized and small. Bears don't usually exercise such restraint. A bobcat will search for vulnerabilities and find entrance at a weak point instead of tearing through fencing. Raccoons are specialists like cat burglars. They would rather jimmy a lock than tear a hole into a fence. A dog is the only critter I can think of that would have the single minded focus and lack of self respect to chew through hardware cloth.
  9. bald Rooster

    bald Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2016
    Orlando area
    About the coop/cage /run what ever it was the animal tore up.
    The is a little problem I see. the little rusty staples holding the wire on. your chain is only as strong as your weakest link.
    A dog or any small animal that can pull a staple can jerk on your fencing , in a very short time can break the wire. [​IMG]
    I use a nail gun with roofing nails on my stuff.
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    It is puzzling. Even if it was a dog trying to get in - something must have scared him off before he could finish. Can you borrow a game cam and set it up to see if whatever it was comes back?

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