What predator could have done this?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Souperchicken, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Souperchicken

    Souperchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 18, 2009
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    This morning we found several digging marks around our quail and turkey pens. One digging spot went under the door of the pen. It made a small opening that an adult cat probably couldn't get through. Also I found around the back side of the pen a dead quail that had the insides eaten out, mostly the breast area.
    None of the other birds were harmed, but we found more diggings inside the pen. There are several boards propped up at a slant to protect the bird from weather. Mice had dug a few small holes under there, but today they had been dug much bigger, by something else. Either it was going after the mice or it was making a burrow?? We even ran water down the holes thinking something may still be in them.
    The pens are flight pens, so they are covered. We have electric wire around the pen except where the doors are.
    The predator could only access the pen through the small hole it dug. Too small for a raccoon. Possibly a skunk, but I thought skunks killed the whole flock when they got in and there was no lingering skunk smell. Plus whatever this was hung out and burrowed, etc. I was thinking a mink like creature maybe. I've tried to read up on it this morning and not coming up with anything.
    We live in the high desert, mostly sage at the base of a large mountain. There is a canal that runs right by the pen, but has no water in it this time of year. I had last checked on the birds Sunday afternoon. The killed bird looked fresh and some of the diggings seemed fresh. I believe it happened early this morning.
    Any ideas what this might be?
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Fox..
    skunk...
    weasel...
    possum?
     
  3. Souperchicken

    Souperchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Darn...so nothing really stands out as a particular predator.[​IMG]

    Thanks for responding anyway![​IMG]
     
  4. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Picture of the holes, do you see any tracks?
     
  5. Souperchicken

    Souperchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't see any tracks, just scratching marks in the dirt. I might be able to get pictures later. If so I will post them.
     
  6. allcritterssitting

    allcritterssitting New Egg

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    I am having a similar problem in Southern NJ! this is the hole (one of three!) whatever this is steals my eggs whole. It is carrying them away. Not harming the birds. But a very odd thing happened! I was cleaning the coop yesterday and one of my bottom nest boxes (approx 12" X 12", 4" deep) was completely filled with landscaping stones! These stones are not in the chicken yard. they had to be brought from somewhere else. They are too big for a chicken to carry (never heard of them doing this???) There were literally hundreds of stones in this nest box. The holes are not int he chicken yard, but under the concrete in the pool area. Does anyone have any idea what this could be? I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone! I did set a trap tonight so well see if we catch anything. The pawprint in the middle of this dirt pile is from one of my dogs. There are no tracks around it, so this creature must also be levitating. WTH????? The hole is about 6" in diameter. Thanks!


    [​IMG]
     
  7. allcritterssitting

    allcritterssitting New Egg

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    May 17, 2011
    Oh yeah! And it is active in the daytime! I have flooded this hole, put smoke bombs down it. Filled it back in numerous times and it will dig back out during the day.
     
  8. Betelgeuse

    Betelgeuse Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2012
    I have seen rats do this in pigeon coops. Especially if there is bird feed around. When they have access to bird feed their population grows. Eventually they will kill a smaller bird or two, then the killing becomes nightly. If you see any dead quail pulled into the small holes it's a dead giveaway.

    When I have had a skunk problem I usually find several dead, most with their heads missing.
     
  9. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    athens, wv
    idk what it is but you should do some searching around. Usually any animal that burrows has an escape tunnel also.
     
  10. Kage

    Kage New Egg

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    Mar 28, 2012
    Try attaching a hose to the exhaust pipe of one of your vehicles and stick it into the hole for a while to gas out or kill whatever is digging that hole?
     

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