What predator is this? Footprints

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by geowoman, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. geowoman

    geowoman In the Brooder

    49
    2
    36
    Feb 23, 2013
    Magnolia, TX
    I lost two white silkies and a Pekin duck during the day yesterday while they were free ranging. First daytime predator attack ever. Their bodies were left and there appeared to be mostly neck eating, some torso. The predator got in my coop last night and got another duck - took the meat right off the esophagus. The jerk left his footprints. Any thoughts? Trying to decide between raccoon and opossum.

    Ps I have NO idea where this thing got in. No evidence. And it left 18 birds living, which seems very un-raccoon like.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    18,658
    9,305
    691
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Those are some awfully long "fingers" - I'm leaning racoon
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Songster

    1,426
    304
    198
    Jul 4, 2014
    Maine
    [​IMG]


    I would also say coon. Those "finger tips" in your photo are far too rounded and they're solid...not pointed and broken up like the opossum.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  4. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    5,291
    639
    336
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
  5. geowoman

    geowoman In the Brooder

    49
    2
    36
    Feb 23, 2013
    Magnolia, TX
    Thank you Islandgirl! I just caught it in the coop again. Heard the duck quacking like mad and ran outside. Saw it squeezing through my 1"x2" welded wire squares. (I have hardware cloth on the bottom 4' and welded wire on the top 3'.) It was definitely small. Any way it could be a weasel? Would a juvenile coon fit through a space that small? [​IMG]
     
  6. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Songster

    1,426
    304
    198
    Jul 4, 2014
    Maine
    You're welcome!

    A weasel could certainly fit through the 1x2" openings but those aren't weasel tracks. They also would have eaten the head and neck, not gone for the crop and organs in the torso.

    I think the most likely predator you're dealing with is a raccoon...at least in the coop.

    As for the chickens and duck that were taken while they were free ranging, they could have been killed by a fox but a fox would have carried them off so I'm still leaning towards a coon.

    It's also possible you're dealing with more than one type of predator... or it's possible that this time you just happened to coincidently see something that wasn't actually after the birds but eggs and/or feed instead but were alerted because of how shaken up your flock and bevy are after the recent losses.

    It's hard to tell, is that black thing on the left your culprit?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2014
  7. MXCOJA1

    MXCOJA1 In the Brooder

    13
    1
    25
    Jul 8, 2014
    It could be a possum. I encounters one in the past and had my hen by the neck. Keep your coop. Locked in at night
     
  8. MXCOJA1

    MXCOJA1 In the Brooder

    13
    1
    25
    Jul 8, 2014
    Can somebody help me yesterday a dog came in and attacked a chicken and she got really scared. And wont eat she just wants to sleep please help.
     
  9. geowoman

    geowoman In the Brooder

    49
    2
    36
    Feb 23, 2013
    Magnolia, TX
    Islandgirl, I'm going with juvenile raccoon. Final answer. Whatever it was had a hard time getting through that 1"x2" space and I think a weasel would have just slipped through. We're upgrading the wire today. Although I'd like to think I scared it away for good by chasing it, naked, at 2am... I'm guessing it'll be back. ;)
     
    2 people like this.
  10. geowoman

    geowoman In the Brooder

    49
    2
    36
    Feb 23, 2013
    Magnolia, TX
    MXCOJA1, I hope your hen is ok!! Is she injured? I would let her rest if that's what she wants to do. Fingers crossed for you!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: