What steals multpile ceramic eggs and kills/steals chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lava, May 21, 2012.

  1. lava

    lava In the Brooder

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    May 5, 2010
    My chickens free range in daytime and are penned at night.
    Here the last 2 weeks we've had goats in the pen around their coop who were breaking into the coop--so the coop was getting torn up. I have done some repairs, doing more every day.

    We've had foxes, and they would take 1 at a time, or so, leave feathers, etc.
    We've had snakes (especially when we had babies). They'd take babies and maybe eggs (not sure), and seemed attracted more to certain breeds (red stars) and were so stupid they'd kill ones too big to eat and then we'd find them all slimy where they spit them up and several little ones missing.

    We have a pig in the pen around the chickens and guineas out there too now, and haven't seen a snake in a while.

    This year we've lost a chicken here and there, mostly that didn't go up at night or something. I figured foxes.
    Babies are on the ground and read to move out to the back of the coop (I put a inner fence there for them, so they can meet the older chickens through the wire, then open the fence one morning.

    Then the goats tore up the coop and we've lost 6 chickens in 3 days. I know, fix the fence. Working on it.
    But what's eating them?
    Here's what's weird...I know snakes will take ceramic eggs.
    But none of them were taken (we had 11)...until Friday night, when 8 eggs disappeared in one night!
    Snake party? I'm thinking some animal that stole the eggs for its babies/nest? Would a fox do that? I know a pair had babies out in the woods there last year behind our property and that's when they got greedy, but still only 1 chicken a day. (not acceptable but nothing like the current).
    What would kill multiple adult chickens, leaving only feathers, and take multiple ceramic eggs in one night?
     
  2. mnferalkitty

    mnferalkitty Songster

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    May 17, 2012
    Minnesota
    More then one critter is my guess. I don't know which, you listed the ones I was thinking. Whatever it is has brought back the whole family I think. They have night cameras at the hunting store that you can buy and set up they are pretty cheap.
     
  3. lava

    lava In the Brooder

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    May 5, 2010
    I just realized I somehow posted this twice--sorry! I thought no one had replied and here I see they replied on one thread.
    Anyway, we had fixed the coop but unfortunately the invitation I guess was issued.
    "It" dug into the coop last night and took the rest of the ceramic eggs and any regular eggs and pulled some feathers but didn't get any chickens. So it digs too.
    Going to get some motion detector lights and wildlife camera tonight (if we can afford it).
    I'm thinking the fox family since it's digging too?
     
  4. lava

    lava In the Brooder

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    May 5, 2010
    We've installed motion detector lights last night, and my husband chased what he thought was a fox (didn't actually see it, just shadows and smudged footprints, and heard screeching from the woods--it makes a horrible screaming noise--I've listened to quite a few wildlife sounds on youtube, etc., and haven't been able to confirm) off a few hours after dark the other night.

    Don't know how stubborn it's going to be (I suspect it will try again but hopefully we can stay ahead of it.
     
  5. BrandoMan

    BrandoMan In the Brooder

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    May 30, 2011
    Prewitt, NM USA
    Racoons. They love eggs. When I lived in Santa Cruz Mountains we used to give the racoons eggs when they came to the sliding door at night. We would open the slider and hand them the eggs. they would slowely take them and then run backoutside and eat it then one night it attacked my little dog while he was outside going potty and I punted it into a bush. It never returned!
     

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