What the heck was that?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lalaland, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

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    Pine County MN
    ok, last night I had another bear. Chased it off. During the night, I could hear that something had gotten into the chicken run where I keep trash cans with the feed. Couldn't see anything in the dark.

    This morning I went out expecting to see the fence down and one heck of a mess but....fence was intact. Of the 4 trash cans, only a short small one had the lid off, exposing a 5 ib bag of sunflower chips - which had NOT been eaten.

    There was a hanging feeder with laying mash untouched, a feed bowl of mash untouched, and a totally licked clean bowl of chick feed - not even a trace of powder left in the bowl. Waterer was emptied.

    Coop is a renovated construction trailer, so the floor of the coop is about 3 feet off the ground. Under the trailer were these very strange tracks: a very smooth path of 5and 1/2 inches wide with the soil pushed up on the edges - think of shoving a shovel down the sidewalk with the snow piling up at the edges.

    Mostly in an arc, like something reached under and swept their hand/paw, but some of the tracks started under the trailer and went in a straight line and then took a sharp turn.

    What the heck?

    I couldn't see any track prints - pawprints. No droppings.

    In my neck of the woods I have skunk, fox, coon, bear, - once I saw a possum, rabbit, feral cats, deer, turkeys, random dogs, groundhogs.

    Any ideas? whatever it was scaled a 5 foot wire fence, so that leaves out the rabbits:rolleyes:
     
  2. Luvin Life

    Luvin Life Songster

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    I wish you luck with this one. Very interesting to say the least. [​IMG]
     
  3. LizzyJo

    LizzyJo Songster

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    Jan 27, 2009
    Aptos CA
    Big foot?
     
  4. Not sure, but thinking it would be worthwhile to have the feed in a separate building!!![​IMG]
     
  5. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

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    good idea, except I don't have another building. no garage or shed.

    I'm totally flumoxed. But I am going out and getting that solar floodlight installed as soon as it stops pouring - then I might actually be able to see what the heck is out there.

    If I hadn't been nervous about the bear, I would have gone outside for a closer look.
     
  6. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    Wisconsin
    Quote:That's what I was thinking.[​IMG]
     
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    The flood light sounds like an excellent idea. We have floods all over the property. We never use them, but they are there just in case. Peace of mind.

    I keep my food inside the walk-out basement. It's a bit of a nuisance, but I have every predator and pest known (except mountain lions and poisonous snakes) to mankind wandering about through my yard. If a bear has taken interest in your chickens you have a problem. For the time being you should definitely move your feed into the house. That's probably what got its attention in the first place.

    Your coop sounds like Fort Knox, but runs are always vulnerable to breaches- no matter how well you build them. You should consider whether or not electric fencing is an option. I use electric fencing on a solar charger and I highly recommend it. My larger charger will stop you in your tracks! Nothing has ever bothered any of my animals as long as we've used these fences.

    Good luck. I hope this helped.
     
  8. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

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    I do have electric fence but: #1 it was off because the chicks have reached the flying stage which just lasts a couple of weeks, but didn't want them to fly over the fence, come huddle up against it when they couldn't get back in and get electrocuted. been there, done that. I know, I could clip their wings. and #2, the wire is 6 inches off the ground.

    guess i should put a wire strand up higher on the fence.

    dang. I am not wanting to move the feed inside each night because I sometimes have to go to work at 4 am and it is still dark, and it would be a true pain in the neck to move it back outside by flashlight.

    it is still pouring.
     
  9. LizzyJo

    LizzyJo Songster

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    Quote:Well, duh. Move the chickens inside too!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

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    lol, that would be a "duh", wouldn't it? never fear, the chickens are locked up each night. otherwise, bear or no bear, I would have been out in that run last night!
     

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