What type of predator.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by zanelee, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. zanelee

    zanelee Chillin' With My Peeps

    What type of predator do ya'll think this was?
    We had a momma hen and 3 babies (about a month old). Last night, something came in and apparently ate whole (no evidence left) of the babies, and momma's feathers and small bits of meat were everywhere. All our other hens and fowl were fine. Not a feather out of place. The only tracks I found were possibly a raccoon. It came in over the top of the fencing, (the wire was bent downwards) and it took momma hen out up and over. We followed a feather trail outside the pen for about 8 feet. Then there was nothing. We didn't hear anything in the night. Not even our loud goose sounded off, nor our dogs. It is strange.
    We searched everywhere and found no other evidence. Not even a feather.
    Thanks for any help.
  2. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2016
    Georges Mills, NH
    could certainly be a raccoon or a group of raccoons
  3. Jucodeo

    Jucodeo The Sky is Falling!

    I am so sorry to hear about your momma hen and her babies. It is definitely a very sad day when one of our own flock dies. Judging by the tracks I would agree it could be a raccoon. The most promising bet would that it would be a raccoon. I don't think it would have been a group because they most definite would have attacked more of the chickens. I think that if one raccoon entered a coop the chickens would not notice so my bet was that it was one raccoon. I am so sorry about your loss and I think you should ask how to fix your coop so it would be predator safe. For that I would recommend posting a question unto our coops page to help you fix your coop so this does not happen again. The link is here https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance Have a good day and I wish the best for you and your flock!
    Justin [​IMG]
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What kind of wire?
    Do you have a coop to close them up at night or were the out in the open?
  5. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps


    I live in town. This is what I use to catch any culprits that might want to make a meal out of my chickens. The trap opening is 13 inches X 13 inches, and 36 inches in length. Once the predator steps on the treadle, the door closes and your predator problems are solved. Any one that keeps chickens should have at least a pair of these for quick use when predators stalk our birds.

    Bait it with a tin of cat food food and set it each night. Don't leave it set during the day, all you'll catch is a bunch of chickens. You'll need to stake it so it cannot be turned over, if the trap rolls over the washers will slide and the trap door will open. If the predator escapes, they just got a free education as to what to avoid in the future.

    It works great for squirrels, weasels, mink, feral cats, small dogs, dumb foxes with a lower I.Q., and raccoons; basically most of the animals that want to make a meal out of our birds.
  6. zanelee

    zanelee Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have 4 of those set, and have since the day after it happened. Nothing. I'm very frustrated as I want to get this predator now. Our girls are all being locked up at night now and we're on alert every night. Wouldn't you think this thing would have shown back up by now?
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  7. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2016
    Georges Mills, NH
    it is nearly impossible to catch a fox or coyote in a box trap
  8. fiveidahoboys

    fiveidahoboys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2015
  9. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would have guessed that yeah it would have returned. Once a predator locates a food source, it will return again and again until the food source is depleted.

    Can you see tracks or any sign around the area where the chickens are kept? If an animal has been trapped before, it will avoid traps in the future. Also make sure that the trap is tuned. It should only take 6 to 8 ounces on pressure on the treadle to cause the trap door to fall, and the trap needs to be set level and staked so that a trapped animal cannot roll the trap.

    ....but if the bait is not disturbed. Interesting.....
  10. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    It can be quite challenging, that is true.

    I have never caught a coyote in a cage trap, their behavior when approaching food makes it almost impossible; unless the animal is sick or malnourished.

    Fox on the other hand, if set appropriately, not nearly so difficult.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by