Which predator and how to stop it!?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Fraoch21, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Fraoch21

    Fraoch21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2011
    Highlands, Scotland
    the only posibilities for our area are foxes,otters,mink and pine martins. Whatever is it comes back every year between autunm and the end of winter. First year it got all out ducks(13) and it comes back every year from then and takes a few of anything [​IMG] Well whatever it is it took 3 of our turkeys just last week, the first ones of the year.(2 poults,1 adult). We have tried to protect the run as much as possible to stop it but we cant really stop it unless we know how it would get in. I think when it took the 13 ducks the first year it must have been an otter since the dead birds remains were in the stream that runs down the side of the field so we closed up the openings to the stream into the run properly and it stopped getting any more that year.
    When it took the 3 birds this year it left the 2 biggest birds in the run so we left the carcasses in the run and it seems to have been coming back to eat them, mostly only eating the guts. the smallest poult it must've taken since there was no sign of it.
    The run is chicken wire up to average fence height and then big square mesh for the same height above that. The gate isnt quite sealed close enough to the fence at one side but its such a small gap i cant see anything geting through it.

    But anyway ive waffled enough, what i would like to know is, is it still the otter thats coming in? we have had a pine martin take 6 hens before and there have been reports of a fox last winter and mink about a mile down the road so which one is it? [​IMG]
    And also whichever one it might be would it be able to climb the fence high enough to get through the square mesh or even over the top since its not got a roof?

    thansk for any input and sorry its so long
     
  2. no1hilbily

    no1hilbily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2011
    Indianapolis
    trail cam on dead turkeys left out
     
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    A trail or game cam is a great idea. You can try sprinkling flour or some other powder around, if you've been having trouble identifying prints.

    You've got some different things you could try. You could try adding hot wire to your run, to keep animals from climbing it. A good dog will discourage predators. You can add a wire top to your run, along with giving the rest of the wire an upgrade. Chicken wire can be torn and stretched by a lot of animals. If you roof it, they may decide to just go through the chicken wire at the bottom. If it's one of the smaller predators that's a climber, they may still be able to go through the upper wire that has wide openings.

    1/2" hardware cloth is expensive, but it's so popular as a choice because it keeps out so many predators.
     
  4. Fraoch21

    Fraoch21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    a trail cam sounds like a good idea are they easy to get hold of and set up in the uk?
    we are pretty short on money right now, we're actually trying to sell alot of our animals since we cant afford tham any more, so more expensive things are out of the picture [​IMG]
    we have 2 dogs that keep predators away in the runs they can get to, but this run is out on the field a bit and the dogs cant get near it.
    i checked all the chicken wire when i found tham dead and it all seems fine plus its dug into the ground at the bottom and held down with rocks, i will try and get hold of some chicken wire to cover the square mesh but im not sure to use as a roof since its a pretty big run and an odd shape ?
    thanks for the help [​IMG]
     
  5. RingedTeal

    RingedTeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fox/Mink
     
  6. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

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    I've recently had the same type of damage to six chickens. ....guts eaten out from the rear, then some flesh from the meaty areas. Two birds were picked clean. The last chicken was killed inside a closed coop with just a small 3 inch x 12 inch air vent at the very top of the coop (about 8 foot up).

    My first instinct was raccoon, but the only animal we have seen is a POSSUM. We set out a trap for two nights, baited with tuna, and nothing.

    Do you have possums in your area ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  7. Fraoch21

    Fraoch21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2011
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    nope no possums or racoons here, im in the highands, scotland. But what you describe with the guts eaten out from the rear and some meaty bits nibbled is exactly the way the adult one was eaten. The other one left in the run wasnt touched other than some feathers pulled out, i cant even see where it killed her, although im not about to go poking about in a week dead bird [​IMG]
    maybe you could try some bits of raw chicken in the trap, might appeal to whatever it is more than tuna? [​IMG]
     
  8. Fraoch21

    Fraoch21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2011
    Highlands, Scotland
    btw has anyone had any mink taking on bigger birds like turkeys? i thought they might be a bit big for a small animal
    plus can foxes climb fences? thanks
     
  9. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

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    .....hmmm, week dead? yuck.

    We have ugly little gray foxes here. Maybe we BOTH have a fox problem...?

    I'll watch your thread for ideas. [​IMG]
     
  10. JD4570

    JD4570 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The best bait for live traps I've found so far is dry cat food. If you catch a cat just roll the trap from one side to the other then release the cat. It won't go in the trap again. My friend has caught two foxes using cat food.
     

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