Which type of small predator that fits thru a 1" gap did this?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bantyshanty, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    First....no pics....apologies! My tearful daughter insisted I bury her immediately & show her respect (of no pics)
    Second, this happened to a pigeon, but it could have been a bantam hen...please don't distinguish, chicken people.

    My first predator attack ever was last night, on a broody pigeon hen in my.pigeon house.
    The other 3 pigeons were left unharmed.

    Her spinal cord had been severed and the mest eaten from shoulder to base of skull. Skull and head were intact. Eggs (2) were left under her unharmed. She was left in the nest without attemot to drag her.
    Looks like she died instantly without waking. Her body was still lukewarm when I found her at dawn. Her mate was flying around agitated.

    The only opening in the pigeon loft/run is a small 1/2 by 2" crack near the roof. E.t. else has hardware cloth.
    So, would a rat or a weasel be more likely to kill this way? I have had rat bait in a professional grade trap behind the loft most of the year.
  2. bkreugar

    bkreugar Songster

    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    Yes that does sound like a rat. I had a rat problem in the past and they got thru a 1" gap between my back door and bottom of coop floor. They only got the younger guys that were not on the roost bars. I then found evidence of burrows and holes. I put rat poison DEEP into the holes and then covered the holes with rocks. Also redid the door. Took about a month and then no more rats.
  3. ozarkchicks

    ozarkchicks Songster

    Mar 25, 2013
    I'd say rat
  4. I am worried about the scenario there. I find that rats(Norway) will kill chicks and maybe small birds on the floor but they would rather take the feed first since they don't have to work hard to get it. Was there still feed in the dishes or whatever you feed them in? If there was feed there they would scoop up as much as possible first.

    Now, a mink after a pigeon in a box is a little tricky, especially if it was a heavier broody hen on a nest. A mink will go for the head and shoulder if it does not have access to the rear of the bird. Other nesting boxes could have been out of reach although mink and weasels are good climbers. Possible startled and not finished the job... Maybe hen was too heavy and awkward to pull out of nesting box. Been there a couple of times myself.

    First and foremost cover any hole THAT small to prevent another breach and other holes the same size ish... Best of luck and keep an eye on the feed dishes being emptied... Steve
  5. Rowdie

    Rowdie In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2013
    I think I had a rat attack last night. Raised many chicks in this coup never had a problem. Lost four of 8 last night and they were mangled. UGH.

    Rat was the only critter that came to mind but I never lost any to rats before so I wasn't sure if that was a possibility. Figured it'd show up here if it did.

    Put out some traps, but worried/wondring about what to do tonight even if I do get one or two.

    Edit. Tore out two nests. Old JRT got the momma rats. Over a dozen pinkies are gone. Left bait in there, but I have to wonder if the bait is more inviting than the feed or chicks.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  6. cowsr4eating

    cowsr4eating In the Brooder

    Aug 31, 2011
    Fort Worth, Texas
    We've had Norway rats before and put out bait and they wouldn't touch it. My husband started taking the chicken feeder out of the coop every night hoping to encourage them to eat the bait. Thank goodness we only have large fowl that roost up high. I never knew a rat would attack a full grown chicken. My husband has gone out the last couple of evenings and killed 7 rats with a bee bee gun. He said they weren't moving very fast I guess due to ingesting some poison. I am so sorry for all of your losses. I hope you've taken care of your problem. I will be more concerned about rats now.
  7. Rowdie

    Rowdie In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2013
    I'm keeping the chicks out of there at night. I've put them in, what's effectively a dog crate, with some food and water and will return them to the larger coup in the morning. Not sure how long I can keep this up, but at the very least some time for the bait to possibly work and/or to do an even more complete clean out of the coup/tool shed. I was a bit ill today and couldn't complete the clean out.

    Both Jersey Giants, Golden Sex Link, and an A'lorp. :(

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