Who Are The Vermin In Your Neighborhood? GRRRRR.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ninjapoodles, May 24, 2008.

  1. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Hi, I'm new here, and was inspired to search out a forum like this after discovering today that two of our pullets had been killed by a raccoon. I HATE RACCOONS. We're lousy with 'em out here, too. They raid our horse feed, poop in the back of our pickup, and have even cut off our power in the middle of the night . But now they've gone too far. We have trapped and relocated several, and have even shot a couple. Additionally, they're now being suspected of having joined 'possum as a vector for Equine Protozoal Myelitis. In other words, I hate them.

    We have a small coop that sits inside of a good-size "yard," which is fenced with chicken-wire up to the top, and covered with bird netting. Live and learn--the 'coon climbed the fence to the top, and pushed through the netting. It got the birds when they were out in the yard, probably in the early morning. ARRGH. So today, we put three strands of hot-wire, at 6", 12", and 24" high all around the enclosure, plus another hot-wire along the top. If anyone has additional suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Would motion-sensor lights help at all?

    Anyway, I was just shocked that we didn't have all our bases covered--we really thought we did. Before the chicks even arrived, my husband set up a motion-triggered "game-cam" on the fence opposite the side of our property where the chicken-yard sits. He baited the area, and left the camera up for a couple of days and nights, just to see what kind of predator activity we had going on. Amidst the squirrel, crow, and deer activity, here's a sampling of what we saw:

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    Fox, raccoons, feral cats, 'possum, and loose dogs. It's the dogs that make me angry more than anyone else. There's no "leash law" out here, and we are the ONLY people in this area who keep our dogs (we have 6) on our own property. GRRRR. But it wasn't the dogs who got our chickens. Since the hatchery sent us 4 extras, and we only lost one tiny baby at the very beginning, we still technically have one more than we bought...but darn it, they got my prettiest "Araucana" (hatchery version)--she looked like a partridge or a pheasant, and was my favorite of all. Of COURSE the 'coon got that one.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  2. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I looked all spring for a broody hen last year. I finally found one, and she was setting on about 10 eggs in a side pen (as opposed to the bigger, safer, main pen) and on day 16 a coon killed her. Lost all the babies as well of course.

    I set a few foothold traps for the coon and caught it 3 days later. It wont dine on anymore of my chickens.
     
  3. CritterHill

    CritterHill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SE PA
    Sorry for your loss!

    I have been told on this board that raccoons will rip through chicken wire and you really need to use welded wire or hardware cloth for the run. I was also told to bury the wire a foot under ground to deter diggers. That is impossible for us because our ground is so rocky, so we will lay the wire flat outside the run for a couple feet and lay rocks over it.

    Our chicks are still in a box in our living room, so I don't know yet if we have built the run and coop strongly enough, but you are living my greatest fear.
     
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    wow!.you sure got your share of vermin!...i'm worried about mine also..foxes..raccoons, fisher cats,coy dogs, hawks,and some big wild cats(not domestic)..like bob cats , we live by water...so we get everyone who is thirsty!..good luck!..Wendy
     
  5. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * Around here, it's apparently the chicken which is considered the most venomous vermin. Met another lady today that once had one-- city took it away as a "traffic nuisance". Apparently, people had been stopping on the street to take pictures of her chicken in the city. [​IMG]
     
  6. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    We're on rock, too. You can't really dig at all. BUT, what we built our chicken yard upon was the bones of an old (like over a decade ago) dog kennel run, back from when this property was owned by a notorious local puppymiller. What is now our chicken yard was once apparently used as a whelping area and for grump with puppies. So there is a wooden fence up to about 4 feet. We couldn't afford to wrap hardware cloth around the whole thing (we just used it on the actual building), so I'm really hoping that the electric fencing will deter the darn things! The first strand is close enough to the ground that it will zap anyone who digs, hopefully. And maybe the rest will discourage any climbing.

    Here are some pics, prior to paint, hardware, and hot-wire:

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  7. CritterHill

    CritterHill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, that is a nice sized run. Yeah, looks like electric is your best bet. Good luck.
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    spring hill, florida
    Hi, just a reminder, electric fence shock will only happen if the animal makes contact with the ground.
     
  9. My Little Sister's Farm

    My Little Sister's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i feel so blessed, we are in the country but apparently on the right side of the hwy because we've only ever seen the occasion a pet and/or barn cat. not so much as a raccoon. some people just across the hwy have cougars, tons of coyotes, and an occasional bear ~10 miles away.

    we've never had naw marks on a neck or a hawk chase. i fear when i get married and my fiance and i start buying his family's farm, it's on the other side of the hwy and there are tons of coyotes, i don't want to subject my babies to that!
     
  10. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    OH MY you have a quite a variety of animals over there! I wonder what we would see if we put cams up at night! I don't see hardly any animals around here since we got our boxer but he stays in all night. You would think if you have six dogs that there would not be that many critters coming around! WOW~! I sure hope you can keep your critters safe!
     

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