Whose poop is this? *Pic

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Inorganic, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Inorganic

    Inorganic New Egg

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    Feb 18, 2013
    Hello all,

    About a week ago noticed an odd looking dropping in the coop. I had just emptied an old (At least 4 years, had found it in the barn while I was exploring) bag of red cedar bedding that had a tear in the top into the coop. At first I figured that the poop belonged to one of the cats who maybe decided to use the bag as a litter box or something. While I found it odd, my chickens were okay and didn't seem particularly anxious (like they had been stalked or something) so I just threw it outside and moved on.

    Two days later I found more of it in nearly the exact spot that I found it before. I decided it was time to take a picture and ask the experts! (All of you guys [​IMG]). Here is the picture. I suppose I could have gotten a better angle. It's about 3.5 inches long.


    [​IMG]

    I'm kind of stumped based on its appearance. It seems too uniform to be any type of wild critter (Couldn't see any fur/bones/random pieces of berries etc) that is usually in coyote scat. I'm somewhat out in the country so I don't think I'm near any critters that would be raiding a trash can to feed (we keep all trash inside until we go to the local dump) to give the poop the sort of "processed" regularity that a pet dog or cat would have.

    I'm also somewhat at a loss about the critter's intentions. I would guess that it's going in there to look for food, but so far my chickens haven't been harmed. Is it possible that it couldn't reach them? (the chickens roost on a beam about 12 feet in the air). I think I found a few spots at the top of the run that a determined possum (or raccoon, etc) could have climbed to and through and closed them up with some zip ties. I think it would be odd for something with any climbing ability to not scale the sides of the inside of the coop to get up to where the chickens roost. I just can't imagine that something would go through all the work to get inside to leave without a meal. I'm also guessing that it leaves well before the chickens wake up as I haven't heard any type of frenzied squawking when I wake up (which is typically when the rooster starts singing at me).

    I have killed a few possums that have been trying to get in the coop in the past so I guess it could be one. I actually might have killed one last night (or at least wounded him enough to cause bleeding, but he climbed up a boxwood and I wasn't about to reach a hand in there to try to grab him or something). I've been peeking inside the coop and around the run at around 11:30 PM or so before I go to bed but haven't seen (or heard) anything yet.

    Anybody have any ideas? I think the scat looks canine but I can't imagine a coyote getting in there and I also can't imagine a fox getting in without waiting the chickens out in the morning to get something to eat. Hopefully I sealed up whatever hole in my defenses that the mystery critter was using to get in, but I can't be sure.

    Any tips would be appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,
    ~Tim

    PS: I live about 20 minutes north of Richmond, VA, so that might cross a few potential predators off the list.
     

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