Your story or photo of chicken predation

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tmarsh83, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Morning all,

    I'm working on an article about chicken predation and would like to include some experiences of BYC members, as well as photos if you would be willing to share them.

    The focus of the article is on furbearing predators, so raptor or domestic predation isn't as relevant. I don't have any first-hand photos, as my predation has been raptor only.

    Any help you can provide would be great.

    Even just your story may be helpful, but photos would be great. I'll get your permission before I include in the story.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. chippy99th

    chippy99th Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't have photos (sorry), but I've had some experiences with coyotes. We live in the middle of Suburbville USA, so you wouldn't think so, but I have learned since that they get around by the canals.

    One time was actually the feral flock in my neighborhood, several hens led by a big old rooster named Rufus with a beautiful long tail. I did not see the attack, but one morning, I went out to the quarter-acre of land my grandparents owned that adjoined my backyard, and the whole lot was COVERED in feathers. I am positive it was coyotes because we had had recent sightings in the neighborhood, everyone's dogs were inside for that reason and there is no way feral cats could have done as much damage.

    Feathers and blood everywhere. Most of the bodies themselves were gone, but I did find a foot and a partly-eaten organ, I think a heart. You could hardly see the grass, it was like pillow fights in cartoons but with more gore mixed in.

    Two days later, Rufus, the sole survivor of the carnage, finally emerged from hiding. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw him. He wasn't injured, BUT one of the coyotes must have got him by the tail. His long, beautiful tail was gone! There was a single, short tail feather left pointing straight up and aside from that, his tail was totally bald. Oh, he was so embarrassed! Poor guy.

    My other story is second-hand, my mother experienced it when I was a kid. She heard a ruckus outside in the wee hours of the morning before it got light. She ran outside and actually saw a young coyote mid-leap as it jumped over our fence with one of our chickens in its mouth. This was when we were new to keeping chickens, we didn't know to keep them penned in at night for safety and this particular chicken was an early riser.

    Well, my mom screamed and the coyote was so surprised it dropped the chicken. Despite a punctured air sac, she survived and lived many years...but we always penned them in at night after that. My mom was pretty shaken. The coyote was not even full-grown, and it cleared the 6-foot cinder block fence without ever even touching it, like it was skipping a puddle or something. Fortunately, none of our other chickens were taken.

    Hope those stories help, and even if they don't, I had fun telling them! [​IMG]
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    This from one of my old threads and where I am compiling / documenting predator issues. Dogs eventually got it I think. I moved birds away from fenn immediately. Mobile pens helps a lot.


    WEASEL ATTACK WITH PICTURES OF VICTIM

    A few nights ago I lost a game cockerel to a weasel.  Weasel species not known with two, possibly three species present in area.  This outcome is predictcable based on location of pens used to house cockerel and other birds.  Cockerel was in pen closest to a wet depression that bissects poultry yard (see image below).  A group of 30 pens were located to right side of image and about 10 pens (one with victim) to left.  The area is dominated by fescue like cool-season grasses and has an abundance of voles that are darker than the voles occuring in the adjacent browner upland areas to left and right of image.  Note black willow tree to right of image.
    [​IMG]

    Image of victim showing blood pool near top of photograph.
    [​IMG]


    Close-up image showing where weasel fed.
    [​IMG]


    Pens used to confine birds do not provide protection against such small predators.  My dog is also having trouble catching weasel despite have no trouble catching mink in same area.  Weasel seems to be moving largely underground through burrows of the voles.  Voles are so abundant that dogs go hunting for them when hungry and owls come after voles almost every night.  To stop losses I simply moved pens further up hill away from wetland.  I till want to catch weasel to see what species is involved.

    Original post minus images linked below.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/728632/weasel-attack-with-photographs-of-victim

    I also have picture of poultry guardian dog after she was bit by Osage Copperhead. Will dig for raccoon images.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    No one else with additional information? This could be a a highly referable thread if loaded with photographic documentation where predator is known.
     
  5. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Well.... I don't have any shots of the victims on this one, but I can share what happened to these guys....

    [​IMG]


    That would be 4 kits from a family of 6 that killed 7 of our ducks over a 2 month period. In May 2015 we started with ducks. Runners and mallards. We knew we had raccoons around; doesn't just about everybody? ;)

    They ripped the door off the duck hut and snagged 2 mallards. We fixed the door and they dug under the side and got 3 more the next night. After much reinforcement, they laid off for a couple weeks while we amassed traps of all sorts and DH staying up all night, hidden in a camper, waiting for them. About a month later, we got careless and she came back and got 2 more, Dinker (our runt Mallard) and one if my runners. That was the last straw. I was outside walking the creek one night, and I heard the mother growling and squawking and I hollered at DH who came running out with the shotgun. 4 of the kits had climbed a tree and mother was calling them back to the creek, but they never made it ;)


    Never did get the mother, but this last spring, what we assume was the last kit that we didn't get came back, and we cornered it and it is now deceased as well.

    Now the ducks have a concrete embedded duck hut with reinforced walls and a padlock ;)



    I'll share a bit about a weasel that got 17 ducks in 2 nights, as well....

    This was after fortifying the hut, but it hadn't been embedded in concrete yet. Evidently there was an inch wide gap in the bottom of the hut, and one morning, I opened up the duck hut to find all of our mature ducks beheaded. 4 ducks that night, 3 runners and our Drake Mallard. Idiots that we were, we put a brick in what we assumed was the hole, then proceeded to lock our Mallard and 12 ducklings in that stupid duck hut. The next morning, all dead, and 7 ducklings missing. We found 2 of the ducklings jammed in the side of the hut. The weasel had been attempting to take them back to its den. We had the little stinker trapped under the duck hut, but as soon as we tried to move it to shoot it, the bugger took off and DH missed it by inches.

    Haven't had any issues since the weasel, but that was just this spring. We always expect something in spring. It's when they need to feed their babies and they can't resist the ducks for some reason. Never a problem with the chickens, but lost a good 90% of our ducks to predators.

    * to add.. We are bordered by cornfields and a creek in the north side of our yard, about 50 feet from the birds. The creek is home to weasels, raccoons, opossums(which have never caused problems), foxes, and maybe an owl or two. We watch the trails along the creek and can tell when they're moving by their track. We have lost a few ducks in the creek too, but not knowing what itcwas, my best guess is the weasels; they're very good at sneak attacks and literally paralyze their victim. We try to keep old cars and trucks cleaned up to keep the coons from nesting in the actual property, but they're crafty little guys, and as long as everybody is locked up tight, they can live to see another day. There's always going to be something with the creek right there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  6. chickosdy

    chickosdy Just Hatched

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    On November 14, 2016 my coop was attacked twice by a pitbull. I came in from work and as I approach the run after work, I didn't hear them chattering and I knew right away something was wrong. All dead. One got away. A Rhode Inland red and stayed in a tree all night But came home the next day. The predator was a pitbull. We saw him but he got away. Animal control was called but they could find this dog. it's like a mystery. He cut through the chicken wire with his teeth and got through a hole. He didn't eat the chickens but just bit them and drew blood. After week by we figure he wouldn't come back so we went ahead and secured the run with much stronger wire and got eight more chickens. He came back on December 2nd and again he chewed through that wire and this was real strong wire like you use for cow pastures. i was devastated. I gave up and said to myself I am done, I can't go through this again but my love for chicken pressured me to get more. We decide to put heavy duty tin all around the run about 3 feet up. I do have pictures of my coop. Ihave to figure out to upload them
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, the OP could search/browse this forum and find tons of info and pics for their article.
     
  8. chickosdy

    chickosdy Just Hatched

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  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    OP requesting permission to use images and accounts elsewhere. Although, I would appreciate responses to my queries in PM's.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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