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Thread: Something is killing my birds

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    West Central, Mi
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    Default Something is killing my birds

    I've got something getting into my coop, it seems to be stealing some eggs and kills a chicken or two every week or so.

    I put out a live trap, baited it with marshmallows and trapped a racoon first night. But I made the mistake of letting it go on the back part of my property. Since then I've lost another chicken, but I'm not 100% certain what's killing them. I can't seem to find any conclusive spots where it's getting in through, so I'm not even sure how it's getting in and out.

    Since then, I've rebaited the trap, but whatever is out there is somehow getting into the trap, getting the marshmallows and not setting it off somehow. I've covered the trap with a tarp and weighed the tarp down, so the only way to even see, much less touch, the marshmallows is to go in the front.

    I put a fresh egg in there last night with the marshmallows and the egg was left and the trap still unsprung. It's not an issue of springing the trap and still getting out, because as I said, the trap is unsprung not empty. I've even set up motion detection lights, and they still haven't deterred the critters, the last hen was killed several days after they were installed.

    Any help on what's the best approach to this, other than setting up a hunting blind and waiting all night, would be appreciated.
    The Normalcy Bias, do you suffer from it to?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    N. Texas
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    Default

    Get a game Camera. They run 100-150$ for night capability pics.
    "The First Gay President", L'dMAO!! "Peace can ONLY be achieved through SUPERIOR FIREPOWER, STOMPING LIBS and CARPETBOMBING"!!

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by texasskeeter View Post
    Get a game Camera. They run 100-150$ for night capability pics.
    Aldi's has a nice one right now for $80

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Helena Montana
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    Default

    i have used heavy duty sticky traps to catch a pack rat.

  5. #5
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    Mountains & Lakes of the extreme NorthEast
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    Sounds like a bored teenager to me

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    5,141

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    sounds like maybe a mink or a weasel. Wouldn't think a coon or you would see a hole where it goes in and out. I have rats but never had a chicken killed by them. I assume the coop has a roof ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
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    We had a very similar thing happening when I was a kid. We would find parts of a dead chicken and feathers scattered outside the chicken coup. My parents thought it was a 2 legged critter, so my dad put a trap out. The next morning we found a very mad coon in the trap. It was pretty easy to put it down.

    Come to find out, this coon was pulling chickens through the small openings in the chicken wire fence!

    The eggs coming up missing could be a snake.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    West Central, Mi
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    Default

    The primary coop is a shed that was converted into a coop. On One side is another shed, the front is covered with hardware cloth that aprons out at the bottom and is burried. The 2 other sides are exposed to a larger external area that is fenced in and covered with a bird net. The fencing goes all the way too the ground but does have openings big enough for a small animal like a mink or rat to get in. There is an opening from the main coop to the expanded run that I had been leaving open. But I've since taken to closing up at night. I know the flaws in my design, and I'm working on fixing them. But at the same time, I'm also looking for a way to trap this little bastard. As long as it's alive, it will.continue to be a problem. So I'm trying to both secure the coop and eliminate the predators.
    The Normalcy Bias, do you suffer from it to?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Coons will definitely kill chickens, and they don't need a very big hole to get in. If you had one in the live trap and let it go, you won't get him in the trap again. I learned this the hard way. A rat could be taking the marshmallows and not springing the trap.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    West Central, Mi
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    If it helps, most of the chickens killed had both head and torso areas eaten. And in both instances the birds we killed in a corner, the first set was killed in a corner inside the main coop. the other must have been dragged outside and killed in a corner of the run.
    The Normalcy Bias, do you suffer from it to?

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