Author Topic: Chickens killed  (Read 2901 times)

Offline nuggethound

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Chickens killed
« on: August 14, 2016, 07:51:13 AM »
Went over to our property and discovered we had lost 9 chickens. Only found 2 with the heads missing and piles of feathers at different locations. Locked down the 2 remaining hens and set out a live trap. Haven't ever had dogs attack our hens before so not sure if a new family of Foxes moved in or Raccoons. My wife names all her girls so it really hurt her to lose some hens she had for over 6 years. Guess we will have to start over as soon as I can stop whatever it was from staying around.

JB
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Offline Maggie13

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2016, 08:45:09 AM »
I hope the culprit has moved on or your trap works!
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Offline Daniel Grant

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2016, 12:35:09 PM »
Nugget,
You have my sympathies for the loss of your "girls." I can understand your wife's feelings. I put an electric fence wire about 4 inches away from the outside of the chicken fence and about 6 inches off the ground. Once I did this nothing ever attempted to bother my chickens again. If you do not have electricity near your chickens you can get a battery powered charger and a small solar panel will keep the battery charged.
Dan
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Offline tbird

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2016, 06:42:30 PM »
  We lost 18 in a two week period last year.  I know it was my neighbor's dog, but could not catch the dog in the act.  I have replaced all of the hens and so far so good.  I do keep the .17HMR next to the bathroom window.  I have a dim night light by the hen house that gives me just enough light to see clearly through my 14X52 scope on the .17HMR.  Next time the dog comes by at night and gets interested it will be brought to my neighbor's house and set on the step. 

  Yesterday we had a hen almost 5 years old die in the hen house.  No evidence of foul play or disease.  It has been in the mid to high 80s so I know it was not weather related either.  We still have 3 of our original 24 chicks we hatched in November of 2011.  One rooster and now two hens.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 06:47:29 PM by tbird »
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Offline crazyhorse

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2016, 03:12:09 AM »
Mr Nugget, sorry for your loss.
I hope you catch the culprit.

Offline nuggethound

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 02:25:06 PM »
Update on the chickens. I have had a live trap set for going on three days without any results. Apparently whatever killed the 9 hens are finished for now. Still have the last 2 on lockdown. Oh well.

JB
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Offline PD-Riverman

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 08:48:25 PM »
Update on the chickens. I have had a live trap set for going on three days without any results. Apparently whatever killed the 9 hens are finished for now. Still have the last 2 on lockdown. Oh well.

JB

What kind of bait you got the trap set with?

Offline nuggethound

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 10:56:40 PM »
Wet cat food has been my bait this time. I've used tuna before when I was having problems with critters getting into our feed.

JB
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Offline PD-Riverman

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2016, 06:26:29 AM »
Wet cat food has been my bait this time. I've used tuna before when I was having problems with critters getting into our feed.

JB

You might get lucky and catch something like a raccoon or opossum and what you catch might have never bothered your chickens. Is your trap big enough a big dog can get in it easy or a big bob-cat? A bob-cat will not crawl on its belly into a standard size Hav-a-hart trap to get wet cat food. I have caught a lot of bob-cats and dogs in the last 15 to 20 years. My bait-----Live chicken----that's what they are after so that would be the best bait. I use a BIG live catch trap with a Live Bait box---that the predator can not get to the chicken. Mine is home-made but similar to this one http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/outdoor-advantek-catch-and-release-live-animal-trap-16-in-w-x-58-in-l-x-25-1-2-in-h?cm_vc=-10005 . I used something I had for a Dog trap----a 7ft x 14ft x 6ft dog kennel(smaller would work good) that I picked up for $75. I modified it and caught several dogs in it the first week I had it set. With a live chicken as bait. I have never lost a Feather on my bait chickens-----I always take the chicken out the bait box----rub it and thank it for helping catch the predator---put it back with the other chickens. Free roosters off craigslist make great bait chickens, then you can cook it or give it away after you catch "your predator".

Sure if your only problem is a Raccoon---you can catch it with one of the live catch trap design for that type animal, but from what you said in your original post----I think you have a "Bigger" problem than a raccoon. 1/2 of a honey bun or a piece of a sweet cake is the best bait I have ever found for them in a live catch trap. If you have any questions---just ask. Last year this time I had over 1200 chickens---their pens set-up in the edge of the wood line, next to a flooded beaver made lake/creek that goes to the river. So yea I am in a good location for a lot of predators---including a alligator. Good Luck
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 06:34:46 AM by PD-Riverman »

Offline nuggethound

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2016, 08:20:17 AM »
Thanks for the info. Yes I have a pretty large trap ,but not big enough for say a coyote. e have around 100 acres of woods behind our property so I have the same type of scenario you have as to critters. I will be checking the trap again today and if nothing has touched the bait I will try the honey bun. I'm beginning to think the problem is a family of young foxes were the culprit but have no definite answer of course.

JB
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Offline Lost in Lebeau

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2016, 08:24:01 AM »
Coons love marshmallows too.
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Offline nuggethound

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2016, 08:53:16 AM »
Just watched a video that mhpgardener made a few years ago where he used marshmellows. Here's another question I have in my mind. All the attacks appear to have been well away from the coop so that makes me believe they were attacked during the day. All but 2 were taken away and those 2 had the heads missing but the bodies left behind so at this point I have no idea what I'm dealing with. I would think raccoons would attack at night and I would think the hens could outrun a possum during the day.
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Offline PD-Riverman

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2016, 04:09:19 PM »
Yes I have a pretty large trap ,but not big enough for say a coyote.

Is the trap factory built? Is it a hav-a-hart? What Size is it.

Several different type of predators could have killed your chickens from what you described  if you are allowing them to roam/free-range un-attended during the day and not closing them up at night. I would suggest you wait till you are living there before you get anymore or Build a pen/coop like Fort Knox and no free-ranging unless you are there. Everything likes the taste of chicken. My chickens are 1/2 mile from my home, but I go to the pens at first dark every day to make sure all the free-range ones are in the coop---I close them up. I do this because I sure do not want anything to happen to them. They can not see anything on a dark night----they are helpless.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 04:22:20 PM by PD-Riverman »

Offline nuggethound

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2016, 11:47:15 PM »
They are not let out everyday and when they are they are locked down at night. They were not attacked in the coop, they were out when they were killed The coop has been used for over 6 years and I have never had a hen killed inside the coop. The only thing I have had a problem with a couple of time was black snakes that would eat the eggs.

JB
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Offline PD-Riverman

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2016, 06:30:27 AM »
They are not let out everyday and when they are they are locked down at night. They were not attacked in the coop, they were out when they were killed The coop has been used for over 6 years and I have never had a hen killed inside the coop. The only thing I have had a problem with a couple of time was black snakes that would eat the eggs.

JB

OK----the first sentence in the OP throwed me off ""Went over to our property and discovered we had lost 9 chickens"" There is several predators that will kill in the day time------A dog, Hawk, Fox, even a bobcat,  etc, etc. Not a raccoon or a possum with free range chickens---So if you are trying to trap them you are after your wrong predator in my opinion. Good Luck

Offline nuggethound

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2016, 09:17:22 AM »
I agree, I think it was not raccoons.

JB
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Offline tbird

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2016, 10:39:30 PM »
  Definitely a daytime predator.  Rule out owls and Yotes don't like day too much either.
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Online bordercollie

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2016, 09:12:58 AM »
Coons aren't acting normal around here. On the old forum, I posted about how a raccoon attacked my chickens during the day and only let go of one (Ginger) when I lunged and yelled  at it through the fence. He  came back 3 times during the mid day during lunch time while I had my group on lock down . I reluctantly decided to cut my pear tree that made it "jungley" and worked on that for over a day but he would come out and try to get in the house all during that time when I was doing farm stuff ,but I cameto the pen the back way one day and finally got him.
  My neighbor  is cutting his corn right now  (across the road)  and so coons are rampant right now. Cobs are everywhere. I saw a juvenile in the pen yesterday about an hour before dark so have to lock them up over an hr before dark.
    Were all of the chickens killed on the same day?  I had stray dogs get in my pen years ago and just killed for fun - eating on only a couple-  killing six or more. A hawk would usually carry them off to eat and wouldn't eat that many in one day.
 Hummm. I would be interested in what you find. judy
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 08:38:10 AM by bordercollie »

Offline nuggethound

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2016, 11:19:10 PM »
Yes all the chickens were killed on the same day. You could tell they were attacked at different areas and all were carried away except for 2 who had the heads missing.

JB
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Offline tbird

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Re: Chickens killed
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2016, 12:03:17 AM »
  I lost 5 in one day exactly like that.  5 killed, two left in a pile of feathers without their heads and 3 carried off.  The neighbors dog.  She also broke in through the poultry wire and killed 4 inside the coop including a very big rooster that seemed to have fought her.  This dog is about 75 pounds.

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