Calling all "judges" for the annual DG County Fair! Vote for your favorites here!

racoons

Plymouth, MI

well, i had 4 hens eaten by a racoon in one night, it was two RIRs and Two Barred Rocks, i only have my silkie rooster and one RIR. sad stuff

Prophetstown, IL(Zone 5a)

I'm in the same boat - can't figure out how the !@#$% is getting in...neighbor told me to put a radio in the coop...and I baited the rest of the barn with poison today....gonna get the critter.

very sad stuff - am sorry for what you're going through.

Catherine

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

'Coons do not kill just for food and they are also partial to certain parts of the birds. These are unmerciful killers of poultry so you cannot show them any mercy. Your poultry depend on you to protect them so do whatever is needed to do so. I'm so sorry for both of you. We have been thru this with several different preditors. Once they know where the free meal is located they come back until everything is killed or they are.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)


That's true. They won't stop, they'll be back until the plate is empty.
I hope you get them.

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8b)

Oh My Gosh ! I had no Idea that Racoons would kill Poultry! I knew they would steal eggs and probably babies , but not grown Hens!! This is a new one to me! I was worried about dogs and Coyotes( something new to out area, in the past 10 Years)!! Even Foxes, but I never thought about Racoons!

Potsdam, NY(Zone 4a)

I never heard of raccoons killing full grown chickens! Are you sure it is a raccoon? Perhaps you have a weasel. Is the dead bird lying there. Is the whole bird gone? I would think of a lot of other animals before a raccoon. I do believe I have a visiting raccoon at night, taking down bird feeders and emptying them. Will put them away now. Poor birds will have to go natural for now. LOL! Spoiled anyway. BAM

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

I have hardly heard of a raccoon that will *not* kill chickens, given the opportunity.

Plymouth, MI

i am sure it was a racoon, it ate everything but legs and beak and the likes, and i saw the tracks.

Falls Mills, VA

Let me chime in here. Racoons will definately kill chickens, as will opossums. I have killed many of both of these varmits in my chicken coops over the years.
Keith

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

I just live trapped one(used dog food........)
It was grabbing some of my birds that were in pens,and killing and eating them right thru the cage,it had run out of birds that were loose
I'm estimating she killed at least 15 in the past month,not including the eggs.......(she may not have been the only killer)
Some were my show birds needed for a show tomorrow and a photo shoot on friday
I felt bad for her,she was a nursing mother,I knew there were babies somewhere,but got rid of her anyway,Had to,she was killing MY babies
And one of the babies showed up in my neighbors yard today,they called me to see what they should feed it
I told them and gave them a book that tells how to raise wildlife
But I told them if they are keeping it for a pet,and it ever shows its face in my yard....pet or not....I will kill it

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

In MO and many other states it is illegal to keep furbearing animals as pets without a special permit which is next to impossible to get. And if they run loose they are in grave danger of being destroyed because they will have no fear of humans. Nursing mother wild animals are ravenously hungry all the time. And they teach their young to hunt too.

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

Oh they know that
But..... heck.....If I didn't have poultry,I'd do the same thing
The neighbors on the other side had a pet coon and a skunk
(that was years ago)
I'm not going to turn freinds in for having pets the goverment says we shouldn't

But like I said
if it comes here....its a gonner

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)


Crested, wasn't it you that had the Polish Crested that was in the magazine photos ? I may be confused, but I thought it was you. If so, did the coon get it ? I hope not.

I have a neighbor that has 2 baby coons in a cage. I told her that I'd kill them if they came here too. We are growing corn and raising chickens, no doubt they'd come for dinnner if given a chance.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I completely understand your position and I would have done the same thing when I was younger. But now I am at the age/stage of life where I am more picky I guess one might call it. Especially if my birds or other property is at risk. And I know racoons make adorable pets sometimes. We have had one or 2 and some 'possums(had permits for only one of them tho but they weren't in total captivity so I was told we really weren't violating any laws). I also just don't have the energy it would take to raise a baby racoon. They take a lot of care and energy.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)


Leaflady, you and I may be at that same age/stage where we just don't have the energy or patience to deal with predator animals. I know exactly what you mean. I think they are cute as can be, but they are still wild animals. If they made good pets, they would have been domesticated a long time ago. None in the pet stores so far. For me, it just wasn't meant to be, but I don't begrudge those who want to try it, long as they confine them.

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

PeggyK
yes ,that was my birds in Vogue
And a unknown preditor,I think was a coon, killed the WCB cock that was in Vogue
he was on a 3rd row conditioning pen(over my head),something actually got in there and dragged him up on top of the 4th row of pens and ate him.The cage was not open but there was a gap in the side of the door,and most of his feathers were in the cage
What kills me is there were birds on the bottom rows that would have been easier to get at........

I have a shoot with a photographer in NYC on Friday,she has an art studio and makes the pictures look really old and antique
The coon I destroyed killed 4 of the birds I needed for this photo shoot

here the picture of the bird that was killed last fall

Thumbnail by crestedchik
SE Arky, United States(Zone 8a)

Our fav chicken was killed by a opossum recently and we killed that opossum, and two more arrived, we are trying to do away with them. In this area raccoons, opossum, fox, coyote, armadillo, rats and the like, are serious threats to chickens. I now crate all the chickens at night. We used a light all winter with no problems, but it seems that all of the varmints are on the move this time of the year. Our chicken was nesting and we stupidly thought she would be okay since the rooster stays near her, but of course that wasn't the case...I'm so sorry about your losses and hope that we will all be able to find a way to keep our chickens safe...

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8b)

Well guess Ive been very lucky! No predators, Except uncared for nieghbors dogs, have bothered my chickens! The usual Chicken and King snakes havent been around this year at all .. so far! But we are in the country and living so close to an animal preserve and national forests helps the critters have a safe haven with plenty of water and natural food! But I still have and older coop and run with a wire top!
We are working now on a new yard that will be 20 x 40',and it will also have a covered wire top!
Uhhh! Armadillos,too? They can kill a chicken? Oh boy have I been luckY!

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Has anyone had any experience with Weasels?
Several of our smallers ones were killed, we at first thought it was a snake trying to swallow them and then spitting them back out because the way their head feathers were wet and slicked up in a point.

One of the old timers here told us it was a weasel, that they just suck the blood out of them and leave them... there weren't any marks that we could see on any of the birds except for their heads being wet...they weren't mangled at all, just dead with wet heads.

We're down to only 4 crested chicks now. :-(

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

We had weasles or minks come in here befor
But they beheaded the birds
and drank the blood
ate some of the soft tissue through the neck
but the bodies were otherwise intact

North Vernon, IN

I have black giants (great layers). I went out yesterday to feed in the back was what was left of my best layer 2 feet her spine and a very very small portion of her ribs i think it was an opossum because there was a gap between the wire and the ground about 3-4 inches. What do you guys think it was???

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

6/9/06
I'm so sorry to hear of everyone's news about the loss of their chickensÖ How awful!!
Yesterday, my neighbor Sharon who lives across the road woke up to find ALL of her chickens dead. I got the news from her father-in-law, who lives next to me, so I don't have all the details as to what condition the chickens were in, and I have not seen her coop, but I'm quite scared for my flock now. I am new to raising chickens; just got 8 of them for Mother's Day (2 Ameraucanas, 2 RIR, and 4 Silkies) and we're in the process of building a chicken coop. When I heard the news about Sharon's chickens, I started taking some extra precautions. Below is what my coop has and what we've done. If you all wouldn't mind, I would appreciate some of your input... Let me know if you think my coop will withstand a would-be-invader -or- if you have any additional suggestions. Thanks a bunch. I just don't want to experience what so many have already...
My coop:

1) Is a 4' X 8' elevated coop that sets 30" above the ground and is mounted to the back of our garage, under a HUGE lean-to overhang.

2) Is completely enclosed (around the pen itself, and the area underneath the pen) with 19-gauge 1/2" square wire screen nailed and stapled (with a pneumatic nailer) to the coop which is built out of 2' x 4's. The area where the chickens will "live" is 30" above the ground.

3) The floor of the coop itself, where the chickens live and walk around, is made of 1/4" hardware cloth/wire screen, which is also nailed to the 2' x 4' construction.

4) The side wall of the coop where the doors to the nesting boxes are is made of 3/4" plywood and the hinged doors to each nesting box has metal latches with locks on them.

5) The floor below the coop area, where we stand, is a dirt floor, but the side of the lean-to (which is the west end of the coop) has a old cement foundation that is only about 8" deep below ground, so I dug out a deep trench along and below the old foundation (on the inside where the coop is) and buried several huge, heavy boulders - hoping that if the invader tries to dig his way under the foundation he'll give up when he hits the boulders. I continued around the whole perimeter of the coop and buried either boulders or cinderblocks. The whole area below the coop itself (30" X 4' X 8') is enclosed with the 19-gauge 1/2" square wire screen.

6) The chicken's door from the coop to the outside is hinged and will have a metal latch and lock. It is attached to the corrigated metal sidewall of the lean-to and a stud.

7) As my sweet husband built the coop, he went to great lengths to make sure that there were no gaps on the roof, sides, back, and bottom, that any kind of predator could get it. Naturally, a mouse can get in, and I'm not sure if a rat can get in, but as far as the "big predators" go, that's all we've been able to think of doing. The door that I will use to the inside of the coop itself has a metal latch and lock too... (I'm only 5'2" so you can picture me climbing up into a coop that is 30" above the ground. :) )

I'd sure appreciate any other suggestions or thoughts. I'll try to post pictures of my coop a.s.a.p. so that you can take a look at it too.

PS: My mother, who was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky, told me what my Papaw use to do when he had a coon that was trying to dig his way into the chicken coop. What Papaw did was very effective and did not (kill) the coon. It's not pleasant so I won't post it here, but I'd be glad to share that info with anyone who would want to know.
Glenda


Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

Update...
My neighbor, Sharon, knows what killed her 23 chickens.
It was a fox.

North Vernon, IN

Please inform me on what he did to get rid of the coon

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

Foxes will sometimes bring in their whole family and play kill the birds
Sometimes just one will do it
About 10 years ago I came home from school shopping with my children to see a massacre in my yard
No blood
Just feathers and carcasses everywhere
38 birds,many of them my pets
(my show birds are normally locked up)
My kids freaked
Some of their favorites ,including one they raised in the house the winter before and had no clue he was a chicken
No stray dogs were seen in the area
The neighbors did hear the chickens but are so far away they thought I was grabbing them for washing(they make a lot of noise when chased and caught)

I did some research and foxes have been known to go on a rampage and just kill

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

I saw a fox coming out of the barn a few years ago. I'd forgotten to lock up the night
before. I had never seen a fox & was very excited 'til I remembered that old saying
about a fox in the henhouse. It was a masacre. No one left but about 6-7 eggs that
hatched a few hours later. Those babies felt like a miracle! Moma had stashed them
in the overhang. Our flock continued because of her cunning hiding spot!

Tam

North Vernon, IN

another one of my chickens got killed last night. its head was gone and its wings were stripped to the bone. there was a huge chunck of skin missing on the side but the meat wasnt eaten WHATS KILLING MY CHICKENS!!!???

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)


I copied this off a site
Try googling poultry predator identification


Playing Detective In many instances predators leave clues to their identity when they have visited a poultry house. From these clues the poultry producer may be able to identify the culprit and take the necessary steps to prevent a reoccurrence.Dogs. A dog usually kills chickens for the sport. Several dead birds with much mauling of the carcasses is usually evidence of a dog. Dogs usually visit the chicken pen during daylight hours rather than at night.Mink-Weasel. Birds usually show signs of attack on the sides of the head if a mink or weasel has visited the poultry house. With these predators, several birds will probably be killed and piled neatly together. The back of the head and neck are frequently the only parts of the carcass consumed.Raccoon. If a predator visits only once each 5 to 7 days and eats the head and the crop of the dead birds, a raccoon is probably responsible. Sometimes more than one bird will be killed at each visit.Opossum. The opossum generally attacks only one bird at each visit. Usually, the birdís abdomen has been eaten. Eggs may also be the object of the opossumís raid on the chicken house.Owl. The only likely culprit here is the great horned owl, which does sometimes attack poultry. One or two birds are usually killed, with the talons being used to pierce the brain. The owl will usually eat only the head and neck. Feathers found on a fence-post near the chicken house or pen may provide an additional clue.Fox-Coyote.The old sayings about the sly fox were not by accident. The fox and the coyote are very smart and difficult to catch in the act of raiding the flock. Since birds are frequently carried away with little evidence left behind, the only way of determining losses may be a head count. Visits from these predators will usually be very early in the morning. Keeping birds in a secure pen or poultry house until late morning is good insurance against losses from a fox or coyote.Skunks. Skunks do not usually attack adult birds. They may kill a few chicks and eat the abdomen. Eggs may also be the targets. If skunks have been in the poultry house the odor is usually a clue.Humans. Unfortunately, there can be problems from people as well as animals. If birds are missing with very little evidence, particulary from a predator proof pen or house, the possibility of humans being involved should not be over-looked.Preventing Repeat VisitsDetermining the identity of the predator is essential in preventing repeat visits. Once identification has been made, appropriate steps can be taken. Eliminating the point of entry is the first deterrent and eliminating the source of the problem by trapping or other means is the second. Trapping should be done properly to minimize the chances of catching an innocent animal. Seeking advice from a wildlife specialist is desirable if individuals have no experience with trapping.Again, prevention is the best solution to the predator problem.

North Vernon, IN

I found out what was killing my birds!!!! i went out to feed my rabbits and by our old shed i saw a big white poofy tail. then i realized it was skunks!!!! Iwent and grabbed my trusty 22 marlin and shot 3 of the little parasites. then i set a live trap with a chicken carcass and put a conabear trap over their den exit!! an entire FAMILY of skunks who knew!!!

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

Yikes!! I didn't know that a skunk would kill a chicken. ...I guess, now that I think about it, I didn't know (what) a skunk does or eats. Good luck Naylor992. Let us know how many skunks you get!

North Vernon, IN

I've killed 4 skunks so far 1 adult and 3 young ones

Potsdam, NY(Zone 4a)

Good grief. I will never be able to have chickens here, unless I keep them inside. I have so many critters around here! Terrible thing, to raise chickens, just to have something come in, and kill them. So sorry for all your losses. Seems a coop and pen have to be built like Fort Knox to keep most of them out. Quite a problem. BAM

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

A chicken tractor is the way to go for anyone who doesn't need many birds. The one Mother Earth News designed is predator proof, and you can make it larger if necessary to accomodate 8 or so large breed chickens. You move the thing every day and the varmints don't figure out ways in. I know no one who has lost chickens to predators using this coop.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/DIY/2003_February_March/Building_Mother_s_Mini_Coop

Theresa, NY

My grandmother had a large skunk get quite a few of her prized Ancona and Production red hens. It dug under the gate and somehow unlatched the coop door and moved a large cinder block to get them. We trapped it and hasn't happened since.

Willits, CA(Zone 8a)

What about ducks?
Do all these things bother ducks too?
Becky

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

Yes.

Willits, CA(Zone 8a)

I have skunks and racoons that stop by our house a few nights a week.

I just got 4 ducks yesterday. After all these stories, I put them inside my yard..7 foot deer fence, inside the garden yard....another 4 ft. fence and in a home made coop. Then I slept out on the front deck with the light on!
The ducks were okay, but today I feel like $%^$.

We've never had racoons in the yard that I know of and a skunk only once....the dogs chased him out and got sprayed in the process.

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

Oh, dear. I think they were pretty safe in that setup, Beckster.

Potsdam, NY(Zone 4a)

I can certainly sympathize with all this. A raccoon has been giving me small grief this summer. Nothing compared to all these stories, but, still--- First it took down bird feeders on a nightly basis. I took all those in, and did not put them back. Then, it took down the wren house that a pair of wrens had built in. Do not know if their were eggs, but, part of the nesting material was out on the ground. I put the house back up, on a smaller limb, and wired it in place, but, of course, the wrens did not return to it.
The last time, it took down a new Robin's nest from the same tree! So, they can be very destructive, and they are clever, and very good with those nimble front paws. Good luck to all of us, having the things that we enjoy. Still, I love this silly little place in the country, overall. BAM

Bloomfield, IA(Zone 5b)

I can say from experience that yes Raccoons are chicken and other poultry killers as I have caught the buggers even in the day time raiding the chicken lot. in 1 month I have had them take me from 143 birds to 3. I had chickens, guineas, turkey's geese, ducks, pea foul, etc... and they will wipe you out. They have ripped thru a wood shingle roof of a building I had birds in and I had to recover it with tin and barbed wire. I have lived here in the same place for 10 years and have had to fight the coons. (mostly, some skunks, and opossums too. As well as owls and other night critters, yet not 1 of my cats has EVER killed even a chick,)
If you use the following be VERY CAREFULL! You are dealing with a poison and it does not chose who it kills.This is for VERY EXTREEME problems!
Before doing this lock up dogs, cats or any of your other pets that might come across this!

One thing I have found to kill the coons (out side of a shotgun!) Is get some fly bait at a farm store and mix with Coke, or any soda. In winter use cat or dog food. But mix like 1/2 a can of soda, and about 2 tsp ( I just guestimate and don't actually use a measuring spoon.) bait and put in a container you can throw away. Make sure everything is disposable, gloves, spoon, container, everything. And keep everything locked up away from children, pets, etc... I put out about 4 containers a night. I get up as early as possible and pick up all the containers first and store them in a safe location. Then I collect the carcass's. This seems cruel, but it's quick. it's not as bad as possibly shooting at them and just injuring them and letting them suffer. The poison works fast, very fast. I burn the bodies completely. if they defficate or vomite I use a shovel and dig the area and that gets burned too.
You have to do this about 3 to 4 nights to get the whole clan, and it helps for about 2 to 4 months. but they keep coming.
Sue...

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