Killer in the hen house

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Mr Cimarron

DRIVE, BREAK, FIX, REPEAT
SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 8, 2011
Threads
61
Messages
5,434
Location
Cedar Valley, Texas
We had our first killing since owning chickens and ducks for about two years. Our two Pekin Ducks were murdered this morning in the locked pen. Chickens were fine. One duck had its neck eaten and the other was missing it's head with part of the body opened up. I'm guessing it was an owl or hawk unless a raccoon climbed over the fence. We don't have weasels around here. It sucks because the ducks layed an egg everyday year round. Anybody have any experience with this type of killing? I need to figure out what to look for now and how to protect the rest of the birds.
 
When I was a kid, we had a problem with coyotes coming in the yard every now and then, and the dog got ahold of a couple chickens. If your pen is secure from the ground, I'd guess raccoons if you have them around. If you don't want to have a completely locked down coup, it might just be a matter of getting rid of a couple of bad raccoons, they'll keep coming back.
 
When I was a kid, we had a problem with coyotes coming in the yard every now and then, and the dog got ahold of a couple chickens. If your pen is secure from the ground, I'd guess raccoons if you have them around. If you don't want to have a completely locked down coup, it might just be a matter of getting rid of a couple of bad raccoons, they'll keep coming back.
The pen is secure with chicken wire. Didn't find any holes in or under fence. The chickens were roosting in the coop so imagine they slept through the assassination. The ducks never sleep in the coop just on the ground in the pen. My neighbor had a problem with Hawks and owls last year with an occasional fox but he doesn't have a secure pen. Neighbor on other side has photos of raccoons on his game camera near his coop. May put out the live trap this week and see what I catch.
 
The pen is secure with chicken wire. Didn't find any holes in or under fence. The chickens were roosting in the coop so imagine they slept through the assassination. The ducks never sleep in the coop just on the ground in the pen. My neighbor had a problem with Hawks and owls last year with an occasional fox but he doesn't have a secure pen. Neighbor on other side has photos of raccoons on his game camera near his coop. May put out the live trap this week and see what I catch.

Bummer!

The hawks in our hood take the prey away once they come down and nail it and then tear it apart, usually in a tree. The confusing part is its the duck was still there.
 
Description of predation indicates mammalian and not raptor. We had chickens for a few years and lost a bunch to raccoons and opossums. I had to completely enclose the coop with chicken wire but this was an ongoing process until I had all the holes covered. I also set medium size mammal traps around the chicken pen to catch the culprits. These were Havahart type traps for live capture, but that doesn't mean that the 'possum or coon must leave the trap alive.
 
I imagine critters could easily come down from the trees. Pen is put under them for summer time shade.
ImageUploadedByIH8MUD Forum1421598249.589375.jpg
ImageUploadedByIH8MUD Forum1421598267.690840.jpg
ImageUploadedByIH8MUD Forum1421598278.520914.jpg
ImageUploadedByIH8MUD Forum1421598294.874222.jpg
 
Racoons commonly chew necks; hawks and owls would tear apart the whole bird and usually take it somewhere else to do it. Have dealt with all of the above with our chickens, plus possums and foxes too. Oddly enough, the coyotes have left them alone so far.
 
Im pretty sure either the rooster caw ca cawing this morning or myself waking out there at 8:30 scared whatever it was off. I wasn't really paying attention until I actually opened the door to walk in the pen. It was a fresh kill since I found one duck egg. They usually lay in the coop on the floor sometime after day light. Doubt a bird could have hauled the birds away. They were pretty big ducks. Only owls we have seen out here are the smaller kind.
 
When I was a kid, a pair of our Brittany spaniels got into our chicken coup, it wasn't pretty.
 
Had a raccoon massacre in our coop a couple years ago - did some serious reinforcement after the fact and so far so good. Our ducks roost with the hens - @Mr Cimarron can your ducks get in to where the hens roost? Can't tell from the pix. An old dog house low on the ground with a door you can secure at night could work to. No like the raccoons.
 
Had a raccoon massacre in our coop a couple years ago - did some serious reinforcement after the fact and so far so good. Our ducks roost with the hens - @Mr Cimarron can your ducks get in to where the hens roost? Can't tell from the pix. An old dog house low on the ground with a door you can secure at night could work to. No like the raccoons.
Yes the ducks can get into the hen house but they only go in there to lay eggs on the the floor. They have there own house I built and a dog house but they alway preferred to just hang out in the open in the pen.

Last night we had one of the chickens get kidnapped around dusk I think. I was at a friends house watching football. Got home around 9:30 and went out to close the pen and to take a peak in the coop to count the birds. Two missing and it looked like a pillow fight went down in the coop. Feathers everywhere. One bird came back this morning which I assumed it high tailed it out of there last night and slept in a tree. No body found yet.
I put a live trap out last night but got nothing. Tonight and all this week at dusk I am going to sit on the balcony with my scoped 10/22 mag and see what comes around the pen.
 
Finally got a glimp of the assassin. Fxxxing bobcat. Sat down on the couch this morning with my coffee and looked out the window and saw him climbing over the fence with a chicken in his mouth. It was right at dawn so he had to crawl through the coop door and snatch the chicken right off the perch. By the time I made it to the gun safe and out the door I missed my opportunity for a shot by about a second as he ran into the woods. I found the dead chicken so I know he will be back now.
Now that I know what I'm up against. I hate killing wild animals but this one needs to go. Neighbors lost some chickens recently as well. Looks like the AR will be living next to the door now.
 
Now that I know I have a bobcat to deal with my plan is altered a bit. I plan on locking the birds in their coop tonight, which is totally secure, but leave the pen door open. I will move the live trap into the pen with this mornings dead chicken in it as bait. Since the bobcat dropped it in the woods I would think he's still hungry and knows where the easy meal is now. Pretty sure he will come back.
I would rather catch him alive so he can be relocated but if I have a shot I'm going to have to take it. Four birds dead is three days just makes me mad.
 
Predator has been killed! 24lbs 36" long. Shot him at dusk from the bedroom balcony while he was heading to the chicken coop. Leaving the traps out tonight to make certain he was the only critter I am dealing with.
ImageUploadedByIH8MUD Forum1421805281.715448.jpg
 
Bravo !!! No more easy meals for that cat !!! By the way, great shot. The chickens will sleep better tonight.
 
Excellent!
 
It's a bit late to save that cat but we have an electric fence around the top our chicken run fence. Before that we lost chickens to the local coyotes on a fairly regular basis. Since then, nadda.

We had an injured horned owl take a couple a few years back as well. It had a badly damaged wing and our birds were all it could score. The local raprtor rescue folks came and nabbed it. Unfortunately they were not able to save it. It was too badly hurt.
 
Bravo !!! No more easy meals for that cat !!! By the way,
It's a bit late to save that cat but we have an electric fence around the top our chicken run fence. Before that we lost chickens to the local coyotes on a fairly regular basis. Since then, nadda.

We had an injured horned owl take a couple a few years back as well. It had a badly damaged wing and our birds were all it could score. The local raprtor rescue folks came and nabbed it. Unfortunately they were not able to save it. It was too badly hurt.
I am going to raise the fence a bit and add netting over the as much of the area as I can. Usually my neighbors crappy pen is the one hit first by predators due to the easy meal. Now that his flock is all gone mine is the next best option.
 
Seriously, get a fence charger and run a wire around the top. The ones they sell for livestock. The yodel dogs (and dog dogs for that matter) don't like it one bit.
 
Got in late on this thread but Bobcat was my first thought. After one of them took out the rooster I named a******, I am still cool with a dumb hen or two sleeping close enough to the wire for a marauding paw to become pulled chicken...
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top Bottom