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#1973003 - 08/09/11 09:15 AM Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon?
Okiedigger Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 699
Loc: SW Oklahoma
Two nights ago something got in my henhouse and killed 7 of 13 of my chickens. These were 7 week old reds, 6 were just chewed up, mainly on their back and neck. Only one was eaten, left the wings, head, feet, and gizzard. I was thinking raccoon. I set a live trap with one of the dead birds hanging as bait. Next morning there was a really big old ugly possum in the trap and what was left of the bait. Wings, head, feet, and gizzard angry. I've killed over a dozen possums caught stealing eggs but never thought they'd kill chickens like this. confused
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Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, For your character is who you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think of you.
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#1973051 - 08/09/11 11:06 AM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: Okiedigger]
trapperdoc Online
Seasoned Member

Registered: 10/18/02
Posts: 234
Loc: louisa ky.
I would keep setting the live trap might be a mink they like to kill several at a time and just leave them....that was what was killing my brothers chickens don't remember if he ever caught it or not.....trapperdoc

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#1973061 - 08/09/11 11:17 AM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: trapperdoc]
dog1whckr Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 2266
Loc: Wyoming
The last two requests from my neighbors with chicken killers resulted in 4 coons, 1 skunk, 2 feral house cats at the first location. The killer(s) were the coons, egg stealer was the skunk and what ta hey was the cats. There were a total of eleven chickens killed and two eaten.

The second location was 1 coon. He killed 8 chickens; 7 in one night and ate 2 total. Three had their heads chewed off, all(both locations) had damage on their backs and heads.

I doubt seriously that a 'possum is fast enough to catch a chicken, but, you never know.

My money is on the coon.

Two of my mauraders were caught in box traps. The rest? A 1 1/2 Victor coil spring at the ground entry to the pens.
Used the cheapest fish based cat food I could find for the box traps. Works great!!


Edited by dog1whckr (08/09/11 11:18 AM)

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#1973175 - 08/09/11 02:35 PM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: dog1whckr]
Okiedigger Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 699
Loc: SW Oklahoma
I'm still thinking coon also, it just threw me that the remains of the hen that the possum ate looked just like what was left after the massacre in the henhouse. I found where something (looked like coon-hair) had climbed up the corner and into the coop through the gap under the eave. So I stapled chickenwire over the eave openings all the way around. I'll keep setting the trap and see what I get. Last time this happened every single bird was killed, 11 total, and only the heads were chewed up, none were eaten. The next evening I killed two skunks right by the henhouse.
BTW trapperdoc, We don't have mink out here. As far as chicken/egg thiefs, I've killed coons, skunks, possums, foxes, badgers, bobcats, feral cats, stray dogs, coyotes, hawks ,owls, snakes, and probably a few that I've forgotten. Free chicken dinners can get expensive around my place angry
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Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, For your character is who you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think of you.
John Wooden

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#1973241 - 08/09/11 04:01 PM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: Okiedigger]
RJM Acres Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 3505
Loc: Ozarks
Originally Posted By: Okiedigger

BTW trapperdoc, We don't have mink out here. As far as chicken/egg thiefs, I've killed coons, skunks, possums, foxes, badgers, bobcats, feral cats, stray dogs, coyotes, hawks ,owls, snakes, and probably a few that I've forgotten. Free chicken dinners can get expensive around my place angry


You may not have minks but I'll bet you have weasels and they
are just as bad as mink on chickens.

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#1973282 - 08/09/11 05:33 PM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: RJM Acres]
Scott Sewall Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 203
Loc: Hill County, TX
Have you ever thought about a hawk or owl getting in there? I'm no pet detective so this may be totally wrong but its a possibility I guess.

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#1973364 - 08/09/11 07:26 PM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: Scott Sewall]
l2andom Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 75
Loc: WI
Mink and weasels are pretty bad also. One got in and killed a few of my ducklings. Just as you described, chewed up the neck and back, and pretty much left everything else. It's like he went on a killing spree just because there were so many. He probably thought he could come back to collect his kills for storage.

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#1973635 - 08/10/11 01:37 AM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: l2andom]
dog1whckr Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 2266
Loc: Wyoming
OKIEDIGGER:

The second situation I described? The coon was climbing the outside of the coop and crawling in between the chicken wire and the roof, then under the roof and over the rafters INSIDE the coop and exited through/over a piece of hardware cloth. This was his second trip into the coop area. We set two leg holds, two snares and one box trap. the snares were set up by the coop roof in two places he was entering and leaving by. As you noted; there was coon hair in all four places. He never made it to the snares.....

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#1993239 - 09/07/11 12:33 PM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: dog1whckr]
Yellowhammer Offline
admin/moderator

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 15382
Loc: Huntington, Texas
Owls are often the culprit if their is nothing to present them from getting in. Feeding on the head is a characteristic of owls.

Quote:
Poultry and other livestock are vulnerable to a wide range of predators. Frequent sightings of hawks and owls near the depredation site may be a clue to the predator involved, but these sightings could be misleading. When a partially eaten carcass is found, it is often difficult to determine the cause of death. In all cases, the remains must be carefully examined. Raptors usually kill only one bird per day. Raptor kills usually have bloody puncture wounds in the back and breast from the bird’s talons. Owls often remove and eat the head and sometimes the neck of their prey. In contrast, mammalian predators such as skunks or raccoons often kill several animals during a night. They will usually tear skin and muscle tissue from the carcass and cut through the feathers of birds with their sharp teeth.

Hawks pluck birds, leaving piles of feathers on the ground. Beak marks can sometimes be seen on the shafts of these plucked feathers. Owls also pluck their prey, but at times they will swallow small animals whole. Many raptors (especially red-tailed hawks and other buteos) feed on carrion. The plucked feathers can often determine whether a raptor actually killed an animal or was simply “caught in the act” of feeding on a bird that had died of other causes. If the feathers have small amounts of tissue clinging to their bases, they were plucked from a cold bird that died of another cause. If the base of a feather is smooth and clean, the bird was plucked shortly after it was killed.



http://icwdm.org/handbook/birds/HawksOwls.asp


Multiple kills leans towards coon, and they can get in when you think they can't.


Edited by Yellowhammer (09/07/11 12:46 PM)
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#1993342 - 09/07/11 04:23 PM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: Yellowhammer]
Black_Wolf Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/06/06
Posts: 2324
Loc: Northwest Indiana
Raccoon.

Caught one in the act onetime after it wiped out a bunch of my guinnea fowl and blasted him to kingdom come.

Coons are notorius, sometimes overlooked killers.

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#1993439 - 09/07/11 06:35 PM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: Black_Wolf]
Catkiller Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 02/08/02
Posts: 1760
Loc: Roland,Oklahoma,U.S.A.
Coon! They are notorious for this around here and sometimes just bite the heads off.
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" A woman's breast is the hardest rock the almighty ever put on this earth and I can find no sign on it" Bearclaw Chris Lapp from Jeremiah Johnson.

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#1993623 - 09/07/11 10:20 PM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: Catkiller]
Caller-4-Hire Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 10/05/03
Posts: 933
Loc: oklahoma
Im working on some chicken killers at this time doing same thing. Im saying coons but did catch small grinner first night but he was just picking up scraps. did see two house cats around the coupe this eve when i reste traps from grinner,

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#1993831 - 09/08/11 07:22 AM Re: Chicken killer, Possum or Raccoon? [Re: Caller-4-Hire]
Okiedigger Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 699
Loc: SW Oklahoma
In a week I caught 2 raccoons, 2 possums, and 2 feral cats. The chicken-wire on the eaves has kept them out of the henhouse. (so far) I did leave the little floppy door open in back one night and lost one hen, it fit the MO of an owl. Now I have another problem animal, and a scary story. blink I let the chickens out for the first time on Sunday. I was outside around the place all day. From about 2 oclock 'til right at dark there were 5 kids from 4 to 7 years old playing down in the woods while the chickens scratched around. I know for a fact that there were 12 chickens because the kids made a game of counting them. The kids came in, I herded the chickens up and into the henhouse, there were only 10 scared The next morning I walked around the house at about 7:30 and there was a bobcat just sitting in front of the henhouse looking at me like, 'bout breakfast time ain't it buddy. cursing I've had cats pick hens off in the daytime many times, but this time I'm positive these were taken while the little ones were playing within 30 yards at the max from them. That's a gamechanger for me mad
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Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, For your character is who you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think of you.
John Wooden

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