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Thread: killing my chickens!!!!

  1. #1

    killing my chickens!!!!

    i have some animal getting my chickens, i have lost about 500 birds in the last couple months and dont know what it is. i have trail cameras set up but still cant figure out what is getting to them. the animal just bites the birds and leaves them and goes onto the next bird. it appears there are two little puncture marks on the dead birds. most are found in their pens but occasionally a few will be found dead in another pen,on top of their shelters and even a few hundred feet away. it only happens at night.


  2. #2
    14 pointer MTN_Infantry's Avatar
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    I had a neighbors dog do the same thing. He tended to just bite the birds playing with them and hit their spine. If its an opossum they tend to kinda turn the bird inside out and just eat the organs. Skunks do something similar. I never had a raccoon or fisher, and shot the one coyote I saw slinking around before it had a chance to get to the coop. Sorry I can't be of more help.

  3. #3
    CTHS Moderator Spotted Crow's Avatar
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    Chupacabra! J/K Sorry for the loss of Chickens, never had that happen!
    " Bowtech RPM 360 70#, Bowtech Invasion 60# Carbon Express Red, Carbon Express Maxima Hunter, Carbon Express F15, GrimReaper SS, Rage Hyperdermic"

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  5. #5
    8 Point Telcomfaust's Avatar
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    http://www.hespegarden.com/Predators.php

    Coyote

    Coyote kill by strangulation and/or by severing the jugular vein. They attack the throat just behind the jaw and ear, clamping down on the animal's windpipe, and leaving puncture wounds below the lower jaw. Bleeding from a severed jugular vein may be subdermal. A small coyote can kill a large sheep or calf, and the process is silent; the victim cannot bleat or make noise with its throat shut. Typically, the coyote will roam around the flock, waiting for a straggler or a lamb with insufficient flocking instinct, sometimes a large, strong lamb, that tries to run. Or coyote will wait by a calving cow and snatch the newborn calf before the cow is on her feet again. Western coyote, especially in northern areas where the stock are concentrated, will often attack calving cows in packs, and wait for the afterbirth in preference to the calves. Coyote will often drag a carcass to a quiet area, and follow a distinctive eating pattern. They make an almost surgical opening in the thorax, consuming the heart, lungs, liver, and internal organs, except the stomach. They sometimes return later to pick at bones or haunches.

    Wolves

    Wolves are usually organized pack hunters, and may leave many dead. Unlike dogs, they usually eat what they kill. In a typical wolf attack on cattle, the first bites are at the base of the tail (the wolf grabs the vulva). The second and third bites are in the flanks, generally both sides. The wolves may begin eating the cow before it has bled to death. Wolves typically immobilize a horse by grabbing the ham string. Wolves have an uncanny ability to spot the slightest limp or other weakness when they are selecting prey. Two yearling wolves can bring down a large cow elk; even healthy domestic livestock is little challenge to a wolf. They can also clear high fences and may have little fear of guard dogs. Healthy wolves in the wild do not attack humans; there have been instances of wolves conditioned to humans attacking children or other vulnerable individuals.

    Dogs

    Dogs typically will attack many victims in a flock. The characteristic bite marks are on the flanks, rear legs, backs, or rear ends of the animals. Sometimes a pack of dogs will concentrate on the head of a victim like a pony or llama. The victims often carry multiple wounds, and frequently no portion of the animal is eaten. Alpaca & sheep have been known to die from exhaustion or shock after being chased by dogs. An attack by a juvenile coyote may resemble a dog attack. Because they are smaller and less experienced, juvenile coyote tend to grab anything they can get a leg, a back end, even an ear leaving behind a severely injured and traumatized victim.

    Fox

    Foxes are sly, and will stake out an area for weeks before making their strike. They can dig like a dog and climb like a cat, getting over fences that you never thought that they could. When foxes get in to the coop they usually clean house as well. As the birds get excited and worked up seeing the fox in the coop, the fox gets worked up as well.

    The result is that every bird the fox can get to will usually be killed. The fox will get as many as he can out of the coop and take them with him. The birds will often have a broken neck, there will be several gone, feathers will be strewn on the ground, you will find feathers away from the coop.

    Raccoon

    Sly chicken predators with an opposable thumb, they can be quite the burglar and can figure out latches/door openings with ease.

    It will usually kill by ripping into the neck of lesser poultry (chicken/duck). Normally there will be multiple kills with carcasses left behind. Raccoon will rip open the neck and eat at the crop and often go as far as to rip the breast open and eat on it as well. They are also good at stealing eggs.

    Opossum

    It will usually gain access to the coop through any small opening, with the primary goal to steal eggs and eat baby chicks. They will, on occasion, also kill an adult bird. If they do attack an adult bird they will usually bite at the neck and then tear at the abdomen. The dead birds will most likely be left in the coop because, like the raccoon, they have trouble getting their spoils out and away from the coop.

    Bear

    A bear leaves distinctive tracks and scat, and will generally maul the entire carcass, peeling back the skin, and eating the meat. Tom Tomsa of the Pennsylvania Animal Damage Control says, `Basically, it looks like a truck ran over (it) when a bear gets done with it.'

    Bobcat

    Bobcat kills have claw marks on the carcass and subcutaneous hemorrhaging. Mountain lion kills exhibit tooth punctures, usually about two inches apart, and claw marks on the neck or shoulders. Bobcat kills are often dragged some distance from the point of attack and partially or completely covered with twigs, dirt, and leaves.

    Feral Cats

    Feral cats take crias as they are being born, sometimes damaging the camelid at the same time. They also prey upon young poultry, eggs and older birds.

    Raptors

    Eagle talons leave distinctive puncture marks. Unlike a bear kill, the skeleton is intact; the head and neck remain attached. An eagle will frequently feed on the brain of a kill, along with meat from other portions of the carcass. Turkey vultures and buzzards are sometimes seen near a freshly dead lamb, but they are carrion-eaters, not predators; their relatively weak beaks and lack of talons leaves them incapable of grasping and killing prey; keyhole-shaped wounds in the head of a lamb are characteristic of turkey vultures. Turkey vultures and other carrion-eating birds are protected by law, and for good reason: by consuming carrion they prevent the spread of disease. Ravens will peck the head of an animal, then gouge out the eyes, ultimately killing the animal by fracturing the skull. Magpies have also been known to peck at the back of a sheep, just ahead of the pelvis, until the body cavity is open. Black-headed buzzards peck the eyes out of nannies and ewes when they are kidding/lambing, steal the newborn, and return for the carrion when the ewe or nanny dies.

    Skunk

    Skunks are more of an annoyance than a serious poultry predator however they will go after chicks and eggs. Rarely attack an adult bird. Eggs are opened at one end and eaten. If a bird is killed, the neck will be opened up and the head eaten.

    Fishers

    Extremely effective poultry predators and prevalent in the Northeast United States. They are a member of the Mustelid family that includes weasels, minks, otters and skunks and are the largest in this family. They view domestic cats, rabbits, and squirrels as prey.

    Fishers often kill multiple birds, will try to remove some, and will eat the neck and head and probably have the breast of the bird opened up as well.
    GregEmergency Dispatcher
    Currently living in Middletown, CT

  6. #6
    14 pointer bigbuckdown1979's Avatar
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    Sounds like a weasel to me.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Deadeye Logun S16 Champion, Backyard Shootout Champion TooManyHobbies's Avatar
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    On top of the pen rules out canines. Most likely coons, or fisher. All the carnage will bring in the other predators though. So, if you see a fox or coyote, don't assume it's them. My guess would be coons, and more than one.
    NOBODY EVER SHOT BAMBI....they shot his momma.

  8. #8
    99% sure it's a Weasel !! I had the same thing happen years ago.Chickens
    were about 5-6 months old and had two small tooth marks in thier heads.I
    think they lick some blood than kill anouther.Any other animal will rip them
    up or take them away.I lost most to coons some possums and fox.The
    Weasel is small so can't remove the chicken.I think they just like to kill!!JMO

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