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Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Tue May 12, 2009 8:16 am

Something is pulling away the chicken wire at the top of my chicken room that is built inside the barn. It has gotten four chickens already. Whatever it is it comes back night after night to kill and eat or eat the old carcess. The chicken is there with about one half eaten down to the ribs. I have tried several traps and whatever it is will not touch the traps and go for another chicken. Also whatever it is can climb up a 7 foot wall and get through a hole about 4 inches in diameter. I left these holes open and put conibear traps for this thing to go through, instead it pushed away another area of chicken wire. I work second shift so its hard to keep an eye on the barn. Anyone got any ideas, everyday I'm spending several hours trying to rid myself of this critter. If I don't kill it then I feel like this will just go on and on.

Thanks, Thackery

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Tue May 12, 2009 8:58 am

Sounds like you need to find a way to wait it out with your favorite fire arm. Do you have a dog you could put out? Sounds like it might be a weasel, don't know what is in your area. We have Fisher cats up here they are tough and mean. A stakeout is your best bet, I assume you are using the remains to bait the traps? I use a large havahart trap with success, then of course the gun next.

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Tue May 12, 2009 9:32 am

Raccoon, is what it is. Use a live trap on the floor. In the back hang a practice golf ball with peanut butter in it. also a bunch of marshmellows. put them on the floor and make a trail into the live trap.

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Tue May 12, 2009 10:58 am

I agree that it is probably a raccoon. Don't underestimate the strength of a coon. If you can pull the wire away, so can a coon. I suggest closing all holes, no matter the size and secure your chicken wire much better than it is now. Then try to trap the coon as suggested. You need a raccoon sized trap to do the job. I find that sardines work well as bait, but wire the bait container in the middle of the trap so the coon can't pull it over to the side and clean out your bait without entering the trap. Put a large rock or concrete block on the trap, or the coon will roll it over. Once you get it in the trap, .22 to the head.

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Tue May 12, 2009 11:04 am

also note standard chicken wire is not enough to keep raccoons out. You need heavy gauge wire and if they want to get in they will find away to get in.

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Tue May 12, 2009 11:40 am

Thanks for all the quick advice. Yes, I am baiting the trap with the previous kill. I will try the peanut butter in the large trap tonight.
I have a couple of dogs but we ruined them long ago, now they are sleeping in the house.
I realize that the chicken wire is meager defense against most animals.
I just want to kill the damn thing, but I don't have the resources to hang around waiting to shoot it.
It is pretty smart, I thought it would stick its head into on of the conibear traps and get a nice choke but it just found another way in.
I just went out and nailed down all the loose spots, but I'm sure there are other ways for it to get in.
The problem I see is if I don't kill the thing it will just keep coming back weather it can get in or not.
Keep the ideas coming.

Thanks, Thackery

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Tue May 12, 2009 11:48 am

Don't use a dead chicken. You have to realize a raccoon likes to kill as much as eat. It would rather have fresh and old. It already knows how to get in and will walk right by the dead chicken. Their down fall is they love sweet treats. So the practice golf ball stuffed with peanut butter, marsh mellows and a little secret. Use vanilla extract on some of the marsh mellows. They can't resist these. It may take a few days to convince this wise old coon to go into a trap verses eating a fresh chicken.

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Tue May 12, 2009 2:44 pm

I'm going with the sardines!!! We were camping in NY State once,the raccoons went nuts over a can of sardines my buddy had.Now thats what fighting is about!!! WOW!!!! Kevin :twisted: :twisted:

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Wed May 13, 2009 10:54 am

The coon or whatever it is came back again last night. Luckily we had moved the rest of the chickens to another shelter. The amazing thing is that the animal set off two conibear traps and then went through the holes that those traps were guarding. I don't know if anyone has used these traps but they are fast as lightning and will give you a hell of a wack if you're lucky enough not to get caught by the wire. Pretty smart animal whatever it is.
I was out of peanut butter but it looks like the marshmellows were at least toyed with a bit.
TSC has a package of two traps/one price so I will set more traps tonight.
I would love to just sit in the barn and wait with a shotgun but I hate to take a day of vacation to kil varmints.
I'll keep updating. If it is a coon it is a really smart one, usually I have no problem catching a coon.

Thackery

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Wed May 13, 2009 7:11 pm

that there my friend is a raccoon. They are much smarter then you give them credit for. I have seen them reach and remove a 160 connibear from a coon box. Sit it on the ground next to the trap and go in to steal the bait. You trying to mount a trap next to where they broke the fence isn't a very good mounting point and is easily tripped without them entering. keep up with the marshmellows, peanut butter, vanilla extract and a can of sardines in the back of the cage trap. Mind you the cheaper traps that tractor supply sells, might not hold a coon for long. They will tear a trap up trying to get out and they are light weight. I will also venture to bet that it is a sow and she has babies. LIVING in your BARN.
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Next trick - buy a #2 leg hold. Cut off the cheap chain they come with and replace with some good chain or 1/8 cable. Now lag screw it to the floor (far enough from any poll or wall so coon can't climb. wrap some aluminum foil around pan(but allow it to function). Set trap and wait. works even better if you set it in a small tub of water with just enough light so it shines. Coons love shinny things. They are also very clean and like to clean their food and hands if possible.

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Mon May 18, 2009 3:59 am

Need a update here, this is really good stuff. :wink: :D

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Mon May 18, 2009 1:30 pm

Thackery, Everyone's ideas and thoughts make sense. I'll just add, while you are busi living this great adventure be very careful las you eneter the barn in the morning to find the material for your next note entery. 2 years ago I was loosing chickens the sameway. Sometimes totally gone , sometimes some parts and it was happening on a regular basis. The neighbor farmer said trap the critter so we fixed a snap trap to the coop floor and it took a couple days. I heard some noise in the coop and when I opened up the door there was one angry owl with it's one foot in the trap. They seem much bigger when you are in the room with them by the way. It took 3 canvass tarps and the DEC to finally get the bugger untrapped and caged... The DEC guy showed me the hole he suspected the owl was coming in and it wasn't much more then 4 inches. He said once they find food it's just like McDonalds drive up. So good luck and keep the camera near by. I'm feeling some interesting follow on reports coming. Joe

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Mon May 18, 2009 6:39 pm

Might be a chupacabra!?!? :shock: :wink:

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:41 pm

OK, I just have to know what happened???? You can't do this to me!!! Inquiring minds want to know!!!

It's been 3 months now. Did you catch anything???? :?: :?: :?:

John

Re: Chickens getting killed every night. HELP

Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:25 pm

Similar problem over the years. Last big kill was a few months ago and lost 15 chickens, 3 ducks, one large turkey. I have a wildlife camera that has recorded a fox leaving a trap, several possums and one racoon. I got tired of dealing wiht the kills so I electrified the area with 3 rows along the outside fence and one row across the roof. So far electrocuted one possum, one racoon, and one large cooper's hawk. This was a large fencer that killed at least some of the invaders but you can get lighter fencers that would just shock . My daughter kept unplugging the fencer for some reason which allowed the kill a few months ago. Otherwise it worked well for several years. That may be all you need to convince the racoon to leave.
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