Maybe a mink or weasel?
Thats what a couple of the old timers mentioned but I wasn't sure if they were native to KY or not. If so I haven't seen one and we go four wheeling all the time behind our property.Maybe a mink or weasel?
Yeah it does suck. I bought organic feed and worked my butt off building a 10x20 pvc run attached to the coop. My little girls loved them and everyone was excited for the upcoming eggs. Going to get some more and start again.That really sucks! I feel for you. Feeding 12 birds for several months is a bit of an investment, BUMMER.
The hole was basketball size, no larger, but in an oval shape about 24" off the ground. Whatever it was, entered the coop thru the hole, killed all 12, then left.Probably not a mink or weasel based on the size of the hole. They could get through a rat sized hole.
The were ripped to shreds. Heads torn off, guts ripped open, but none appeared to have been eaten.How were the birds killed exactly? Multiple bites all over? Bites to the head/neck? Decapitated?
If you already use surveillance type stuff can you hook up some sort of baby monitor? The birds typically raise a racket when this happens and if you could hear them you could catch the culprit.
See this list of signs to help identify predators: http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/w...ng-the-culprit-from-the-crime-scene-evidence/
Not likely but it sounds like the culprit could even be a Fisher Cat (large species of indigenous weasel), they are very rare animals in TN (hunted to near extinction for their pelts and reintroduced to TN a few years ago, they are so rare in TN there are no estimated numbers on them).
No matter what it is your plan to reinforce the coop is the best one. Hardware cloth might work, tin sheets would work too if you could find some cheap. Whatever it is even if you catch one there could be others (also if it is a fisher cat, if you MUST trap it I would call fish and game and ask if some group would relocate the animal since they are so rare).
Bingo. Currently working on that. If I manage to get it, I will post back what it was.Dead chickens are still good as trap bait.
If you don't kill it, it will be back.
Yeah I thought it might have been a bear too but that hole is oval shaped, no larger than a basketball, and whatever did it, entered thru the hole, killed, then exited.I know that things related to weasels, cats and canines will kill everything for the fun of it, but the basketball size hole in a sheet of wood a couple feet off the ground says bear to me. I guess bears are related at the Suborder level, Caniforma.
Were some of the heads gone? Several wild animals (raccoons, skunk, minks) only eat the heads/guts but most won't chew a hole through a wall.The were ripped to shreds. Heads torn off, guts ripped open, but none appeared to have been eaten.
Never thought of that... we don't have them around here but it sounds about right.I think it may be a wolverine. The Indians called them "little bear", and they were found in TN and Kentucky. They have a reputation for killing simply to kill, and not eating any of the prey. Wolverines can be as large as medium size dogs and coyotes - 60-70 lb animals. Here is an article regarding their genetic relationship to the other animals named above as it relates to chickens.