Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I had some kind of animal eat through 1/2" OSB that was screwed to 2x4 framing on my chicken coop. It got inside and killed all 12 of my chickens. Entry point was about 24" off the ground and the size of a basketball. No claw marks. No claw prints as it was raining. Didn't really eat the chickens. Just killed them all.

I live in KY and have seen the following in my yard since we moved here:

foxes, racoons, possums, deer, black bear, and stray dogs, cats. Also, the neighbors have told me that a bobcat/mountain lion type cat lives in the area too but I haven't seen it.

Was wondering if any of you might know of any animals native to KY that would eat its way in, cause carnage, then leave thru the same hole? Strange that none of the chickens seem to have been eaten. Just ripped up.

I have a 12 camera security system with motion alarms that I plan of setting up to catch it. I am going to rebuild the coop and put a layer of wire on it too so I can prevent this again. My chickens were just getting ready to start dropping eggs as well. Luckily some peeps in my area have some for sale so I can be back up and running in a day or two.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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.

Whatever it is I am going to do my best to catch it. I had a lot of work in those chicks and my little girls really like them.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,626 Posts
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.
 

·
Cave canem
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
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).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
I lost several to a mink in east-central KY, never saw the mink in the coop but that was the only possibility. I saw the mink near my stock pond on a few occasions. I guess the mink is still there. It killed all my chickens, didn't eat any of them, and I haven't replaced them. They can do a lot of damage and are difficult to fence out. The large hole does raise a question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Dog...

I think it was a dog personally. They will kill for fun. A weasel is very small and wouldn't make a hole you would notice. Also the weasel will drain the blood I guess. They are just laying there dead, no wounds immediately apparent. My experience with them was a slow one or two chickens a night death rate. I finally saw it, couldn't stop it and just got rid of the chickens lol.
That was 20 years ago and I JUST bought 11 chicks to try again. I'm in a different location but the same neighborhood. I plan to get a guard cat, yes you read it right lol. There are a few articles about it and seems like a good plan. I have picked out a kitten waiting for the chicks to get bigger and the kitten a little older too. Calling it an experiment...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That really sucks! I feel for you. Feeding 12 birds for several months is a bit of an investment, BUMMER.
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.

Probably not a mink or weasel based on the size of the hole. They could get through a rat sized hole.
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.

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).
The were ripped to shreds. Heads torn off, guts ripped open, but none appeared to have been eaten.

Dead chickens are still good as trap bait.

If you don't kill it, it will be back.
Bingo. Currently working on that. If I manage to get it, I will post back what it was.

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.
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.
 

·
Inglorious Deplorable
Joined
·
21,135 Posts
Just don't leave them in the cage more than a week. They just ain't no good eating after that.

(arrr arr arr. Good Luck on the trap. . . . I don't want to hear any reports of success. Shovel tech.)
 

·
Cave canem
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
The were ripped to shreds. Heads torn off, guts ripped open, but none appeared to have been eaten.
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.

Definitely does NOT sound like a dog/fox/coyote, not with a bunch of missing heads and guts torn out.
 

·
Bad Moon Rising
Joined
·
8,897 Posts
I agree with S610 that, while the height and size of hole is right for dog/coyote, the damage inside is not right. Coyote would eat some of the chickens.

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.

http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyar...-I-need-to-know-about-weasel-family-H172.aspx

Your cameras should help you pin it down for sure. don't forget to locate a few INSIDE the chicken coop.

Good luck with your re-start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Good Call!

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.
Never thought of that... we don't have them around here but it sounds about right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Its a multigenerational barn cat lol. 6Wks old and already had a mouse? Mother may have brought it but they are getting a good education either way. Hoping the plan has a positive outcome I really want to have eggs! LOL
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top