Can't have anything nice...

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PHPaul
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Posts: 444
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:43 am
Location: Downeast Maine

Can't have anything nice...

Post by PHPaul » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:12 am

We have a flock of laying hens, varying between 2 and 3 dozen of them.

Some years back, the foxes got thick, so I spend a fair amount of time, money and effort putting up a couple of hundred feed of 6' chain link fence so they'd have a safe place to browse.

The next summer, the eagles and hawks discovered the Downeast Chicken Buffet, so I spent a fair amount of time, money and effort putting aviary netting over it all. Worked great until Winter. The first heavy, wet snow destroyed the netting.

That Spring I spent a somewhat less amount of time, money and effort stringing up a grid of fluorescent green mason's cord and tying chrome finish mylar tape at the intersections. Still working, haven't lost a bird to a raptor in over a year.

Been noticing some odd footy-prints in the snow leading up to the chicken door (which has a small hole gnawed in one corner) the last couple of weeks. Too big to be mice, assumed it was a squirrel or a rat, which I have seen in the coop before. Set up my game cam but didn't spot anything. Didn't bother with it last night as it was raining torrents and blowing a gale.

Went down this morning and found 4 dead chickens and two so tore up I put them out of their misery. Based on the size of the hole in the door, the size and shape of the footprints and the fact that all of the dead/damaged birds had all the feathers ripped off their necks, I'm assuming it was a weasel.

I armored the bottom of the doors (people and chicken) but I expect it's just a matter of time before something finds or makes another way in.

porkbelly
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: Madison Ga.

Re: Can't have anything nice...

Post by porkbelly » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:17 pm

About every animal I have lost has been by dogs. Goats chickens turkeys. Raised quail one time until a dog tore thru the pen. Not one was left when I found out. Thought I had built a fence to keep dogs out only to come home to a bunch of dead goats. They had dug a hole under fence. No more animals for me. Not feeding peoples dogs with my animals. Hope you get that weasel or it will find a way in again.

Bkeepr
Posts: 250
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:23 am
Location: West-central Maryland

Re: Can't have anything nice...

Post by Bkeepr » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:48 am

sorry to hear your troubles. We've lost critters by lots of predators--hard for us to learn just how cruel mother nature can be. Dogs, foxes, coyotes, great horned owls, various hawks, crows, and automobiles have all taken/killed some of our favorites at one time or other. Never fun, and as my Mrs says "it is always our favorites that are taken..."

I hope you figure out a solution, but am not very confident. :cry:

PHPaul
Site Admin
Posts: 444
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:43 am
Location: Downeast Maine

Re: Can't have anything nice...

Post by PHPaul » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:31 am

Three more this morning.

Either he found another way in, or he was inside in one of the ratholes in the wall.

I'm thinking the latter, as I found two of the birds with their head and neck pulled into the holes in the wall.

I'm planning to move everything into a new coop in the Spring, may not be any left by then.

I did get several hits of a mouse and three of a raccoon on the game came. No way the coon got in tho.

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