Today we’ll talk about common chicken predators, and I know on our farm we’ve seen an uptick in the amount of predators since winter started and other food became scarce for predators. Predators are and always be our arch enemy. Far and away the biggest chicken predators on our farm are possums, and just the other night we were woken up at midnight as a possum went after some of our chickens. Use very small, fine mesh — we’re talking ½” wide holes or even smaller — to cover any holes or points of entry for a potential pest. Their barks are rapid and high pitched and you usually hear a lot of them at once. by Maat van Uitert | Dec 21, 2015 | Chickens, Podcast | 9 comments, Table of Contents (Quickly Jump To Information). Thank you for doing that podcast! What killed my Alpha Rooster? But the truth is, there are some nasty predators out there that have some serious bloodlust issues, and once they start killing, they continue killing… for sport. Secure any openings in your coop, and consider setting a trap with bloody meat or fish. Make sure the cover is secure, without any loose or weak parts through which a hawk could gain access. However, you will want to be as cunning as the fox or they’ll sense the trap and avoid it. Raccoons will eat the head off of your chicken and let the rest of the bird lay for other predators to eat. If the floor is just dirt and can be burrowed under, you’ll also want to consider putting mesh around the exterior floor of the coop — something called a predator apron — to keep animals from burrowing in under the fence. Something killed the female first, left her in tact, and then came back the next night to eat her from stomach to spine (head left in tact). I’d love to hear about it, so there’s something I want you to do. I don’t really see many raccoon in our area, but they do pop up every so often. Even if you’re unaware of a particular threat, having a well-protected flock is always a smart idea. tbnranch says: However, any poorly protected livestock, including chickens, can appear on the cougar’s menu. May 23, 2017 By Mary Beth. They picked them off 1 by 1 last year. The Omlet Guide to Keeping Chickens This fantastic guide tells you everything you need to know about keeping backyard chickens. Lastly, raccoons are persistent. So stay with me! My dog was an indoor dog that I’d had for years, and he was gentle with people and my cats. The problem here is twofold. 30 Ways To Keep Predators Out of Your Chicken Coop, 19 Cool A-Frame Chicken Coop Plans and Ideas, 29 pallet Chicken Coop Ideas You Can Build This Weekend, Growing Shiitake Mushrooms Indoors at Home, Stolen eggs (generally eaten within thirty feet of nest), Gashes on a chicken’s abdomen, bowels, and neck, Particularly gruesome mauling that almost always results in death, Missing chickens (they take their prey far from the site of the kill), Fewer signs of blood, slashing, or gnawing, Eggs eaten (only slightly opened and then licked clean), Missing eggs (with nothing remaining, not even the shell), Claw marks on the neck, shoulders, or backs of dead chicken(s), The chicken is more or less completely eaten, especially around the ribs and shoulders, Carcass can be dirty from being dragged around, Chickens are maimed or hurt but not necessarily killed or eaten, Stolen eggs are within a few feet of the nest, Destroyed part of chicken coop from forced entrance, Chicken missing or found dragged away from coop, Birds are chased but not killed (or have died from shock), There is no sign of “skill” in the kill, just random biting and dragging, Breast of chicken has been eaten and feathers plucked out, Bird is found with neat cuts in its neck, as if made by a knife or scissors. Now I have found that if you do a limited freerange as to unlimited the toll goes up. So if your chicken flock is attacked, here’s how can be reasonably assured it was a dog that killed them. Have you heard of this before? Raccoons top the list as one of the worst and most common chicken predators. Your best bet is to consult with your state’s department of wildlife or conservation, and in the case of domestic dogs, consult an attorney familiar with animal law in your state. We just need to accept that we will loose some birds if we freerange. I’ve also seen raccoon rip chickens right through chicken wire, pretty much mutilating them to death. As is the case with many of these smaller predators, you also have the option to try to trap the intruder. If you don’t know what Thrive Market is, it’s an online organic supermarket, and it’s a little like Costco meets your favorite farmers market. The smallest and least afraid of humans in the sense that they are sick help them! 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