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Country Discussion Topics
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What got at my hen?
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Tom A    Posted 07-08-2002 at 08:32:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hey all, looking for some ideas.

One of my hens went broody and hatched a clutch in the barn. She has been raising the chicks for several days, and gotten to the point where she was taking them outside for a little while at a time to learn to forage and then bringing them back in for water, feed, and rest.

Saturday night *something* obviously attacked. There are her feathers in a small area of the barn; she is blind in one eye (eye appears to be missing) and has some small cuts around her head; lots of missing feathers but no other apparent damage. Two chicks are missing, though the rest are safe. As of right now she is still alive, though obviously bone tired and hurting.

Our first thought was it must have been a rat--we have one I've been trying to get for some time but is smarter than I. But now we're not so sure...could it have been maybe a snake, or something else? I'd like to know what I'm dealing with so I can prevent this from happening again. I'm gonna get the rat, just want to make sure I don't have something else lurking around, too.

thanks,
Tom


DeadCarp - process of elimination    Posted 07-08-2002 at 18:07:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hard to say - could be coons or rats, or even owls go for the eyes. Try setting a pietin of Coke
out for the rats - they can't burp so they bloat.
A good gopher trap atop a tall fencepost catches owls. Wear gloves to take him out tho - boy those are some claws!

Whatever you do to the chickens or bait, smooth the sand around it so you can see what kinda varmint leaves its tracks. Reading morning tracks is better than sitting up half the night ..... :) Good luck!


scooterhead    Posted 07-08-2002 at 10:58:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
My vote is coons . It will come back to . The mothers are wienin the young now and are hungry, The young will be right there with her , she`s showin`em how to get food . Had one in the dogfood the other day , the dogs did`nt like that , it wont do it again .


DH    Posted 07-08-2002 at 10:37:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't know where your at but sure sounds like coons to me.


Tom A    Posted 07-08-2002 at 10:45:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
West-Central Maryland--There are coons around here though I don't have any experience with them other than seeing flat ones in the middle of the road.

Why do you think coons? If it is coons, will they/it come back for more? Can they be trapped?

thanks. sorry to be a pest!

tom


DH    Posted 07-08-2002 at 17:45:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Not a pest atall. This is why most are here. To get info. I think it's coons cause that's what coons do. If they got two chicks like you say, then you bet they'll be back long as you got chickens. Not alot I know you can do about it other than keep em in a good coup or set up all night with a shotgun and hope you don't shoot a chicken. I've seen coons find they're way into good coups too. Could a been a fox if you got them too. A good dog that won't go at chickens but will go at coons and foxes might help too. Yes you can trap coons too but I'd put the chickens up while trying or they probably won't be heading to the trap. Can dog food works good to bait a trap.


Spade    Posted 07-08-2002 at 17:23:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have used a hav-a-heart trap to catch squirrels and we have caught a number of coon using sun flower seeds for bait. Be certain to place the trap on a sheet of plywood because the coon will reach through the mesh with those little fingers and pull grass, soil and whatever into the trap.


bhob ny    Posted 07-08-2002 at 09:23:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
you don't nave one rat they willnot stay as one
they need a mate poisen ina tray under a plastic
milk crate with a weight on it in the coop lets the rats in and not to much else then look around the water and you will find them check every am. don't leave them there long


Tom A    Posted 07-08-2002 at 09:38:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have been trying to poison the rat(s) for quite some time...different poisons, different brands. Seems they'll eat it for awhile and then get smart and stop before they die. One of my cats (actually a half-grown kitten) got one, but none since.

Have also tried smoke bombs in their tunnels and several different types of trap, as well as even sitting in the dark in the coop with a flashlight and pistol loaded with birdshot. Just can't seem to get them.

Tom


LH    Posted 07-08-2002 at 09:10:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Could be coons, cats, dog, or even a fox. Chances are she was defending her young when she was attacked. My bet it on the coons.


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