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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Up until 5 weeks ago, I don't think I've ever lost a chicken to predators. Sold off the last of my goats and have lost 6 birds since. I'm getting so frustrated. Stupid goats. Still causing me trouble even after they're gone. :D

Will an owl pick off a chicken?

The goats were keeping them safe apparently, from skunks for sure and I'm not sure how it relates to the other losses. I caught and shot a skunk the other day and now have a pile of broken shells so there must be another one.

At $2/dozen for local free range eggs, I'm sorely tempted to throw the 14 I have left in the pot and go buy eggs. So much for self sufficiency though. Maybe it's time to add guineas. :evil:
 

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If you are not seeing any tracks or pieces of chicken left behind you may be losing them to an owl, it would have to be a pretty big one but they could take one. The eggs would not be an owl though, maybe fox, set some traps and see what you get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm trapping the skunks but it's either birds or coyotes getting the rest. I heard an owl out there last night and thought I heard a chicken squawk. Should've gone to look, because today there's a pile of feathers where one of my hens used to be. :(

As an aside, this is the first time I've used a trap and I can see how it would be a really interesting skill to learn. Going to add that to my list.

And! I'm excited. There is a wild rabbit colony nearby from some dumped off domestic rabbits. They're adapted to living wild and would be perfect for my colony plans, so I'm going to go trap a few of those too. Mmm, rabbit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm sure the eggs are skunk. The first time around, he attacked a broody to get at her eggs. She died 5 days later and it was war. So I got him. You could smell skunk and he left scat. So, back out the trap goes. Sure is a stinky endeavor though. I've heard people drown them in a big barrel, but how on earth would you get the trap TO the barrel without getting sprayed? I shot this one, and I'm sure the whole valley knew I got a skunk.
 

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Get guineas - then you can let me know how well they work before we move to AZ and get chickens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Get guineas - then you can let me know how well they work before we move to AZ and get chickens.
I used to have them. They are amazingly loud. When they started yelling at me when I came to the barn, they found a new home. They do let you know when anything is near though, including cars coming up the driveway or psycho neighbors staring over your fence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also, not that I'm paranoid or anything. Nevermind. But anyway, the door to my coop is wedged open. It cannot blow shut, just ain't happening. And this a.m. it was closed and latched and most of my birds were outside. So what does that mean? <glances around nervously>
 

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Sounds like it might be time for some armed midnight patrols, bring backup! Maybe some ditches with pungy sticks and a little barbed wire too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Gonna start letting the dogs have the run of that area too overnight. Nothing will get past those two. Sounds like time to get a couple more German Shepherds. :lol:
 

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They make traps just for skunk that are enclosed so they can't spray you. When you get one just throw the whole trap in a trash can and run a hose from your exhaust pipe into it, give it half an hour and your problem should be deceased.
 
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They make traps just for skunk that are enclosed so they can't spray you. When you get one just throw the whole trap in a trash can and run a hose from your exhaust pipe into it, give it half an hour and your problem should be deceased.
I just dunk the whole trap under water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just dunk the whole trap under water.
Just seems like an awful way to go. :(

I'll look into those traps for skunks. Have to admire their tenacity. Even trapped, he was like, "I'm gonna get YOU!" Too bad they're so stinky because they sure are cute. I happen to like eggs though. A lot.
 

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I don't believe an owl can carry off a full sized chicken likely you are losing them to a fox or coyote or the neighbors dog i have heard of thks being done it may be illegal where you are and it is simply a suggestion of something that I've heard people do to defend livestock. go to Tractor Supply or your local farm store and by fly bait get yourself some chicken gizzards from the store let them get a little smelly sitting around in the warm house mix the fly bait up with the chicken gizzards and set them out late at night when the dogs are locked up in the house and all of your animals are accounted for get up early in the morning and put the mixture away we're nothing can get to it it is highly poisonous it will kill your dogs or your cat before they walked away from the dish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't believe an owl can carry off a full sized chicken likely you are losing them to a fox or coyote or the neighbors dog i have heard of thks being done it may be illegal where you are and it is simply a suggestion of something that I've heard people do to defend livestock. go to Tractor Supply or your local farm store and by fly bait get yourself some chicken gizzards from the store let them get a little smelly sitting around in the warm house mix the fly bait up with the chicken gizzards and set them out late at night when the dogs are locked up in the house and all of your animals are accounted for get up early in the morning and put the mixture away we're nothing can get to it it is highly poisonous it will kill your dogs or your cat before they walked away from the dish.
It is fully fenced off so no coyotes or neighboring dogs can get in. We don't have foxes. There's an occasional weasel but weasel attacks are pretty obvious. At any rate, I'm going to start locking them in. It's a new building with a wooden floor so there's nothing getting in there. If I have another weird door shut incident, I'll start padlocking the thing. The dogs have access to the chicken area tonight so we'll see what happens. Also have a trap set for the new skunk. Hopefully everything will be resolved by the a.m.
 

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If you actually end up with a nut job coming and stealing chickens in the middle of the night that will really play into the zombie idea and you will be required to move your thread.

We used to have an old man come to our house and take eggs out of my coup and leave two dollars in the front door. He stopped coming when we got a new dog. It was unintentional and I was a little sad when the weekly two dollars did not show up. The shut locked door is nuts. Although most extra terrestrials are very contentious of being coordial while stealing livestock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Aw, cool old man. At least he paid!

As for the door, I have absolutely no ideas what went on there. I can't imagine a person doing that, because there's nothing there to get. So, it's a fluke with no explanation, but by golly, they should be safe now! Six birds in as many weeks. :(
 
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