I havent been real successful with traps , I tend to take a couple nights a year to call em in and shoot predators. Usually 1 or 2 foxes a year, and this year a possum. FOxes must be territorial, once you kill one I generally have no more problems for a year or so. Not to mention my roosters are so large a fox wont tangle with them in the daytime.
Raccoons and ground hogs figure out a typical live trap like a Hav-A-Hart pretty quickly; in fact, if you leave them in there long enough, they'll figure out how to get out of it and learn how to step over the trip piece for next time. Possums generally aren't that smart.
My husband built his own live trap, the bait container is fastened with fishing live to a mouse trap, which triggers the trap door. Very sensitive, and if they touch the bait, they're trapped. So we've trapped dozens of critters in the trap, but I am dreading the day I go out and find a skunk in it.
I have the same problem with the skunks. We just lost 4 chicks three of which were killed and left and one that is gone with no trace of it left. They where all in a pen since they didnt have all their feathers yet so something climbed in with them.
I hope to never have this issue! 2 of my 3 dogs stay around our chicken pen and wild animals tend to stay away as well as our neighboring dogs. But I am dreading the day that I find something got in anyway... Posted via Mobile Device
I had something killing the young pullets. I wasn't sure what as it was in the daytime and I never heard anything. The bodies had been badly pecked by the others.
A few eggs were being found out in the fields, all duck eggs and I knew that had to be crows.
Then a duckling went astray, the next day another was badly pecked I knew it had to be a crow.
Nothing happened the next day but then I heard the ducklings squawking and there was the culprit in the pen trying to get one.
I do like a fair trial - his lasted all of the time it took me to go down there, stand in the barn and wait for his return.
I have never seen a skunk in the wild and thankfully never smelled one either.
I do like family tradition of passing on tips like 'they cannot spray if you hold them by the tail' sort of thing my family would say.
I have a run of electric fence wire running around the outside of the pens to deter foxes. We only have the red fox in the UK and they are so clever. I had the fence off whilst I strimmed under it. I was in one pen and glanced up to see a Charlie sneak under the fence and grab a hen and go. At least he only had the one. Given the chance they will kill the lot.
Many years ago I had to laugh when a fox came into the farm yard during the day. She had three well grown cubs about the place but they would have been catching their own food by then.
She was snuffling about and looked into a shed whereby a fierce little bantam broody came out with a scream and was straight into full attack! That fox never hesitated in turning tail and running down the hill, hen doing her best to catch it.
FYI- When an animal dies it's muscles relax which often means urine, feces, and yes skunk spray is released... even if the death is quick/non-traumatic.
Rarely does a killed/dead skunk not stink of spray.
That said, I haven't had very many losses (knock on wood) from skunk, opposum, or raccoons but have had my fair share of chicken feeder raids by the pesky critters.
Went out one night to check on things before bed and there was a mamma raccoon and three kits she was teaching to destroy the chicken feeder just two feet below the slumbering chickens. I ninnied out by not setting the trap out right away, but she then got a young poult the next night.
Well, the momma bear in me went haywire since the turkey poults were being raised to feed my son (who can't eat grocery store poultry.)
I felt really bad setting the trap out, then dispatching them, but I knew it was just a matter of time before all my chickens and poults would disappear.
It's made worse by the fact that I had a pet raccoon as a child that I adored.
Hubby does the deed most of the time, and he really doesn't much care for it either. Raised as an outdoorsman and hunting for the table, something in him rebels at the idea of shooting something in a trap that's sitting still and looking at you. He's trying to figure out the most quick and painless way to dispatch the animal in the trap.
Our chicken coop is very secure. We've killed two black snakes in the nest boxes. We've lost two poults over 3 years, and my guess is that the culprit was a snake or a weasel.
I have come out in the morning to find fresh digging along the fence, but no one's ever gotten in.
HUGE pack of them, neighbor (whose a horrible shot) is estimating about 15-20 and they are literally running through the "back yards" of houses. We heard them last night, not sure where on our property but the neighbor had long scared them off with a really lousy shot before hubby got out there with the shotgun.
Chickens are safely locked up before dark, so they are safe. Mostly worried about the dwarf goats (neighbors are losing lambs/goats to this pack).
Anyone know how high a coyote can jump? Goats have 4 feet of field fencing topped with a strand of barbed wire, so total fence is about 5 ft tall. All gates are wired with field fencing as well (freakin escape artist goats!).