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Help needed

Hi all
I have had severe losses due to something coming in and taking my hens and ducks.
I think it is a pine Martin, I find no feathers
Itís just gone. I let them out later in the morning and shut them all
In at 2-3 in the afternoon and even during that time
They Are being taken! I have a 20ft fence around them but I think in going to have to go down the electric fence route.
Any ideas greatly received.


Saturday, December 28th, 2019

How is if getting in exactly? Pine Marten usually leave a mess, and usually don't take the birds with it

nedzer
Saturday, December 28th, 2019

The way the hens and ducks are looking it looks like it is coming somehow over the fence. Not a feather anywhere I have two labradors they have a scent but it leads nowhere?
When I let them out they jump in the pond when I leave they hide under the hedge. I have sat for hours and have seen nothing?


Sunday, December 29th, 2019

Not a pine martin they kill for sport everything would be dead if it was

Glen
Sunday, December 29th, 2019

What is it? Do you think?


Sunday, December 29th, 2019

I'd guess fox. Walk the perimeter of the fence, and try to find where it is getting in. Also walk the surrounding land and you should find evidence (feathers etc), of where the birds are being taken too, or at least what distance they are being carried. A mink or marten can't drag birds very far, and would leave lots of feathers.

nedzer
Monday, December 30th, 2019

I would also say a fox

roostercroweburn
Monday, December 30th, 2019

It has to be coming over the fence as there are no signs
Of entry anywhere around the perimeter fence.
I have walked the outside fields and not a feather found.
Even my dogs couldn't pick up a good scent. Would poultry fencing keep out predators ?


Monday, December 30th, 2019

What hight is the fence?

nedzer
Monday, December 30th, 2019

Get a camera

Adam1
Monday, December 30th, 2019

It is a 12 foot fence.
I have not electricity where my hens and ducks are.
I have a radio playing but they are still being taken during the day!


Monday, December 30th, 2019

I really doubt it is climbing the fence. Must be going underneath somewhere. Have you got a local gun club? They will help find the culprit, or at least, could help you take whatever measures necessary to stop more birds being taken.

nedzer
Monday, December 30th, 2019

in the last 10 years or so different speices of large birds of pery have been reintroduced to Ireland ie; eagles and kites. Could this be your problem?

roostercroweburn
Monday, December 30th, 2019

Ok so if youre sure that the fence is secure and the birds are hiding under the hedge, then they are afraid of something in the sky.

Where in the country are you exactly? Most raptors though I imagine would kill once theyve landed on the hens/ducks and eat there unless its a bit bigger and the presence of your dogs sends it flying.

It's not the chance of a person?

christor
Monday, December 30th, 2019

Good point on the birds of prey

roostercroweburn
Monday, December 30th, 2019

I'm in the midlands and have seen buzzards. It isn't a human to well fenced. Even today they are keeping away from about 100 foot of the fence. Would creasote or tar deter?


Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

Buzzard or kite don't take hens,

Torsten Schulz
Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

No bird of prey apart from an eagle would be capable of taking a hen or duck away. Midlands, you can almost certainly rule that one out. Besides you would notice a bird of prey hanging around. Really sounds like the work of a fox. Where in the Midlands are you. Pm if you'd prefer

nedzer
Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

Sounds like a fox , brazen and smart. They can climb a tall fence but generally get through under it.i have no experience with eagles attacking birds but I know they wander far from their native sites. Even sea eagles can spend months inland and develop different diets.

Adrian Kelly
Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

If you could get fox cage (trap) and set it outside the fence you will know soon enough if it's a fox.Being creatures of habit and all that.

roostercroweburn
Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

game cam , where abouts in the midlands are you , im in the midlands aswell , could come and have a look for you

kevin g
Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

Could it be a two legged intruder ? - pine martens leave them behind,fox will leave a few feathers somewhere

polishbantams
Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

Any update?

Adrian Kelly
Monday, January 6th, 2020

If you cant see feathers or the fence hasnt been blown open by anything getting in and you have the run door/gate locked... the only thing that could be taking your birds is something from the roof (if there is no cover on it) ie sparrow hawk etc .. or human stealing birds (not unheard of unfortunately)

Did you find anything yet?

Cork Wyandotte
Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

Buzzards will take fowl not very common but they will do it I've heard of them taking ducks I no one man they cleaned him out of some very large hens and ducks in the Midlands.

paddycrawford
Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Buzzards etc will leave more feathers than anything else. Can only be fox, humans, or Alien abduction lol

nedzer
Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Any update on your situtation suem

roostercroweburn
Thursday, January 9th, 2020

Just to let you know I brought electric poultry fencing and put
it around my ducks house and pond.
My few hens we're only out for an hour on the garden
Was doing lunch at about 1pm looked out my kitchen window
And a big fox was chewing on my favourite last barama cross hen!
I went out shouting to my dogs like a mad woman my dogs
Were so close to getting it. I found where it was getting in and have now set a fox trap So fingers crossed. I used raw mince is that the best bait? Sadly lost my hen she was five years old 😢


Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Meant to say When he attacked my hen there were feathers everywhere.
My other hen and ducks not a feather did I find 🤔 am I dealing with two predators?


Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

sorry ho hear about your hen suem..Its possible there could be a pair or more .Mating season for foxes is January.At night foxes call to each other.You probably have heard their high pitched ghostly screams.I know from experience pairs work together. So even if you catch the fox set it again and keep setting it for now because foxes are wandering the countryside looking for mates.

roostercroweburn
Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Thank you great advice.
Will check the trap this morning and will keep setting it.
Any tips on the best bait to use?


Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Best bait would be a dead hen, for that is what it's used to getting at yours. Rabbit makes for good bait too if you could get one. Even fresh road kill. I've heard of people using tinned dog or cat food, but have never used it myself. Be careful though. The fox would rather fed on your live ducks and hens, than anything else

nedzer
Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Foxes are scavengers so usually they take what ever the find.But they are also creatures of habit.They will go first to the place where they are guaranteed a good meal and it seems to be you suem.
I would take nedzer's advice and keep in mind its hard for any scavenger to pass up bloody fresh meat of any sort.

roostercroweburn
Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Very sorry to hear Suem. If you want to stay in birds without the anxiety of an imminent fox attack I'd get some proper fencing. The hens weren't being protected by that electric fence you bought were they?

Adrian Kelly
Thursday, January 16th, 2020

I have them all secured with poultry electric fencing
But will not be happy until it's caught! Have a dead hen in the trap dog and cat food and raw mince😩


Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Good god woman!!! you've given it a banquet!!!

roostercroweburn
Thursday, January 16th, 2020

A last supper hopefully.

Adrian Kelly
Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Ya need some luck now after all that bad luck

nedzer
Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Still haven't sprung the trap it is so right what they say sligh as a fox!
I panicked when I saw him with my hen if I had someone with a gun he was a sitting target.Any other tips to catch a fox? Must have caught the wing of my young hen thought they were all ok noticed not eating great, picked her up and she was a bit distressed looks like wing damage will bring her to the vets tomorrow.


Friday, January 17th, 2020

you could also try snaring.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR2oSZvZHnM
to shoot it contact your local gun club

roostercroweburn
Friday, January 17th, 2020

I was thinking about a snare but I have cats and other wildlife around me and would hate to catch the wrong thing!


Friday, January 17th, 2020

I see your point.
There are lots of videos on youtube about trapping foxes. Youtube for me is the best place to look if I need to know or learn how to do.See what other people are doing to catch them.
I know you will get your fox eventually

roostercroweburn
Friday, January 17th, 2020

So excited this evening eventually my trap had sprung!!!!!
Caught a young cat! 😭😭😭


Saturday, January 18th, 2020


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