A Summer of Disaster!

An area for discussion of problems with pests and predators. WARNING: People are discussing problems with predators, that includes things such as fox and bird of prey attack. Such posts may not be nice viewing, but are acceptable.

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nickyc
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A Summer of Disaster!

Post by nickyc » 12 Sep 2013, 08:56

Hi All,

I've just joined the forum although I've been keeping hens now for 10 years.

I've had the most disastrous summer and just wanted to share with you/warn you about badgers. I had two beautiful Jubilee Orps and a Norfolk Grey entered in the local agricultural show and was very excited at their prospects. However, unbeknown to me, when I shut the ladies up one night, the Norfolk Grey wasn't in any of the houses and I hadn't realised. I came out the next morning and found nothing but a pile of feathers. I assumed, as you do, that it was a fox because there was a hole dug under the wire every night and no matter the fact that I mended it every day, the hole reappeared every night.

Cut a long story short. Following night I heard a massive commotion at 2.30am. Ran out expecting to see a fox and found the heavy wooden door of one of the houses ripped off it's hinges and my two Jubilee Orps dead; one in the mouth of a badger. The badger was massive and it was not the slightest bit afraid of me. I ended up in tears; I simply couldn't believe what had happened.

I bought padlocks and bolts and every bit of security I could find to make the hens safer and installed everything. The next night, badger returned - there were fresh claw marks on the door of the same house he'd got into previously but luckily, my security measures kept him out, but he kept coming back and trying.

I've now had the fence completely re-done and installed an electric fence. The only thing that has kept that b*****d badger out is the electric fence. What I wanted to warn people of was if your hen houses get attacked at night, don't automatically assume it's a fox. Badgers are terrible animals; they're dangerous, full of disease and vicious. The only way to keep them out is with electric fencing.

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drfish
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Re: A Summer of Disaster!

Post by drfish » 12 Sep 2013, 10:10

Badgers are an equally big threat as foxes, and in a lot of cases, a lot better equipped for the job. They have huge claws, and are able to use their front paws almost like a hand. They are also extremely adept climbers, and would make short work of a fence. As you've found they can be excellent diggers, which is why it's vital to make sure you use extra wire at the bottom of a run, and either bury it, or make a skirt for it fastened down or weighted with stone. Sorry for your loss, and good one on the heads up.
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

laffinfowl
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Re: A Summer of Disaster!

Post by laffinfowl » 12 Sep 2013, 10:16

I,ve never had the misfortune of a Badger attack but was warned a long time ago by a Gamekeeper of their capabilities as regards breaking into chicken coops and wreaking havoc.
As he said a determined Badger is much more dangerous than a fox because they will not give up until they gain entry especially if they are hungry whereas foxes if defences are good enough to keep them out will usually move on to an easier target but will keep checking back on old ground in case your guard and defences have dropped.
Unfortunately you,ve found out the hard way what they are capable of and the fact that they are protected does,nt help either as it makes controlling numbers all the more difficult,but at the end of the day i suppose its up to keepers to make sure protection of their stock is up to the mark if shooting or trapping are not an option. :-k

nickyc
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Re: A Summer of Disaster!

Post by nickyc » 13 Sep 2013, 13:49

Believe it or not Drfish, the fence was dug a foot down and the skirt went a foot out but that didn't stop Mr Badger at all!

The electric fence with the lowest wire a couple of inches off the ground has worked a treat but I really did want to warn others about badgers; all this love and cuddliness about badgers at the moment drives me demented - they're not cute and cuddly, they're downright dangerous!!

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drfish
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Re: A Summer of Disaster!

Post by drfish » 13 Sep 2013, 14:45

They are vicious killing machines. These bloody do-gooders are the same do-gooders that put food out for foxes, and now we're over-run with them and they're getting more brazen every year.

Wild animals should be left to their own devices, not encouraged to be-friend humans.

Quite surprised at the fact the badger dug that far though. It must have been seriously hungry and desperate to keep going to that much trouble. I know they're determined buggers when they want to be, but :shock:

I'm quite happy that my actual coops are very badger proof, unless they devise a way to operate their thumbs as we do. I have enough trouble getting in them, such is the security. My runs are definitely not secure against that kind of attack though, so I'd hope they don't start doing day patrols. Don't see much in the way of badgers where I live though. Although that's not to say they aren't there.
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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