It all started last summer. My Poppop (Jimmy Downs) and I have a small farm in Jim Thorpe, PA. and noticed that one of our chickens was gone. We did not think anything of it because one chicken is not an alarming situation.
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When we became concerned is when we noticed that we were missing about a chicken a night. After the third night we started discussing that what ever was taking the chickens had to be bigger like a fox, bobcat or coyote because the chickens were getting dragged away. After scouting around the barn, we found fox tracks, and chicken feathers down in our fields.

Raccoon

I was hearing the coyotes yipping at night a little bit also. My Poppop finally had an encounter with the fox. He heard the chickens cackling late one night when he turned his spotlight and saw the fox. H fired a shot from his .22 and felt like it was a good shot. But when we went looking the next morning we couldn’t find anything.
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We were thinking that after the excitement that night, the fox wouldn’t return for a while. That next day I came home from work and my Poppop said to me: “you will never believe what’s in the barn until you see it.” I was thinking he had shot the fox.
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I went over to the barn and saw that a chicken was half eaten and stuck in the coop wire. My Poppop and I felt it was the perfect opportunity to set my scouting camera up because what ever got that chicken would be back to get the rest of that chicken.
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To our surprise it wasn’t the fox! We figured that the fox just happened to show up because of the noise and smells coming form the chickens and my Poppop just coincidently saw the fox there.
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What were taking our chickens were raccoons! We couldn’t believe it. These raccoons were smart; we had no idea how they were getting the chickens because their roost was nowhere near that fence.
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The raccoons were taking the cracked corn and throwing it through the fence to lure the chickens. The chickens would get down off the roost walk over by the fence to eat the corn and the raccoons would grab them kill them and pull them through the fence–except for the fat chicken they couldn’t get through.
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We knew this was happening due to the corn on the ground in the coop, and the pictures we have of the raccoons with the chicken. The mystery of the missing chickens was over.
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I made short order of the raccoons by shooting and trapping them. We haven’t had a problem since.
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Solving the case of the disappearing chickens takes a turn with the help of some trail camera ingenuity.

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