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Help Identify this Predator

Keeping your rabbits safe from predatory animals, pests, and people.
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Help Identify this Predator

Post Number:#1  Unread postby SuburbanHomesteader » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:57 pm


In addition to the pleasure we get from our domestic rabbits, we enjoy watching the scores of wild rabbits on our property do what rabbits do. As with any abundance of wild rabbits, a number of different kinds of predators are attracted. Such is life.

We've got something new killing our wild rabbits and I have no idea what it is. Haven't seen it or any tracks - just dead baby bunnies. In the past few weeks, I've found two different litters killed. No adults - just young rabbits. One litter was probably a month old, the other a couple of weeks older.

I've found their bodies - all within five or ten feet of each other - out in the open. They show two or three puncture wounds and maybe only one or two are partially eaten. Head first. It's almost like something is killing them, gathering them together, sitting down to eat, and then leaving when it's full. I've never seen anything like it.

Haven't had signs of anything bothering our chickens or domestic rabbits. I've had our live trap set out baited with cat food - haven't caught a thing. (Which is also odd because we always catch raccoons this time of year.)

Any help or guidance y'all can offer will be appreciated. I'd just like to have some idea what I'm dealing with.

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Re: Help Identify this Predator

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Celice » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:56 pm


sounds like a house cat to me.

Wild predators usually take everything they can else where to eat or eat it all there and there will be little left. House cats on the other hand tend to 'play' with their food and can go on a killing spree while only eating one or two leaving half or some of the body behind.

try the wet cat food. it smells stronger and is more likely to attract anything that is interested.

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Re: Help Identify this Predator

Post Number:#3  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:05 am


coons, will kill all they can, eat a few bites and then leave...so-- if it is not cats, it could be young coons...
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hard neck garlic varieties for fall planting.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens, and too many ducks..
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Re: Help Identify this Predator

Post Number:#4  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:31 am


Celice wrote:Wild predators usually take everything they can else where to eat or eat it all there and there will be little left. House cats on the other hand tend to 'play' with their food and can go on a killing spree while only eating one or two leaving half or some of the body behind.


Wild predators will kill and leave the kill in situations where there are easy kills that are more than they can eat. The behavior has been documented in wolves, coyotes, raccoon, weasels, badgers, and I'm sure there are more those are just the ones I'm most with which I'm most familiar.


So, unfortunately, this behavior does not automatically mean that it's a domestic. However, it does kinda sound like a domestic cat.

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Re: Help Identify this Predator

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Celice » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:19 am


alforddm wrote: Wild predators will kill and leave the kill in situations where there are easy kills that are more than they can eat. The behavior has been documented in wolves, coyotes, raccoon, weasels, badgers, and I'm sure there are more those are just the ones I'm most with which I'm most familiar.


So, unfortunately, this behavior does not automatically mean that it's a domestic. However, it does kinda sound like a domestic cat.


Guess I should have said 'most of the time' since most predators, if it's small enough, they will pick up what they can and carry it off, and with large predators like Wolves it very rare that they kill more then they can eat but you are right it dose happen.

Coyotes and Foxes I know would have carried the baby rabbits off to eat (I've had issues with them before). Weasels tend to make a big mess of things and would not be limited to babies(one got into the duck pen). but I'm not experienced with Raccoons or Badgers to know if they carry it off or not.

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Re: Help Identify this Predator

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Preitler » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:55 pm


My guess is marten, or one of its relatives like weasel etc.

They have a hardwired instinct, as long as something is moving they must hunt and kill,that urge is stronger than their hunger. They will kill everything in a chicken coop, eat a head or two, and leave.
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Re: Help Identify this Predator

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Deer Heart » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:05 pm


Still sounds like a cat to me personally. I would set a raccoon/cat trap and bait it with fish. You likely will find your predator at that point (unless you find whatever it is comes back for the bodies at a later date. Then I would use the baby remains as the bait)
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Re: Help Identify this Predator

Post Number:#8  Unread postby BlueHaven » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:18 pm


I had one like this years ago and set out a box trap.. Caught a huge black tom cat.

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Re: Help Identify this Predator

Post Number:#9  Unread postby grumpy » Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:57 pm


Weasel.
Author of Historical Romance Novels: The Trilogy of: Box of Dreams, Scarlet Dreams, and Shattered Dreams.
My newest work: Now in publication. Redemption Road.
Visit my website for more information. http://www.ekfelts.com

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