Anyone who owns chickens can probably recall more than a few nights in which they were awaken at 3am to the sound of squaking from the hen house, or afternoons spent shooing the little cannibals away from the gory body of one of their fallen sisters.
For all of the hawks, foxes, coyotes, neighborhood dogs and mountain lions Americans have to put up with – at least we don’t have to worry about these five animals:
Linda Cockburn, author or Living the Good Life, recently wrote on her blog about catching one of these Australian chicken-killers:
Lucky for us “yanks” these gigantic rat-looking creatures only live on the island of Tasmania south of mainland Australia. …not so lucky for the dwindling Tasmanian Devil population, which is already faced with a limited territory that is shrinking every day, and now has to deal with a new devil-killer: Facial Tumor Disease. If things keep going this well for the chickens of Tasmania, this ugly-but-important part of the Australian ecosystem may go the way of the Tasmanian Tiger.
With the exception of Hawaii, Americans don’t have to worry about this sneaky, slinky little critter. But don’t get too happy about it. Mainland America has plenty of mongoose-type predators, such as Martins and Stoats – each of which is equally capable of getting a free chicken dinner. Your treat.
Given the choice between chickens and snakes, however, a mongoose is most likely to opt for the snake. For this reason, they were introduced to Hawaii (and several other parts of the world) to rid the islands of their snake population. There being no real preditorial threats to these non-indiginouse varmints, their populations quickly swelled.
Is there anything we can say about bengal tigers and chickens that isn’t already said in this video?
Sure, we have our share of “big cats” in the mountainous areas of North America, but they all look like kittens compared to the tigers of India and Asia. A typical male bengal tiger weights about 450 pounds. To them, your chicken is more like a chicken nugget.
If an anaconda thinks it can eat this rather, errrr “healthy portion” of American tourist, I don’t think it would even bother to stopping to digest if it managed to make its way into your chicken coop. In-fact, I’d be willing to bet your entire flock would be gone in the morning – feathers and all.
Found throughout tropical South America, these gigantic, non-venomous snakes have thankfully not made their way too far up north. Anacondas make most pythons look like composting worms.
A popular African childrens’ story involves a jackal conning a kind old woman out of an egg, which he uses to con a man out of one of his hens. Although the jackal gets outsmarted in the end, the story does highlight an important trait of this animal – its intelligence.
A lot of Americans (such as myself until about ten minutes ago) think jackals live only in Africa, but these formidable chicken killers can also be found in Asia and southeastern Europe. And while we can be thankful that we don’t have them here in North America, our wily coyotes more than make up for it.