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Do you have security cameras watching over your chicken?

Wanting to get a motion activated security camera so I can see what is coming into our field and killing our chickens. Have looked at various trail cameras, wildlife cameras and the like, but it is unclear how far the motion sensor goes, or they don't go more than say 10 feet. Wanted something that would pick up movement across a 1 acre field. Or something that records on a regular enough basis that I can get to see what grabs a chicken. Weasel, fox, badger, something else.....
Don't care about night-time as they aren't out at night.

So having been reduced to frustration by this, thought "wonder if anyone on Downsizers has a system they are already using?" Either off the shelf or "bought three cheapie cameras from xxx plus motion sensor plus and..."

Ideally keeping costs down, but interested in any experience.
wellington womble

No wise words, but good luck. I know what kills my birds, I just can't catch the bugger.

With my trail cameras I would say they can be triggered by something much more than 10 foot away BUT getting the triggering right can be tricky. The more sensitive it is to pick up something at distance then the more times it's triggered by moving grass, trees, leaves, birds and I'm sure I've caught a large bumble bee on once set of pics.

The other problem is the delay between triggering and taking the first pic, you often get a set of pics of nothing-much-happening as whatever has triggered the pic has moved off.

Are there no other signs? For a daytime attack I would probably discount badgers unless you live in a very active badger area. I assume a weasel can get into your run but can it remove a dead hen easily? Would it be possible to make an area of fine sand/soil where tracks could be left?

motion detection come in a few types but basically it is either close range in a simple area or very expensive and/or complex to cover a large area without many false positives

continuous recording security cameras are fairly cheap but a camera good enough to give detail over an acre is a bit of a long shot unless you spend a lot

in reasonable light a fairly basic kit might give a good enough picture to then crop down to and enlarge a grabbed bit of the image to tell stoat from mink and decide who done it but proving which ginger tom cat (or ne'erdowell) it was could be a bit more tricky without enough raw resolution

if the field is near to a dry place with electricity security camera stuff is probably cheaper than doing a "remote" location with multiple trail cams

covering a small area with a trail cam and using bait might be an option for identifying what predators are about.

to get an idea of what equipment you might need go to the places you might put a camera and see what you can snap on a phone, a decent stills camera and a decent hd video camera to get an idea of how much resolution, field of view , light, etc etc you need with different approaches Wink

I'll actually be setting my trail cam tonight.
For the last couple of days I've found small animal tracks in a muddy gateway. I'm not too sure what they are but I'm thinking Grey Squirrel, stoat, polecat or possibly hedgehog. With a little bit of luck, the next couple of nights should reveal all.
You can't cover every option but allied with a little bit of bush craft trail cams can be a very useful and interesting tool.

Thanks folks. They are free ranging, stay largely in the field with a few occasionally going into further fields. The kill was about five feet from the door of their shed, sometime during the middle of the day. Feather explosion, followed by light trail of feathers down the field and under a fence, with two further feather explosions in the bit of semi-woodland below the field. Not found any trace of the body.
Initially want to narrow down what sort of animal so poor resolution filming OK.

Any brands of equipment to avoid?

Bodger - wondered what brand of camera you were using and where bought.
I've looked on Amazon but there seems to be a lot of China based suppliers and I've had bad experiences on returns with that before.

Have for now shut them all back in again into the flu quarantine quarters in the hope that the predator will get hungry and move on. Have beefed up the fence.

from the description of the crime scene fox is prime suspect but that does not exclude other possibilities.

like bodger said a bit of bushcraft might resolve the question without the need for a big rig.

I thought Bodger was saying smallish camera plus footprints?

At the moment our fields are so wet footprints blur out.

We did wonder about fox. We had a weasel/stoat last autumn - head bitten off, no feather explosion, body dragged not carried, attempt to pull a hole in the stock netting.
But would like to rule out other predators like a wandering dog - it was only one hen killed and foxes tend to go multiple. Also a wildlife camera could be for fun. Definitely don't want to spend out lots - would rather keep below 100, but knowing what brands, which sellers, would be helpful.

bushcraft to establish where to put a trailcam to be most effective makes sense.

a low tech early days intel option is to shake sand or dust flour on the ground where you might expect an "intruder" , it can show up paw marks a treat as can simple things like sweeping mud smooth or raking a lawn in one direction etc etc

know your enemy is always a good start and their footprints are very educational.

Twisted Evil Laughing Laughing Laughing

Oh, yes, got that, bushcraft on where to place a trailcam.

But what make and model of trailcam?

I've been looking at 60 sort of ones, not that fussed about night-time abilities because chickens aren't out at night. I've seen that the sensitivity of the motion sensor is important, likewise how long it takes to trigger a photo. So what have people bought?

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