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3 chickens dead in past 2 nights

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
We are new to raising chickens and hava around 13 hens a rooster and a Guinea. But the past 2 nights we've lost 3 hens. One was killed in the coop. It has his head but his todo was eaten with its guts eaten. Then this morning we've had two that were killed but near the road. pictures attached.

What could be terrorizing our chickens and how do we stop them?



post #2 of 5

You said in your other post about roosting in trees. Chickens not safely tucked into a secure house/coop at night are prey for many animals. Here is the list of all animals in my area that I see on a weekly bases and all are deadly to my birds so my set up is predator proof:

 

Fox, Coyote, Raccoon, Opossum, Skunk, Hawk, Owl, Eagle, stray cats and dogs.

 

I'm leaning toward raccoon or opossum. Frankly, it could be anything. You'll either have to stay up late or get a game camera to be certain.

 

I would work on predator proofing immediately.

You win some and lose some. When at first you don't succeed: try... try... try... try and try again.

 

How to Provide Emergency and Supportive Care        

Maintaining a Healthy Flock

Chicken Injuries & Diseases

Poop Chart 

Emergency Helpful References & Links

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You win some and lose some. When at first you don't succeed: try... try... try... try and try again.

 

How to Provide Emergency and Supportive Care        

Maintaining a Healthy Flock

Chicken Injuries & Diseases

Poop Chart 

Emergency Helpful References & Links

Reply
post #3 of 5
A possum (weak dentures DYK) likes to pig out on the guts and other soft tissue.
Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
Reply
post #4 of 5

At night, chickens are sitting ducks for predators.  I can do pretty much anything to my hens in the dark when they are roosting.  

Just about any night time predator could be killing your chickens.  Raccoons, opossoms, fox, neighborhood cats, stray dogs, coyote.. If their heads were eaten I would even say owls. I knew a woman that didn't lock her silkies up at night and she lost several to owls that ate just their heads. At least she told me that it was owls that were killing her hens.

 

I would work on providing predator proof housing for your remaining flock as soon as possible.  This site has a great place to get ideas for coops and runs. You don't need to spend a lot of money to make adequate housing for your chickens.  My husband used wooden pallets that were being given away to build our coop, and we utilised bamboo growing on our property to make our run (along with chicken wire, and pressure treated wood/posts).

post #5 of 5

A hungry enough predator can get through many average defenses via digging under, tearing holes in wire you wouldn't think they could, etc.  I designed and built my coop and it is predator PROOF!  My chicken door locks up and down super tight utilizing ceramic hard drive magnets, and the main door is solid, 2" thick and bolts tight at night, as well as using the same type HDD magnets to keep it tight during the day as I clean, check for eggs, etc.  It's nice when your hands are full and all you have to do is lean on the door to open it, then push it with your foot to close it back to the magnet!  The windows at each end have woven wire coverings that a bear would have a hard time trying to get through, and the 7x4 foot picture window is 1/2" thick tempered glass!  The walls are double thick, 1/2" plywood.  Plastic covered plywood floor on 6" ground exposure PTL for the foundation.  And believe it or not, a plastic roof! (on top of the plywood, of course)  A good, solid coop design is very necessary in some areas, not so important in others where predators are scarce.  Location, location, location!
 

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