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Please Help! Chickens getting eaten one by one (long post)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have my chickens free ranging, with a small shelter inside an electric fence (energized at around 8000 volts). A few weeks ago, I heard a commotion out there at about 11:30 pm and went out to find a rooster with his head and neck eaten, and an EE pullet missing. I didn't think anything could get inside the electric fence!. I put some wire up on the sides, and left a small, maybe 4"x4" space to allow the chickens to get out in the early mornings, I'm not available every morning to let them out. Last night, again at 11:30, I heard a chicken screaming, and found a Rhode Island Red pullet with her head and neck eaten. There was a pile of feathers in one corner of the coop, and her body in another corner, right by the edge. She was roosting up maybe 2 feet off the ground, something would have had to have pulled her off the roost. What is killing my chickens? Why does he wait 2 weeks then come back? At the same time of night!!! Can a possum/raccoon etc. get into a fence energized at 8000 volts? I read some stuff that made me think it could be an owl. There were feathers scattered around a fence post on the first kill. Is an owl smart enough to find that little 4x4 opening and get through it? What can I do??? Please someone help me! My chickens are getting eaten one by one and I'm scared for them tonight! :hit 

post #2 of 4

Might not be the same predator, could very well be an owl....

...........best to have a secure locked up tight shelter at night.

 

Have you actually tested the fence to get that reading of 8KV?


Edited by aart - 2/10/16 at 3:38pm

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #3 of 4
Minks are notorious for tearing the heads off and drinking the blood and leaving the carcass behind uneaten
post #4 of 4

Weasels too, and they can get through a 1 inch square mesh (or 1 inch chicken wire mesh).  I had a mink get into my only "converted" chicken coop (used to be a small old barn), and killed half the flock in one night.  It was winter, very cold and a lot of snow, probably not a lot of food animals easily found.  I never did find where it got in.  I moved all the survivors out immediately to my new purpose-built coops which are secure, and left the old barn vacant the rest of the winter.  Before I would feel safe about using it again, I think I would have to line the entire inside with half inch hardware cloth.

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