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Something tore our coop apart and 8 of our 11 chickens are dead or gone!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Yesterday after work, about 1 hour before dark, just like everyday, I went out to do my chicken chores and there were feathers everywhere. 2 dead birds on the ground. No idea where the other 6 chickens went...3 live birds in the house. 

Let me start by saying I have a 20 x30 fenced in coop area for the chickens. On one end is the chicken house 5x5x4 feet high, it is well constructed and up off the ground. The top of the coop is about 6-7 feet high on this end and it has chicken wire securely over it, the top on the other end of the coop is about 4 feet high and it also has wire over the top. So the whole thing is enclosed with chicken wire. All the wire was secured together by being sandwiched between two boards with a lot of  screws holding it all together.

I am not sure what got into the coop but I think it/they climbed up on top of the 6 foot area and fell through the wire, actually pulling the wire out of the two boards that were screwed together to join the pieces. There were other areas of the top that were sagging very low. It actually broke off the corner of the fiberglass roofing that was sticking past the roof of the house.

It/they appear to have left after their rampage, by climbing the inside and pushing up on the top wire in the 4 ft end until it pulled out of where it was joined.

There was also a hole on the other end of the coop of about 6 inches (10 to 12 inches off the ground) that looks like something grabbed the wire and pulled until it broke, then stuck its arm in (I say an arm because it was a perfect circle) and grabbed an outside nest of fake eggs that my hens sometimes lay real eggs in. The fake eggs were outside the coop right by the hole. 

I had one hen sitting on 10 eggs inside the chicken house, right by the door, over half her eggs were gone as well as the hen. The other hens usually lay about 9 eggs a day (which were all gone). It seams weird to me that I did not find one broken egg or any shells anywhere in the carnage. 

The two dead birds had their chest/side area partially eaten. The metal feed barrel was untouched as well as the hanging feeder. 

The Hubby and I worked for hours fixing the damage to the sides and screwed old tin sheets on top of the 6 foot section to repair the hole, completely covering that section with tin. After all our work I was very uneasy and ended up moving the 3 remaining birds into our storage shed next to the house. Which I am glad i did. 

This morning I was shocked to see that something had come during the night. Either attracted to the smell of blood or back to finish off the remaining chickens. The entire side of the 6 foot section was sagging down like something very heavy climbed up the wire, part of the tin roofing was pulled up and the wire under the tin was ripped down, as if the visitor fell down through. The remaining eggs were gone, the feed bin was tipped over and was mostly eaten, the hanging feeder was ripped off the hanger and destroyed. The little doors to the nesting boxes were ripped off. If that wasn't enough it then dug its way out under the fence. We looked but were unable to find any tracks.

 

Does anyone know what might have done this? Do you think it was the same animal both times? 

post #2 of 5

Bear. They are heavy. You said the coop was well constructed and it's dimensions but never said how the animal got into it. Was it ripped apart? Did it crawl through the coop door? Without have a clear idea of all damage I'll go with a bear. A raccoon will easily get through chicken wire but chew it. Dogs can push through it. It's really not a good choice for protection. Regardless of that I don't know how the animal got into the coop. If it was torn open then yeah, a bear. And yes, they will continue to come back and feed until they know there is nothing left. Fattening up from lean winter.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #3 of 5

A strand or two of polytape or poly wire (electric) around the run will keep animals away. Put a strand at 6 inches up and another at 2 ft and another at 3 or 4 ft. So three strands for all sizes of animals. That will teach them to stay away and make your chicken wire predator proof.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 


Egghead_jr.

I call the wired in yard the coop and the building their house. 

The animal went up on top of the 6 ft high 2x4 framed, fenced in enclosure (coop) and fell through the wire on the top, so it had to be quite heavy. It did not enter the chicken house itself. 

We have had chickens for about 5 years, with only a few small predators from time to time.

When we rebuild, I am definitely doing the fencing. 

 

I was thinking bear myself, but a neighbors dad hunts bear with dogs and he swore bears would never go after chickens. LOL

 

Thanks for the post.

post #5 of 5

They definitely go for chicken. The deal is they come because they smell the feed and then take the birds. Had a bear push and pull on my growout pen last fall. bent the 2x4 14 gauge welded wire and cracked/broke the stick frame but didn't get in. We don't leave feed out at night anymore. Never a problem with the poultry netting. Corner of it was knocked down once, something tried getting in and left in a hurry. 

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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