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Tired and befuddled

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I know this is out there but... Help!! My friend has a large coop and about 2 months ago started loosing a chicken a night. She's down from 150 chickens to about 35~ Completely Gutted with everything else intact. My husband and hers have sat up tirelessly trying to kill this critter yet it evades them at every turn! It's something going over the fence, as the fence itself is dug down 1-1/2 feet into the ground and perimeter is secure. They had success for 5 nights in a row (because they are basically babysitting chickens..) and then last night they both needed sleep (they both get up for regular jobs at 4:30).
My husband text me this am~ It killed TWO last night!! He is beyond frustrated...
post #2 of 7
Rather than sit up all night babysitting chickens, why not try to secure the coop and run better? A few strands of electric fence around the area can be quite effective. Or you could go with electric poultry netting. Very effective, but more expensive than regular wire. Are the chickens cooped at night? Can't you just close the door if they are? Since the pen was built to hold 150 chickens, I'm hoping it's pretty big and would be hard to put a cover over it (which is what I would normally recommend) Whatever the case, I'd be looking more toward security than sitting up all night waiting for a predator that's obviously smart enough to know you're there.

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
It's completely enclosed and they are working on recovering with new netting right now.
post #4 of 7

Buy a cheap trail camera or two!  Install them and get a good nights sleep.  In the morning check the trail cameras too see who been getting free meals.

Disclaimer:  I have not slept in any hotel recently nor am I a certified web lawyer.  Opinions expressed are by a cowpoke who believes the year is 1868.
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Disclaimer:  I have not slept in any hotel recently nor am I a certified web lawyer.  Opinions expressed are by a cowpoke who believes the year is 1868.
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post #5 of 7
Our coop is completely enclosed and the pop door is shut at dark. This way, they can't be gotten at night. Our coop is very secure. We free range our birds so that the threat is during daylight, rather than at night.

A trail camera will help determine what animal is invading but you'll still need to find a way to catch and kill it, or you'll continue to lose birds.

Good luck!


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post #6 of 7

I don't know your geographic location but I'm going to guess the predator at hand might be a weasel of some sort.  Small enough to get through a easily-overlooked gap, and not big enough to eat more than just the guts.  Possibly smart enough to feed the family on one chicken a night, whether by invitation or carting it home in bits.  Well, that's my two cents!  I hope your friend figures it out!  And then update the rest of us.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyMissLily View Post

I don't know your geographic location but I'm going to guess the predator at hand might be a weasel of some sort.  Small enough to get through a easily-overlooked gap, and not big enough to eat more than just the guts.  Possibly smart enough to feed the family on one chicken a night, whether by invitation or carting it home in bits.  Well, that's my two cents!  I hope your friend figures it out!  And then update the rest of us.
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