Originally Posted by Intheswamp
I'm glad the predator hasn't revisited...please don't get complacent already, though. Most predators *will* return...since this one apparently did not eat anything it may have been some type of thrill-kill and it moved on. Being as the dead chickens were found under bushes, though, it makes me think the predator intended to come back and get it's "hidden" caches.
The one chicken that you said was lethargic and not walking around normally, did you ever spot any blood on her? Is she still alive? Without the presence of blood it makes me think of blunt force or a crushing-type of injury.
I'm curious about something, though. In your original post you mentioned that you "locked" your chickens up. Then down below that you mention that there's a gap 4-5 inches tall under the door at one of the entrances. Is this entrance going into the actual coop, into a run, or simply into your yard? A gap of 4-5 inches makes me think of a regular garden gate. Is the coop open to the yard whereas it can't be locked down itself? Just trying to figure out your setup.
One thing you might do is to level out the sand on the outside of the entrance where the gap was and monitor it for animal tracks...even some flour sprinkled lightly in front of the gap would work if it's concrete or tile there. This is figuring that the gap has been sealed adequately.
Best wishes, hang in there!!!
I have a simple pvc pipe cage 5ft by 5ft perfect cube. It has plastic hardware cloth around it and on the top, 100 % sealed i use bungee cords to lock it up every night. That is in a 6-7ft. Fence mostly surrounded by bushes on the inside. But the door to the fence has a small gap under it.
I found all my chickens out, bungee unattached and no holes in my hardware cloth. Im assuming the girl living with me opened it on Her way out the night i closed it. (Shes pretty hateful and chased my chickens around the yard trying to catch them earlier that day)
The lethargic chicken is still alive, i didnt see any blood, but i assume she was bitten and had some sort of infection, because i gave her an antibiotic and she perked up a little. She is currently living in my brooder with some chicks, doing a little better. I bring her out daily to sit in the sun, but she has a bad limp and doesnt walk much. She doesnt get her balance easy either, usually using her wing to balance while standing.
I know the predator will be back, and im worried about it, i know dogs are alot of work and definitely a big investment, but id rather have my chickens safe than loose all of them over a nights period. Ive had good experience with dogs, and training, i had a pitt Aussie mix who was super intelligent and knew like 15-20 different tricks and hand signals. So many i forgot which ones were which. Im planning on getting a Anatolian shepherd great pyrenees mix with working parents. (Guarding goats and poultry) I found someone with some pups for a decent price and plan on getting him soon.