little animals like that eat the heads on chickens ... and birds eat the breasts and foxes take their meal ... so i don't think it was one of them
Cannibal chickens! Help! - Page 2
The outdoor pen is chain link fenced, so the gap is maybe two inches - clearly enough for a weasel. And there are small gaps in their coops here and there, where boards have warped or don't line up. But it seems certain that the remaining chickens are eating the dead chicken (perhaps after its been killed, if a third-party predator is involved) because of the fleshy droppings the chickens left on their roosting ledge. It's pretty sad...
If I hardware cloth the pen, how high do I have to put it? Can I just fix the hardware cloth around the lower 12 inches, let's say, or will predators have no problems climbing over that and going through the chain link?
Predators can climb. Our run is not that big. We made it 22x5x5. With a steel roof. Last night I made the flock sleep outside in their run. They were not happy, but it didn't get below 85 inside the coop.
Here's my run, my coop(12x4x9) is inside my garage, which is 100% predator proof with both doors shut. I free range all day.
Here's our run last year
We made some major upgrading, but worth it. My kids would be crushed if an animal got their pet.
Our first coop 10x10 with window with screens and storms. How cool. Their run ran around two sides of the coop pretty large and was made out of 6 ft dog kennel (chainlink). First the squirrels would just walk through the link raid the food. So we wrapped the entire kennel in chicken wire, from top to bottom. The darn things squeezed throught the seams through the chainlink they were inside. Caught one inside the coop closed all pop doors so it couldn't get out, not sure what I thought i was going to do to it but it burst through the screen on the window. Right through it and out through the seam on the kennel. Hard wired all the windows on the outside, sewed up all the seams on the chicken wire. Now its like Fort Knox. If the predator is small like a squirrel it will get in anywhere. My bet is those chickens are not killing each other something else is. They must be scared to death. You will get it right and someday trial by error, they will be safe and sound just need to be a little smarter that the predators. Good luck.
i don't think it is a small animal doing it because they would eat the head and a little more ... it could be something i never herd of but ... but it could be the chickens to if they are pooping out flesh then its them that could be stressed about something and they would give their life just to be outside they love it out there .. my chickens are not bothered by anything and i have rats and other small animals that can try and get them and foxes when they are outside and hawks so nothing comes in my yard i never had a problem like yours ... oh i oh most for got if they are in a confined area they will also do that to
Well, here's an update. We hardware clothed the coop and have been putting the remaining two adult chickens inside. We also put out a havahart trap, but each night the liver bait is gone with the trap closed. I'm wondering if a cat or fox got into the trap, ate the bait, and when the door closed, the door closed on the animal's back, and the animal simply wiggled out without any harm. I'm going to put the trap inside the chicken coop's run tonight, to eliminate the larger animals from getting to the bait.
No attacks in the past few nights as the chickens were inside the coop, until last night. The weasel somehow found a way inside the coop and killed and mostly ate one of the two chickens. I looked and I think I found a gap between the wall and the floor which was mostly covered in straw - that must be how it got in. I blocked that up but I'm wondering how many other holes exist.
I'm also wondering how good a climber the weasels are - can they climb up plywood walls? Can they jump to ledges and windows?