12 are now 8. :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hennyhalo, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. hennyhalo

    hennyhalo New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2013
    New Mexico
    Something is killing my birds.

    We started with 12 chicks in March. The one roo was rehomed with a friend. Since then 3 girls have been killed. 2 in one night a few weeks ago while we were out of town, and 1 last night.

    We suspect a raccoon got the first two by going into the enclosure. The girls are scratching along the fence line. One was torn open, the other was just missing her head.

    I don't know what got the Red, though. she was torn open, head gone, belly gone, feathers and intestines everywhere. Unlike last time, there seems to be some evidence that she was actually someone's meal. But now there are no low spots to get in through.

    We live in town, but there is lots of open space around (and all of the usual animals that go with that: raccoon, deer, mountain lions, bears).

    I'm bummed, but there was a reason we started with 12. We aren't so low at this point that I'm worried, but I'd love to figure out a really good way of securing the girls at night.
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds like a coon. Anywhere for it to get up and over? A tree? Is it climbing up the fence?
     
  3. hennyhalo

    hennyhalo New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2013
    New Mexico
    The top isn't open. It has chicken wire over it, and I don't see anywhere that it has been pried open. There is a little bit of a gap over by the door, but no where near what I would think big enough for a full size coon. And nothing that looks like rub marks in the dirt or fur caught on anything where they might have tried to squeeze through.
     
  4. cascaderox

    cascaderox Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2013
    I would check all around the edge of the cage checking for any holes that have been dug or small spaces snakes or cats could be coming I'm am eating them
     
  5. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for your losses. I've seen where a coon can get through a gap 2 inches wide. I would close it up tight.

    Hope you figure out what your are up against.
     
  6. Teery

    Teery Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2013
    Inland Empire So. Cal
    Do you have weasels in your area?

    Try one of these if you are not sure..
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  7. littleoak

    littleoak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ashmore IL 61912
    I think your guess of coon is correct. Set a live trap and see what it catches. I am usually able to see the coon before it gets too far but I also use a live trap. They are extremely creative in entering secure pens. My mother had to use padlocks on her chicken house doors to keep them from unlocking the different types of locks she used. She hangs the key near the locks and hopes they won't figure out how to use the key.[​IMG] They will keep coming back until they are caught. You will also have to decide if you want to kill them or move them. Moving them requires about ten miles or more.
     
  8. cowmommy2001

    cowmommy2001 Out Of The Brooder

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    Weasels will also split them open like that too :( and could probably fit in a smaller space. Hope you don't lose any more :(
     
  9. hennyhalo

    hennyhalo New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2013
    New Mexico
    I've looked all around for holes and blocked the gaps by the door with large rocks on the inside and a board on the outside. There are stoats in the area, I've heard, but I have never seen them.

    I'm wondering if she could have been hen-pecked to death? She is the one that was picked on the most, and I have noticed the 3 Wyandottes getting more and more aggressive towards her. At first I thought her head was gone, but I just looked again (before my hubby takes the bag to the landfill) and her head is still attached. There were feathers EVERYWHERE in the cage, and not just hers. There were black and white (Wyandotte) feathers all over, too, and a couple of them looked like they had been in a fight. Then I spotted a clump of her feathers and her laying over behind the coop. I think the fight was between the girls, and they finally "resolved" their dispute.

    It makes me sad because she was the sweetest one and my favorite. My little girl cried when she found out because that was her, self-proclaimed, chicken. She had even given her a long-convoluted name (the kind of names 5 year olds are prone to giving).

    I just hope they don't start in on one of the others now that their favorite rival is gone.
     
  10. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Boulder, Colorado
    Hens wouldn't go that far. Feathers? Absolutely but you would of seen an escalation of pecking.
     

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