1st time predator in coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by OzarkGuinea, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. OzarkGuinea

    OzarkGuinea Hatching

    Jun 14, 2007
    Ok, i've lost some guineas while they were free ranging through my woods. I expected that. What I didn't expect is what I saw this morning when I went into my coop.

    Something had eaten 5 out of 6 chicks from under a broody hen. No trace of where these went to.

    Also, one of my favorite hens was dead. The only thing wrong with her is that from her neck up her feathers are all messed up and slimy. I'm thinking a big snake got in the coop last night through the welded wire i used over the window opening in the door.

    Anybody else find a dead hen with similar problems?
  2. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    Hi, I had a young chicken that I found hiding, unmoving and had slime covering her head down to where the neck thickened out. She was in sort of a shock state for a day and then was fine. I couldn't find the fang marks but I think it's possible she was bitten lightly by a youth snake. She threw up a few times and I think it was related to the bite and slime. (she was also terrified to go back out and free range for a bit).

    I think you did have a young snake attack. They love to eat chicks and eggs, but the adult was probably too much of a meal for it..
  3. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    If it was a snake that got your chicks he was mighty hungry. It would have had to be snakes, for once a snake eat one he would have enough for about a week, then come back for another. As for the slime it may have been just sliva from being malled by an animal.
  4. OzarkGuinea

    OzarkGuinea Hatching

    Jun 14, 2007
    I'm not sure what else it could have been. The biggest opening into the coop was only like 2" by 3" through the welded wire. No other openings larger than that, and nothing was torn through. I lock all my coop doors from the inside at night. I put 1" chicken wire over the window in the door last night and didn't have a problem. I'm sure whatever it was it will keep trying to get in.
  5. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Just my .02-

    A snake that will fit through a 2"x3" opening is not going to see a full grown hen as a potential meal. Additionally, if a snake got in and ate 5 chicks- there would have been plenty of time for the hen to attack the snake and either kill it or send it on it's way. I have not had a broody hen, but from posts here, I am under the impression that they would defend their chicks.

    While eating, a snake is at it's most vulnerable and cannot protect itself. If it ate 5 chicks, it would have been in there for quite a while because whether venomous or not, a snake kills first, then eats. If venomous, it will strike, inject venom, then hang back and wait for the prey to die. Or, if a constrictor- the snake will grab the prey and squeeze for anywhere from 10 minutes up before it will begin to eat. (I'm sure this varies, I'm going off of experience watching my own snakes eat).

    Another thing you need to consider is that if a snake did get in and eat 5 chicks- it won't fit back through the 2"x3" opening to leave until it's food is digested. 5 chicks will make quite a large 'lump' in a snakes body.

    I don't think your predator is a snake, but if it is- you ought to check your coop really well because it could very well still be inside.
  6. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO

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