2 night slaughter

Dan999

Hatching
Jun 4, 2017
2
0
7
We finally put our 16 hens in our coop. They were 6 weeks old.

On night #7, I woke up to find nine of them still alive in my yard, feathers and a chicken leg in my coop and my pullet shut door was pried open with muddy paw prints on the door. Nine dead with no carcasses.

The next day, I screwed in a 2x4 over the pullet shut door since they were not using the run quite yet. The next morning I awoke to another slaughter. We have no chicks left. I need help identifying predator(s) and rout of entry.
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I have pictures of the evidence.

The floor of the coop has 3/4" plywood which is still intact.

Photos:
1. Coop
2. Print
3. Predator poop
4. Crime scene
5. Scratches climbing inside of coop
6. Prints inside the coop
7. Prints on roof
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,302
406
Conway SC
Tragic!! Looks like a raccoon tracks, but I am thinking more than one and maybe another predator---maybe a bobcat?? Awful. How did the get in the second time. Something to remember----if they come one night and get away with food---they WILL be back!
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,482
3,548
436
NEK, VT
Those are raccoon tracks. So you stopped the ability to open the door and something still got in? A raccoon needs a fairly good size hole and as you witnessed takes the chicken away.

Were the birds taken out of coop second attack? If they were all dead in the coop with not a mark on them then I'd sooner think it was a weasel. They can fit through an inch hole. Bite the neck and drink the blood. Will kill all the birds in a night.

Look up at the venting at top of coop. Is that covered in wire? Was it chicken wire that was chewed through? A weasel will crawl right through chicken wire. A raccoon can easily climb up and pry it off or chew through it. Use 1/2 inch hardware cloth on all ventilation openings on coop. Secure with screw and washers.
 

Sublight

Songster
Jun 2, 2016
619
670
216
Pensacola, FL
If it is a coon, then perhaps you should put out sardines for him. If you keep feeding him, then he should come back. Assuming you have a pellet rifle, then you can dispatch im with it. I made a post yesterday and it showed how to use a motion detector to alert you that something is in your pen. It cost me about 20 bucks. Perhaps you should consider it.

Link

Im sorry, we have lost 2 of our 6 chickens to a coon. 2 of my other chickens have been injured, just cut up, by it cause I ran it off once, and my mom stayed the night with me the other day and she ran it off once. Either trap it, or kill it.
My dad uses a big trap from tractor supply, and a can of sardines in it. It works great for him.
 

CLSranch

Crowing
5 Years
Sep 23, 2015
1,222
2,410
306
NE OK
Cheap canned cat food in a live trap and marshmellows in the cylinder/tube shaped pet safe foot traps work well with coons
 

Gargoyle

Chiseler
10 Years
Apr 13, 2011
4,195
6,027
552
Fox Valley, IL
My Coop
My Coop
They look like raccoon tracks (big ones, judging from the size on the vertical 4x4), but I'm surprised a raccoon can pry open a pullet shut door. Those doors are quite strong. Could be a very large raccoon opening it for his or her whole family. Talk with the people who make those doors, see if they've ever heard of a raccoon prying one open.

Cheap canned cat food in a live trap and marshmellows in the cylinder/tube shaped pet safe foot traps work well with coons
That's the Duke's Dog Proof trap; I agree about using marshmallows for bait. Chain down the trap or the raccoon will drag it off.
 

itsasmallfarm

Crowing
Oct 27, 2016
2,092
3,278
341
canada
sorry for your loses.

but those look like raccoon tracks to me, and there very smart, years ago when my grandparents raised chickens a raccoon raided there coop killing a few birds, the next day my grandpa drilled a hole in the chicken door and put a nail in, the next night the coon ripped the nail out and lifted the door up and killed the rest.

i would recommend trapping it (as it will keep on coming back for more chicken) but we use a havahart style trap with apples and bird seed (caught 2 in the past 3 days) followed by a .22 to the head (a quick and painless death) you could also use dukes DP coon traps (dog proof) they are said to work great, i saw one guy use burger king in them to trap coons.
 

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