2 night slaughter

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Dan999, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Dan999

    Dan999 New Egg

    Jun 4, 2017
    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. IMG_4573.JPG IMG_4587.JPG IMG_4588.JPG IMG_4597.JPG IMG_4598.JPG IMG_4601.JPG IMG_4606.JPG I have pictures of the evidence.

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

    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
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2012
    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!
    Alicia Huxtable likes this.
  3. Dan999

    Dan999 New Egg

    Jun 4, 2017
    IMG_4609.JPG One additional photo to add to my original post. This is likely route of entry.
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    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.
  5. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    We ALL learn From our Mistakes----some times at the cost of some/all of our flock. Chicken taste good to about all----we got to protect them---Nights are the worst time--very secure coops.
  6. Sublight

    Sublight Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2016
    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.


    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.
  7. Eps32

    Eps32 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2015
    North Carolina
    Those are for sure raccoon tracks.
    Hamiam likes this.
  8. CLSranch

    CLSranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2015
    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
    Sublight likes this.
  9. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 13, 2011
    Fox Valley, IL
    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.

    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.
  10. itsasmallfarm

    itsasmallfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2016
    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.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by