2nd round of missing chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mountainkids, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Mountainkids

    Mountainkids New Egg

    May 22, 2008
    My 1st post and not a good one. We are losing chickens like it is our job. We free range our birds and lock them up safe at night. We were so happy our flock of 17 could cruize around . Then a friend stopped by and called saying what happened to all your chickens. He only counted 11 when he stopped by.
    I got home from work and only counted 7!!! My chickens were just about ready to start laying.
    That week my uncle brought me over 11 ,1.5 month old barred rocks and RIR's. I did not let them out of their area at all until sunday morning. I was late for church and just did not have time to catch them. Within 3 hours I lost 3 more birds.

    The first attack left no bodies or blood, just some feathers. 10 Missing birds in one day.

    This last predator feast left nothing but one body. I went back give my barred rock a proper burial and she had been dragged off.
    All attacks were in broad daylight!!
    Any good ideas of an offender.
    I am thinking a coyote and a fox tag team event.

    Do you think green garden fence with reinforced bases is enough to stop such beasts? My feathered friends hate being in their 6 by 9 doge kennel.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    That's tough. Sounds like fox or some other four footed animal that is picking them off an running. We don't have those here, so I am not sure what the best fencing would be. Best of luck.
  3. PitterPaws

    PitterPaws Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2007
    I'm sorry to hear about all your birds going missing, and being killed. how awful.
    My guess would be someones dog(s) running loose! Also probably depends where you live as to what it could be.
    Good Luck I hope you catch the predator without any more casualties.
  4. babyboy1_mom

    babyboy1_mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2008
    Welcome to BYC.

    I am so sorry for you loss. I do not think that the green garden fence will do anything to keep a predator out. Now that they know where to get a free meal, then they will keep coming back until you have no chickens left.

    I would keep my birds locked up, at least for a while and I would set some traps to catch the predators. Just make sure that if you set traps, then have in mind what you are going to do with the predator, should you catch it.

    Again, sorry for your loss.

  5. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    First... Welcome to BYC! We're glad you found us and hope we can help you. Second, I'm really sorry about your losses.

    Anytime we free range our chickens we have to be aware that they are far more likely to be taken by a predator. Some people don't free range because they don't want to take that chance (or don't have space), others (like me) do free range but only when I'm home and others free range all the time whether anyone is around or not. It's a totally personal choice that you have to make.

    To keep chickens totally safe you need to have a completely enclosed run make with either hardware cloth or 2x4 welded wire and have that reinforced with 1" chicken wire or hardware cloth around the bottom. If it's completely enclosed it doesn't matter what height it is but taller is always better, in my opinion. First, because you can walk into a taller coop which makes things much easier on you and it's harder for predators to get on top and start jumping around to weaken the wire or whatever you have across the top.

    If you are not going to have a top on your run (I don't but many do) then you really want your run to be at least 6 ft. high. That will keep out most predators, certainly not all. Then, always, always lock up your chickens at night in a secure chicken house (sounds like you are already doing that) and that's about all you can do.

    Whatever has taken your chickens will be coming back since it's had several free meals now.

    People also use electric fences which can be very helpful to deter most predators also. Motion lights, having a radio on, having a good watch dog (which often turn into predators themselves so you need to really be careful and think about that one) can all help keep our chickens safe.

    Good luck.
  6. chick4chicks

    chick4chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2008
    N.E. Pa.
    [​IMG] I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your chickens
  7. Mountainkids

    Mountainkids New Egg

    May 22, 2008
    Thanks for the condolences.

    I am going to try to call in this predator and do a little preying myself. I would look very good in a coyote hat,and my wife would look great in red fox coat .[​IMG]
  8. chickens4jojo

    chickens4jojo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2008
    Upstate South Carolina

    Yes, some detective work is needed here. I am so sorry about the loss of so many of your birds.

    I found out that my neighbor's jack russel terrier was feasting on mine...I had to get up very early in morning to catch her though. I fired an air rifle (no bullets) to scare the dog away.

    I hope you find your culprit....soon! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  9. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    look up predators online. that's what i did when our hens and a rooster got attacked by something. It turned out to be a weasel:mad:
    I am thinking that either a fox got your chickens, a bob cat, a lynx, or a type of owl. Since the bodies weren't any where on the ground, i have a feeling it was an owl because it must have swooped down and flew away with one chicken at a time.
    Yes, that's a great idea. try to put bate out in the open(like buy a random chicken from somewhere, or if you don't want to sacrifice a live animal like i wouldn't, then get something not alive.) you should try and hunt this animal before it gets any more chickens. or call animal control to see if they can capture it.
    I am SOOO sorry for your losses:([​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] I know how you feel, too.[​IMG] I hope you stop the predator soon! Good luck!

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