3 Dead chickens, no holes in fencing??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 2 Beauts, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. 2 Beauts

    2 Beauts Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    Our run is 8X20. On the bottom 1/2, we have it covered with .5" hardware cloth. The top 1/2 is 1" chicken wire. The top is covered by .5" deer netting. The floor is more .5" hardwre cloth covered with about 3 inches of dirt and mulch. The chickens are about 23-24 week old hens.

    3 Days ago, we found 2 dead chickens, both were RIR's, one looked fine, the other was half eaten, feathers were everywhere. Today, 1 was half eaten, a BO. There were no holes anywhere in the fencing, so we're not sure what got them. Our kids were hot on our heals, so we didn't get a chance to take a look for bite marks.

    My plan is to keep them locked in the coop for a couple days to see if there is a psychopathic chicken in the mix. Any other ideas??
  2. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    All I can think of is maybe a weasel? Maybe you could do a live trap, if nothing else you could figure out what your predator is.
  3. claud

    claud Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    Lock the chickens up in the coop and set a live trap in the run with some chicken meat in there. See what ya get.
  4. chick4chicks

    chick4chicks Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    N.E. Pa.
    [​IMG] sorry to hear about your chickies, sure hope you catch the predator.
  5. mark3208

    mark3208 In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2008
    I ALWAYS BLAME RACCOONS. simply because 99% of the time they are the guilty culprits. they will squeeze in anywhere for a free chicken dinner. and they will be back, I like a few strands of electric, have never lost chickens protected by electric fence.
  6. wilds of pa

    wilds of pa Songster

    Sorry for your loss..

    My quess is weasel or mink type creature..they can and will get in any small holes or come under from the coop side..climb up through top netting..they are the worst to stop in small critters...coons are fairly easy to see where there going in, so if it was a coon you would surely see where it enters..weathers getting cooler, which means more hungry critters on the go..

    if you use a box type trap, i hate to say it, but use some of the remains....Hope you catch it...

  7. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Sounds very predator proof to me. My attached run is all half inch hardware wire too. Plus I have that under and around the coop. Never had a problem.

    My guess is a rat is eating them at night when they can't see. Can you put some rat traps around the outside at night?

    I just can't imagine a coon or oppossum getting in through half inch wire.

    Good Luck
  8. 2 Beauts

    2 Beauts Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    Well, I think I figured out how they were getting in. I believe they were climbing the fence and got in through the eaves of the overhang.

    I had set a trap inside with the carcass, they sprung the trap and got the carcass, but I didn't get them. Also, they got into the chicken house and got my favortie one, Patsy. They drug off both carcasses. I spent all morning and warly afternoon yesterday putting the hardware cloth over the eaves where normally a soffitt would go. I reset the trap with a can of chicken meat and moved it outside the pen.

    As of this morning, there was nothing in the trap, but I still have the rest of my chickens. I'm hoping to catch something tonight.
  9. Possumpoint

    Possumpoint Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Sounds like a possum to me. Just to make sure though, I'd set the trap with a fresh piece of chicken, not canned chicken meat. Hope you can catch the culprit, and I'm so sorry or your loss. Oh, and even if it is a possum and you catch one, continue to set the trap each night just in case there's more than one. We have trapped and killed them for several nights in a row. It could be a litter of young ones. Good Luck!

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