37 gone!!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by manwithnoname, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. manwithnoname

    manwithnoname In the Brooder

    Mar 14, 2011
    Last week I moved all 38 of my 3 week old pullets out to the new pen I made for them. The pen was in my big old barn that is also shared by my steers. I built a wall cutting an old milk parlor in half. I made a smaller pen inside in one corner. Went out before work on the fourth day to do chores and found 4 dead and 33 gone. There was 1 alive roostering between the pen lid and board the heat lamps were hanging on. When I came home the four dead ones I was planning using as bait were gone. I found blood, wings and feathers going out 3 ping pong size holes. Uncle is a pest man and says rats or weasels. He thinks rats. We set 3 live traps and after three days have nothing. Guess whatever it/ they are are full. I feel worthless. I already got replacements in garage and I need a plan before they need to go to a bigger pen. What do I do if I don't catch anything? Think I might have to build a totally diff. Pen/ coop? Current pen has concrete trough in it used for feeding the cows when they used to milk them. That trough is going to be hard to seal off. There's a 1" gap there that they used. Here all I was worried about were our barns cats. Man I feel awful.
    Never had trouble with the adult chickens. First time raising chicks. Sorry this turned into a novel
  2. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Songster

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
  3. jhm47

    jhm47 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    This doesn't sound like the work of a weasel. They usually will kill all birds in a pen/coop, but they drink as much blood as possible, and leave a lot of dead birds where they killed them. Rats will drag off the carcasses. Get some "Just one bite" rat bars. They are quite safe, and work well. Good luck!
  4. manwithnoname

    manwithnoname In the Brooder

    Mar 14, 2011
    Thanks for the help. Still nothing in traps. I got some rat bait today and am taking fight to them. Still trying to figure out if I can button up the coop better or relocate and rebuild.
  5. cgmccary

    cgmccary Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    So sorry. That would devastate me.

    Did you happen to see any tracks? I used to put white sand in my run. Tracks show up real good on the sand the next morning. That was where I first detected rats.
  6. obaan1

    obaan1 Songster

    Jun 9, 2010
    Great Lakes State
    That had to be shocking for you. I'm sorry that it happend to the flock. You have my sympathy.
  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I second the poison, live traps are worthless. When you put the poison out don't tie it down so the rats can take it back to their holes and feed it to their babies....otherwise you'll just keep having the same problem.

    I use a brand called "tomcat", it worked pretty good. Haven't seen a rat on the place in months.
  8. manwithnoname

    manwithnoname In the Brooder

    Mar 14, 2011
    Nope no tracks just concrete floor. Just ALOT of blood where they were and where the rats or whatever took them through the walls. I still can't believe the 3 week old chicks got through those holes. I don't think a golf ball would fit through them. The chicks were actually pretty big and boy did they look nice. I had a real nice variety too.... better stop, getting mad again.
  9. Chickmate

    Chickmate Songster

    Nov 10, 2009
    SE Michigan
    [​IMG] Wow, I'm so sorry for your loss. I have 23 week old chicks in the brooder and know how I would feel if I lost them all. [​IMG] Don't beat yourself up too badly. All you can do is build the most secure pen/coop as you can and then deal with predators as they come.
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I'm really sorry this happened to you and your chickens. It's amazing how they can get through such small openings.

    I put heavy 1/2" hardware cloth over all the openings on my coop. I wouldn't leave any opening larger than that.

    Maybe others will have some ideas for fillers. Is this a hole through concrete? Sometimes people stuff steel wool in areas, before they fill them, too, as that's supposed to be unpleasant to try to chew through. Stuffed in just loose, I think they'd just pull it out. Maybe stuff the hole with some steel wool using a stick and then cement over it?

    Hey, can you get some type of pipe to thread through the hole? Then cap the pipe with a fitting at both ends? That should work, right? It would also be removable, if you wanted to use the area for something else, later.

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