Active predator

HenriettaC

Hatching
5 Years
Jun 3, 2014
7
0
9
We've lost over ten chickens in the last couple of weeks. Most of the time there is no evidence of the attack. A neighbor told us she saw a coyote take one of the chickens at about 10am one morning. We reinforced the perimeter of our property. And set a live trap. After a few days we removed the trap and we're hoping for the best. Then we did head count, we are still losing chickens. Upon another inspection of the fence, we found feathers. We are at a loss as to what is getting our girls and how to 'fight' this predator. I think I will start putting them on lock down, for now.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,032
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC.
Yes, when under siege, the best first move is to eliminate access to your birds by putting them on lock down. This will protect you from further losses while you sort out the culprit. I would suggest using game cams - placed near your birds you will get a look at what is coming to get them, and knowing the enemy is key in defeating the enemy.
You mentioned re-enforcing your perimeter, can you tell us a bit about your current barrier system - height, type of wire, whether it extends into the ground or sits above the surface.
As it sounds like your birds range over a fairly wide, open space have you considered the issue of aerial predators? Once the birds are in lock down take a look on the surrounding vantage points (trees, poles, etc) - any predatory birds in sight? They will often sit (especially the first few days after a free range buffet has been contained out of their reach) watching their hunting ground waiting for a chance to strike...this is prime time for you to be able to see them.
 

Texas4T

Chirping
Feb 25, 2015
163
28
71
Texas
We've lost over ten chickens in the last couple of weeks. Most of the time there is no evidence of the attack. A neighbor told us she saw a coyote take one of the chickens at about 10am one morning. We reinforced the perimeter of our property. And set a live trap. After a few days we removed the trap and we're hoping for the best. Then we did head count, we are still losing chickens. Upon another inspection of the fence, we found feathers. We are at a loss as to what is getting our girls and how to 'fight' this predator. I think I will start putting them on lock down, for now.

Hi! I am pretty new here, too, but not new to chickens or predator problems. Once something has figured ou that your chickens are a meal, it will keep coming back until they are all gone. You need to eliminate it, or put out something that protects the chickens.
 

gifters

In the Brooder
Apr 7, 2015
98
12
43
Use a trail cam to figure out when the predator is coming around so you know when to focus your effort

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
 

HenriettaC

Hatching
5 Years
Jun 3, 2014
7
0
9
Welcome to BYC.
Yes, when under siege, the best first move is to eliminate access to your birds by putting them on lock down.  This will protect you from further losses while you sort out the culprit.  I would suggest using game cams - placed near your birds you will get a look at what is coming to get them, and knowing the enemy is key in defeating the enemy.
You mentioned re-enforcing your perimeter, can you tell us a bit about your current barrier system - height, type of wire, whether it extends into the ground or sits above the surface. 

As it sounds like your birds range over a fairly wide, open space have you considered the issue of aerial predators?  Once the birds are in lock down take a look on the surrounding vantage points (trees, poles, etc) - any predatory birds in sight?  They will often sit (especially the first few days after a free range buffet has been contained out of their reach) watching their hunting ground waiting for a chance to strike...this is prime time for you to be able to see them.
 

HenriettaC

Hatching
5 Years
Jun 3, 2014
7
0
9
We are on 2½ acres. The chickens are kept in a coop at night and we have had no problems there. During the day they like to spend time in the cow Pasture which is at the farthest end of the property, it's where the feathers where found and adjacent to a road, where the neighbor said she saw a coyote take one of our girls. The fence is barbed at top and bottom and is about 4 to 4½ feet high. We are going to set up the game cams, hopefully this weekend. The fence is underground on our run, but not on the perimeter of our property. My husband made sure no holes where something could climb in again. Each day he rechecks it for new holes...nothing.i saw a couple hawks this morning and the other day... I like your suggestion that if my chickens are on lock down, they will spend some time looking for them. Thanks such for your feedback!
 

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