Advice for killed teenager.

Greenphent

Hatching
Dec 7, 2020
4
7
9
Sedona, AZ

We have some juvenile polish top hats that we are trying to introduce to our flock of buckeyes and golden sex-links. We made a run within the run so they'd be separate but could see each other. The top hats are a gentle breed so I gave them a day of interaction then a night to relax on their own. Then today I put one buckeye in with them because the adult girls were being jerks yesterday, I thought to introduce then one by one. This evening that one was stressed because she couldn't get to her coop. I put her in the top hats' house and watched until she settled down. Hours later I went back to make sure she was still settled because I certainly wouldn't want her to be stressed all night. I found her and two of the top hats huddled in the corner farthest from the house. In the house I found the remaining top hat. Gutted from below. There was a hole dug at fence separating the runs. I initially thought it was the chickens trying to get out of that area. But upon further examination it was definitely dug leading into that area. That's the only break in the fence. So, if the one adult didn't kill that chick, then something dug thru one fence, bypassed the coop full of chickens, dug thru another fence, and killed just one of four chickens. There are all kinds of predators down here but this one would have had to been small. It's possible I scared it away and that's why our dead chick wasn't fully eaten. I dunno. I'm just upset. A fox or coyote or bobcat are easy. They're large enough that even digging under a fence would take too much time. I don't know what to do about something that only needs a couple of inches.
 

SulkyBantam

···ʞɔǝꓒ ʎɹǝʌƎ ɥʇᴉM ɹǝʇɹoɥS ɓuᴉʇʇǝꓨ sI ʞɐǝꓭ ʎW
Nov 3, 2020
3,147
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The Emerald Isle
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I'm so sorry. I do understand and have been through it all myself.

SECURE your pen best you can, set out night-cameras.

And I would not rule out a fox. They are sneaky, and could have been working on it for days.
 

Greenphent

Hatching
Dec 7, 2020
4
7
9
I'm so sorry. I do understand and have been through it all myself.

SECURE your pen best you can, set out night-cameras.

And I would not rule out a fox. They are sneaky, and could have been working on it for days.

Oh I'm burying fencing in the perimeter in the coming days. The top hats are safe back inside and the girls have a door on their coop which, they usually don't. But I'm talking literal inches of clearance dug below the fence and there aren't many foxes in the area and they tend to take the bird and go. My googling tells me it was likely a weasel.

I'm mostly stuck on the timing. The girls have been in their coop for months. The top hats have been there for weeks. But it's tonight? The first night I house one of the adult bullies with them that a top hat gets killed? I know they can be aggressive and violent but do they ever kill each other??
 
Last edited:

SulkyBantam

···ʞɔǝꓒ ʎɹǝʌƎ ɥʇᴉM ɹǝʇɹoɥS ɓuᴉʇʇǝꓨ sI ʞɐǝꓭ ʎW
Nov 3, 2020
3,147
12,077
606
The Emerald Isle
My Coop
My Coop
If a weasel got in, it was most likely that. I've had plenty aggression in my coop, but never to the killing extent. However, it is definitely worth keeping an eye on.
 

Hei 20

Free Ranging
Oct 8, 2020
1,926
10,857
501
Sedona, AZ

We have some juvenile polish top hats that we are trying to introduce to our flock of buckeyes and golden sex-links. We made a run within the run so they'd be separate but could see each other. The top hats are a gentle breed so I gave them a day of interaction then a night to relax on their own. Then today I put one buckeye in with them because the adult girls were being jerks yesterday, I thought to introduce then one by one. This evening that one was stressed because she couldn't get to her coop. I put her in the top hats' house and watched until she settled down. Hours later I went back to make sure she was still settled because I certainly wouldn't want her to be stressed all night. I found her and two of the top hats huddled in the corner farthest from the house. In the house I found the remaining top hat. Gutted from below. There was a hole dug at fence separating the runs. I initially thought it was the chickens trying to get out of that area. But upon further examination it was definitely dug leading into that area. That's the only break in the fence. So, if the one adult didn't kill that chick, then something dug thru one fence, bypassed the coop full of chickens, dug thru another fence, and killed just one of four chickens. There are all kinds of predators down here but this one would have had to been small. It's possible I scared it away and that's why our dead chick wasn't fully eaten. I dunno. I'm just upset. A fox or coyote or bobcat are easy. They're large enough that even digging under a fence would take too much time. I don't know what to do about something that only needs a couple of inches.
loss.jpg
welcome2.jpg
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
28,544
57,372
1,141
East, Tawas Michigan
A skunk tunneled into my chicken run, & killed my New Hampshire pullet recently. Just giving you the heads up.
20201115_084503.jpg
Excuse all the mud. It was really rainy, & I haven't thrown run litter in the yard yet.
 

Chookchicken

🎄Fluffiest In The Flock🎄
Premium Feather Member
Dec 4, 2020
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It is possible the chickens dug the whole during the day and you didn’t notice and an animal (like a fox) jumped over the fence rather then dug. The only thing is foxes are fast killers and most likely would’ve killed all the chickens. I am not sure though.
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
28,544
57,372
1,141
East, Tawas Michigan
It is possible the chickens dug the whole during the day and you didn’t notice and an animal (like a fox) jumped over the fence rather then dug. The only thing is foxes are fast killers and most likely would’ve killed all the chickens. I am not sure though.
Foxes usually take 1-2 birds with them, foxes rarely leave any carcasses behind unless they killed 1 too many birds. The killing doesn't really fit a fox. Foxes usually crunch through more then the soft tissue of the abdomen.
 

Greenphent

Hatching
Dec 7, 2020
4
7
9
It is possible the chickens dug the whole during the day and you didn’t notice and an animal (like a fox) jumped over the fence rather then dug. The only thing is foxes are fast killers and most likely would’ve killed all the chickens. I am not sure though.

The hole to the exterior fence I certainly could have missed. There was a board over it because the girls kept making their dust baths there undermining their own security. The hole to the fence separating the runs I definitely would not have missed earlier. It was right next to the door. And nothing jumped this fence. It's 8 feet.
 

Chookchicken

🎄Fluffiest In The Flock🎄
Premium Feather Member
Dec 4, 2020
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The hole to the exterior fence I certainly could have missed. There was a board over it because the girls kept making their dust baths there undermining their own security. The hole to the fence separating the runs I definitely would not have missed earlier. It was right next to the door. And nothing jumped this fence. It's 8 feet.
Alright. I wasn’t sure because the fox most likely would killed all you’re chickens before trying to eat one. I hope you find the predator soon, and don’t lose any more chickens.
 

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