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All my chickens are dying! Help :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Nounoushe, May 2, 2017.

  1. Nounoushe

    Nounoushe Just Hatched

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    So far ive lost 14 chickens in a short amount of time (1 months). At first i tried to let them free range but that didn't last long until something i assumed a hawk got 3 of my adolescent chickens. Then in the process of building a big coop and a fenced area, iv'e lost another 4 adolescent chickens! Probably 5 weeks old. Always found the dead ones without a head with wings broken apart and most of the times just the legs remaining. But whatever is killing them came back for the scraps later. After building a fenced run for the chickens, i though they will finally be safe, on top with put a lose plastic net for wildlife and chicken wire all around. But still it got all my baby chicks 7 of them?! I don't get it.... one was beheaded, the other were missing, i just found the remains of some, like wing parts and feathers inside and outside the run, Whatever that was it tried to squeeze the dead ones through the chickens wire. My older chickens were inside the run too and it comes at night i guess, i always find them dead in the morning. It seems to go for the young chicks and not the older ones... Any suggestions??
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Can you take and post some photos of the enclosed runs you've built? We can help you identify why they are not providing the security you are looking for for your flock and ways to correct that.
     
  3. Nounoushe

    Nounoushe Just Hatched

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    Mar 5, 2017
    That's the coop and run we've built.[​IMG]
     
  4. Nounoushe

    Nounoushe Just Hatched

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I fear your culprit may be one or more raccoons..........probably an adult and whole family of young ones..........and they are in the process of cleaning you out. Hate to suggest this, but the run you show is not up to the task of keeping them out. For some reference, here is what I found in my barn the other day:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1170361/coons-believe-it#post_18421746

    What is showing in the photo is the remnants of a 30 pound sack of cat food that a coon made a very good try at ripping through a 1 inch hole in the top of the garbage can lid. I could not believe how tightly packed the remnants of that sack were packed into that hole. It considerable effort on my part to get it back out. Any coon who could do that could easily rip through chicken wire.

    If you want to keep what you have, your short term best option is to surround the perimeter with a hot electric wire. The goal being to keep them at a distance, well away from the chicken wire. It need not be elaborate. Something like this is what I use:

    [​IMG]

    This is a setup I have seen to protect a patch of sweet corn from coons.

    [​IMG]

    Same principle..........establish a perimeter they do not want to cross. These folks used white poly tape, but it does the same thing. Establish a perimeter where the coons and other varmints end up touching this hot fence in their effort to get in.

    Most runs and simple fences only represent physical barriers to varmints and not good ones at that. Many varmints are able to easily rip through them, with no consequences to them for trying. Electric fences are the great equalizer.
     

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