...And then, there were none.

Da_Woosta

Hatching
9 Years
May 24, 2010
6
0
7
South-East Michigan
One by one (sometimes in twos), I have lost all my chickens. 25+ hens and 4 roosters.
This all happened from Easter till now.

I would see large black birds hanging around now and then, I have a 60' x 100' fenced area with a coop (there is no protection from above). Also, I found a hole in the fenceline. Neighbor has two cats that roam my property. I have trapped and disposed of racoons and possums. ...It's hard to prevent predators when you aren't sure who the predator is. Any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Ronnie
 

Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
79
173
Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Yes, it would suggest both. If they are dying inside the coop, then there is a breach in the security. Have you found where they (predators) are getting in? That is your first priority. Once predators know where the chickens are, they will come back again, and again, and again. So....even though you have been successful in trapping, chances are you have not caught all the night time invaders. I had my husband set up a game camera on my coop, because I saw evidence of a predator "trying' go get into my coop (thankfully no deaths at the time). I was shocked that from sundown to sun up, there was barely a 10 min. span where there were not MULTIPLE raccoon's (sometimes 5 at a time!!) trying to get in. We set up a live trap and caught just tons of them. Snakes and rats can get into a coop and kill chickens as well, so your coop needs to be tightly protected with any and all holes covered up with 1/4' hardware cloth. Rats and snakes can not fit through it. Now as for the daytime problems. Hawks are a problem. Cats, not so much. Cats don't generally go for a full grown chicken (rarely). Have you considered building a run for your chickens during the day? Not to permanently keep them locked up, but just until the day time predators who may be regulars at this time give up?
 

Da_Woosta

Hatching
9 Years
May 24, 2010
6
0
7
South-East Michigan
I like the game camera idea, Kelly. Thanks! I will do that.
Also, I haven't been shutting the coop door at night. I will do that as well. I guess I have some security work to do.

Thanks for the advice, Kelly! Very helpful!
Ronnie
 

Keltara

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,670
79
173
Small Town U.S.A., Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
You're welcome. The game camera will show what's going on during the daytime as well. And most definitely lock that coop up at night. Good luck Ronnie.
goodluck.gif
 

ashcons

Chirping
9 Years
Aug 9, 2011
63
7
91
Can you describe the crime scene? Certain predators leave clues behind. Birds of prey may leave a pile of feathers and little else while other predators may eat just certain parts of the bird and leave behind other stuff. What part of the country/world are you in? That may help too.

With holes in your fence, an open coop, and no cover for your run, it sounds like you're running an all-you-can eat chicken buffet for the local predators! Closing up your coop at night sounds like a good, immediate step to take. Give it a look over and see if you've got ANY unsecured openings into the coop. There are a lot of meat eaters that can get through deceptively small openings.

One last thing - chicken wire isn't much good for keeping a determined predator out of your coop/run; works great for keeping chickens in. Good luck!
 
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