Bad week. Two separate attacks. Not sure what predator.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tndrees, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. tndrees

    tndrees In the Brooder

    Jun 5, 2008
    Sidney, Ohio
    I had 10, 7 mo. old chickens that I let free range during the day. Something got 3 of them in broad daylight. I noticed a bunch of white feathers from my cochin hen, and followed a trail in the woods. Next to that pile was just a few feathers from the other 2. One big Orphington rooster, and one black hen. I looked all over and found no bodies or blood. We are in the process of building a permanent coop, which is almost done except for perches, room dividers, etc. The pen they were in before was movable, with chicken wire and plywood sides. I moved them in the permanent coop when we had a bad windstorm. I am not letting them free range for fear of losing more. They had just staring laying eggs!
    I also had 24 silkie chicks that are 2 mo. old. I kept them in a enclosure with 5 ft. plywood sides, chicken wire on one side that I use to acces the pen. This is kept in my spare garage. I kept the garage door open in the daytime to give them fresh air and light. That same day I noticed feathers from one of the silkies. Don't know what would of went in garage to get just one. The top was not enclosed, but I didn't think a hawk would go in the garage. It's possible that maybe it got out on it's own and then something got it.
    So I moved the silkies in the pen I had the other ones in, because they were outgrowing their garage pen and I thought they would be safer. I went in to feed them a few days later and noticed one had a big wound on her side. I was totally baffled until I noticed feathers in various place around the coop. I did a head count and four are missing. Something pulled them through the chicken wire, but I found no bodies, just feathers. The big birds have always been safe in there, but they slept on roosts at night. The silkies all bunch together up against the chicken wire. I put a dog house in there to sleep in, but after 2 nights of picking each one up and putting them in there, I gave up. So now they are back in the garage pen.
    I'm sad and feel guilty for not protecting them. Anyone have ideas on what could have got them. Thanks, Nancy
  2. skeeter

    skeeter Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    comming into your garage sounds like a cat
  3. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    could also be a raccoon; they're brave little buggers and will eat ANYTHING. An acquaintance of mine had several kittens enclosed in a wire rabbit hutch outside (don't ask me why; she's a dip). Raccoons reached through the wire and killed every one of them (gruesomely, I might add). Although cute, raccoons are determined predators.
  4. Raccoons are notorious for pulling birds through chicken wire. Have you thought about adding hardware cloth?

    Trouble with these predators is that they come back until everything is dead...time for some serious intervention! So very sorry to hear this.
  5. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    Definitely raccoons. Try a Duke medium or large live trap. They are very effective when baited properly. I have had good success with various canned fish.
  6. Grass

    Grass Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    i would agree raccoons have no fears of going in a garage or even sleeping on your front porch.
  7. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    Ditto, raccoons.[​IMG] Sorry this happened to you.
  8. tndrees

    tndrees In the Brooder

    Jun 5, 2008
    Sidney, Ohio
    Thanks everyone for the consensus. After reading more about predators on this forum, I agree raccoons probably got the silkies. I'm thinking foxes might have got the large chickens. I read that they come out day or night, and sometime travel in pairs. I thought it strange that if something attacked one chicken, that the others would stick around to be eaten!
    They are all in the almost done coop now. When I make a run for them I will use hardware wire and maybe even electric around that. What kind of top enclosure would you recommend. Bird netting? We have lots of hawks.
  9. If you can manage roofing or hardware cloth over the top, I'd recommend it to prevent predators from chewing through. The added bonus is that a roof, even a partial one, would keep you and the birds very dry which makes their care very easy. We used clear vinyl PalRUf, shown in the link below.

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