Beloved hen killed overnight

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by TNChick2, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. TNChick2

    TNChick2 Out Of The Brooder

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    I went out at dawn to let my 2 girls out and only one met me. I got a sick feeling because they always are together. I rounded the corner and my sweet Delilah was lying, half eaten, at the floor of the roost. I have had these girls for three and a half years. Their pen consisted of a 10x10 dog kennel that my husband put a wooden roof on, and built wooden walls on 3 sides. It has a dirt floor spread with sand. So there is wire all around the top and sides and a shingled wood roof over the entire structure with the wood walls. How did something get in? There is a small hole less than 2 inches across where one wall meets the floor. Would a snake get a full grown hen? If it was a racoon, how did it get in? And now I only have one hen and don't know how to get her some flock mates once we predator proof the pen. In the meantime, Eva will be roosting in our laundry room! Would pullets be the least problematic way to give her company?
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I'm so sorry :( That is just terrible!

    Raccoons have been known to grab a bird through the fencing and twirl it around and eat it through the bars. I know this is not something you want to hear right now, but it could very well have been a raccoon.

    :hugs
     
  3. TNChick2

    TNChick2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your kind words. I am so sad and feel guilty that I didn't protect her better. My lone chicken is hanging out with me. She is bound to be traumatized after last night. We are going to enclose the last wire wall with wood after reading your post. Raccoons are horrid little thieves!!!!
     
  4. Glasshen

    Glasshen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry to hear of the death of your hen. Would it be possible to put a strong wire on the floor so nothing can dig under? These wild creatures have nothing more important to do than dig around for a good meal. Good luck.
     
  5. TNChick2

    TNChick2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your sympathy. I really do appreciate it! I am willing to try anything to keep my hen safe. Boy, everything out there seems to want chicken as its meal. I had no idea the hardest part to raising chickens is keeping them safe from predators. :(
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    :( Yes. Everything likes the taste of chicken.. Even chickens like the taste..

    I would also recommend getting your hen another friend. Chickens are flock animals, and will become very depressed if alone. 3 is usually the minimum # I would recommend. That way if one dies, you have two to keep each other company.

    Can you post a picture of your set up? Maybe we can give you some tips on how to make it more safe.
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Ouch. It is heartbreaking to lose one when you've done everything to protect them.

    A weasel gets in tiny places, but drinks blood doesn't eat the flesh. A weasel would probably have killed both hens. So not a weasel.

    Half eaten, it was not a snake, Snakes swallow their dinner whole and unless you have boa constrictors in the neighborhood, adult chickens are pretty much safe from snakes.

    If the 2 inch gap is long and 2 inches wide, there are several things that can get in. A cotton tail could get through a gap like that and that means a domestic cat or even a small dog could get in. It might be possible for a young small raccoon to get in. Raccoons only look fat. They are actually built very flat and wide. With almost any animal, if they can get their head through, they can get the rest of their body through.

    Also on the suspect list are rats.

    I hope that you get it figured out and can keep the last hen safe.
     
  8. TNChick2

    TNChick2 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think we found the point of entry. It was in a corner where the chain link top met the chain link wall. There was no tie there and the so-and-so squeezed in. I will try to take a picture to show you later.
     
  9. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    look for foot/paw/slither prints. if it got into the sand portion, they should show up. look for blood print trails leading away from the pen. you may get a partial print showing the culprit. Raccoons have distinct toes. good luck
     
  10. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    additionally. fix the hole. mourn your loss. get more chickens for you and your other lone chicken. find peace. be happy. hugs. and, so sorry for your loss.
     

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