1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Buffs found Dead, head off/leg torn

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 2txmedics, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    We have never had any problems in almost one yr..with our flocks...this morning we got up on a rush to go to a dr. appt...DH comes in and says, Bad news...Im sorry...found one buff with its head compeletly off..dead and the other, buff with its leg torn off also dead.

    They were inside the run..from what I saw both were by the edge of the run, something reached in and grabbed them and killed them. No blood left anywhere...I did read the predator idenifiying and Im thinking its a racoon....

    Im so upset, at the thought that the one with leg torn off ...bleed slow possibly and suffered a slow death...the other might have been quick...BUT THE FEAR THEY MUST HAVE FELT!!!!

    Tonight they are all locked in there coops...

    ANY IDEAS that can help me?...please Im broken hearted....they were only 2-3mos old...I now only have 8....

  2. gjoyner

    gjoyner Songster

    That sounds like a racoon to me. I'e been told that they reach in and pull them out in peices and drink the blood. sorry to hear. We were worried about it too so we recently got some 1/2 inch hardware cloth that was three feet high and 25 ft long (at home depot for 36 bucks) we put that around the run, so nothin will reach in. I recommend doing that. if the chickens sit by an open window put some hardware cloth over the window too.
    That sucks. and is super gross/weird.
    racoons are shifty..you almost have to think of them like a 4 year old that has an idea stuck in their head and wont quit. you gotta be prepared.
    good luck
  3. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    yeah most likely a coon. set a trap and get harware cloth over the first 2-3 feet of run. once they find a food source they will be back at least every third night as they travel over a distance covering about 3 days. Time to read up in the P&P section there are a lot of great tips and advice on just this sort of thing and how to stop it.
  4. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    So sorry to hear about that 2tx. Like AHappyChick says, hardware cloth and traps. I've seen a lot of threads lately about people setting up trail cams, it won't help with protection, but would let you know what your dealing with. [​IMG]
  5. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    So very sorry. [​IMG] I would be devastated too. The 1/2 hardware cloth is the best option and in reality not too expensive to do the bottom 3 feet. We are doing the entire run with it as it will be our first coop and after all I have read on this forum I'm afraid not too.
  6. peeppeeppeep

    peeppeeppeep In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2009
    Shasta County
    We never did figure out what got ours. They were locked inside a chain link fence and something slaughtered all. Mostly got the heads and left the bodies.

    Now all our chickens are locked up at night in a completely tight henhouse. Hardware cloth on the windows and everything else locks tight. The run is completely enclosed with small chicken wire but they are never out past dusk. So far they have been safe a year, where the others did not last long.

    Whatever it was doesn't seem to come around during the day as they are all out free-ranging until lockup. (I should explain - they get out in the run in the a.m. and then are let out in the yard for a few hours of R&R) We do also have a couple of large dogs around but we had the one dog when the first flock was killed.

    Best wishes. It is heartbreaking to see them killed so brutally. It seems even worse when whatever killed them doesn't even eat the bird. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  7. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    thank you all for the great tips...well last night just before dark...we got them all in the coop and locked them in...this morning we did a head count...all there....So....

    As DH says its now getting cold its time for them to get locked up anyway nightly....but I will definetly go check the hardware cloth in store...


  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Quite a few of us went 1-2 years with no problems then BAMM! A predator wanders by and figures "Free Dinner!".

    I need to invest in more hardware cloth too. I also had to completely cover their run with netting because of the hawks.

    The worst part is I live in a suburban neighborhood [​IMG] I thought stray dogs would be my biggest issue. Turns out we have skunks, hawks, owls, and foxes along with the stray dogs!
  9. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    Oh - I'm so sorry for you. That would be heartbreaking for sure.

    A lesson to us all with the shorter day light to make sure our runs are also preditor proof with hardware cloth and/or hot wire.

    I always lock up my girls in the coops at night but I'm now letting them out in the run in the morning when it's still dark out and soon it will be dark before I get home from work to lock them up at night.

    Get the hardware cloth so you won't have to worry about them.
  10. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    Typical RACOON killing. One pulled the hind leg off of my pet cat a few months ago and killed him...right in front of my door under the light. Grrrrrrrrr. That one is history. [​IMG]

    A couple strands of hotwire will stop it from getting in your pen from the bottom. If there are tree limbs overhanging the pen it will climb and get in that way also.

    Good luck getting it...you must get it or it will keep coming back and trying to kill the chickens.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by