Can you help me figure out what is getting me chicks? PIC HEAVY!


9 Years
Oct 13, 2010
Franklin, NC
Our chicks are a little over 3 months old and have been in the coop for a couple weeks now with no problems. The other night we had something dig under the coop and take our pullet. I patch the hole with some wire until I could get enough wire to go around the whole coop. The next night it came back and dug a different hole and took our bantam pullet. Each time there where feathers from the chick that was taken. So I than moved the chicks into the garage for two nights to see if it came back. It did come back and nocked the feeder over and the food was every where

Since the cage in the garage is not big enough for them to stay in I decided to put them in our soon to be temp coop. The temp coop which is a dog kennel we are converting into a coop (still no where close to done
) I patched any holes there where and decided to put them into a dog crate inside the kennel just to make sure nothing could get them. This morning I found what ever it is dug under the wire blocking the one hole, the crate had been moved side ways, the feeder had been moved, and there where holes dug.

What do you think could be doing this? The holes that have been dug under each coop have been rather small.


* Please excuse the mess *

These are the holes dug in the coop.




The feeder moved


Where it dug under ( I removed the wire )



Scratch marks


The dog crate how is was placed for the night.


In the morning
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It wouldn't surprise me if it's a rat. They were the last thing I thought of, but my father in law who has over 70 years on a chicken farm says rats can do some major damage!
We thought about about a mole, or rat
but where not sure. What about a weasel? What thru us off was that the crate was moved, could that have just been the chickens since they where scared?
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Nevermind, I just saw you are from NC. My guess would be an opossum or raccoon. How big was the hole under the fence?
I will go measure the hole tomorrow. Do you know the little gaps that are at the bottom corner of the panels for a dog run? The holes are no bigger than that. It is no where big enough for a raccoon, I don't think. Unless it was a small raccoon or opossum. I am in Franklin, NC, not sure if that makes a difference
Raccoon can move the cage, dig and basically decimate the area.

I was losing eggs and I thought it was the snake we caught, then a duck was murdered. I was allowing them to sleep where they wanted since I had never had an issue. Once the Mallard was murdered, and two others were hurt, I started to put them in the coop and close it. Caught a skunk, got "rid" of skunk and got lazy last night. I didn't close the coop, and I lost THREE chickens last night. Two had their heads ripped off including my cochin, who was hatching my ducklings.

We bought another trap. I think this time it was a raccoon. I won't be lazy tonight, but I am leaving town and my DH and 15 yr old daughter will be here to do what I usually do. I hope I still have 8 chickens and 13 ducks when I get back. The babies are inside, so they are ok.
I am sorry for your losses

I thought that raccoons would just tare a chicken apart? What ever it is has a choice of all the chicks but was only taking one each night

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