Chicken theft?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tracker1950, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. tracker1950

    tracker1950 Hatching

    Dec 17, 2012
    My hens (9) hadn't been laying for about a month and I chalked it up to time of year, some molting, etc. But then the mystery began to unfold. I saw a small spot of egg yolk on the ground and saw them pecking at it and decided that maybe they were eating their own eggs. I read online here that one way to break them of that habit is to put out "fake eggs" so they might tire of the idea when they couldn't be assured that an egg they were pecking at would be "real." So I put the marble eggs out at 4 a.m. on Sunday. At 7:30 a.m. on Monday my husband went out to check and there were 6 eggs, all on the floor in one place in the barn. Right next to them was a dead chicken. Not a sign of anything wrong with her, but her neck was floppy, as if she had broken her neck. I was upset, but I realize these things happen. We decided to check several times yesterday and got one more egg. This morning I went out about 10:30 a.m. and there was one more egg and I sat with them a while and started to count. I was one hen short! There is NO WAY for a chicken to get out of the runs or the little barn/coop. Plus I double checked. No openings, no holes, nothing. I have not been locking up my coop or run, but I have someone on the way to put a lock on the barn door and I will be putting a chain and padlock on the run gate as well. We've also noticed our water spigot has been left up a few times and I could SWEAR I put it down. So it looks like they may have been stealing water also (we pay for our water). I'm now thinking the dead chicken may have been killed when the thief or thieves tried to catch her to take her. We plan to make it a late night tonight and from now on when my dogs bark EVER I am going out armed whatever time and checking it out. I will never ignore them again. If necessary I will install a video surveillance system. We have a lot of workmen in the area right now working on a new house across the street. They know our comings and goings and would, of course, know we have chickens, as I have a rooster. I am mad as hell and I'm hoping to catch the varmint.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Songster

    Dec 10, 2013
    [​IMG]I can't stand a thief! I hope you catch 'em but try not to put yourself in danger. Trail cameras like hunters use are not that expensive. Sorry about your chickens.
  3. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    I think what you have there is a raccoon or weasel getting to your hens. Make sure they are put to the coop and locked in each night. If you free-range, late afternoon early evening is when those scumbags appear. Raccoons love to grab chickens by their neck/head, snap it and most times take the head off. Then their on to the next bird, etc.

    Get your setup as predator-proof as you possibly can! If you're using plain chicken wire, sorry but it's useless against predators of most types, flimsy and they can tear through it like butter.

    Sorry for your loss, and wishing you all the best!!
  4. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Songster

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Go with a motion sensor trail camera. I have two, and they are invaluable in determining what is coming around when you are not there. There are some good ones out there for around $100. Check out If you think it is a person, get a no glow flash version. It takes a picture at night using a special infrared flash that gives off no visible light, so even if you were looking at it, you would not know it was taking your picture. The no-glow models cost more, but the last thing you need is someone stealing your chickens and your camera!
  5. I have to keep my layers locked up or all of the eggs disappear......

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