chickens being killed at night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ellijaylady62, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. ellijaylady62

    ellijaylady62 Hatching

    Jun 1, 2010
    we have our 8 chicks in a covered dog pen, with wood enclosedone end to roost, and extra wire wrapped all around, and wire dug into ground around it, but something last night got 4 chickens, head was missing, feathers everywhere, and chest eaten off one chicken. we had previously see a rat around pen, put outsome poison today. anyone else have this problem, or suggestions.only have 4 girls left....

  2. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Sounds like a raccoon.. They are sneaky, and can grab a chicken close to the edges of the pen and twirl them around and eat them like that.

    This is why it's always best to have a pen that has hardware cloth and not chicken wire, as chicken wire does not defend against raccoons.

    So sorry for your loss.
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Weasels can climb, dig, and get through very small gaps. They will also kill multiple birds at one visit, unlike many other predators. Check your fence and where the cover of the pen attatches, somewhere you have a gap that a predator can fit through.

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your birds - it is both sad and frustrating, I know.
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Be careful using poison if you have mice because chickens eat mice.
  5. Tomhiill5

    Tomhiill5 Hatching

    Jul 17, 2012
    Pinellas County Fl
    I had a raccoon dig under the cage and get one of my chickens. I dug a trench around the coop and run and filled it with chicken wire and rock. The raccoon kept coming around and going after their feed so I got a live trap from Tractor Supply and set it next to the coop (used cat food for bait). That night I caught that raccoon and released him in a park a few miles away. The next night I reset it and caught another raccoon, the night after a opossum and another opossum the night after that. It's surprising what's out there at night and I live in a residential neighborhood.

  6. bigoledude

    bigoledude Songster

    Jan 16, 2011
    SE, Louisiana
    Every time I try and guess what is killing our member's chickens, I guess wrong. Raccoons, possums, foxes, skunks.... all seem to kill in the same fashion sometimes. I keep baited DP (dog proof) traps baited and set at all times around here since, we have mostly possums trying to kill our chickens.

    These traps will not catch dogs or cats.

    Gamecams are fabulous for identifying predators and giving you the times they frequent your place. They are getting much cheaper nowadays. The following is a cheap set-up I have used at my place and at the chicken areas of several of my neighbors. It works beautifully!

    Chicken Security light set-up

    I use this motion detector set-up to help me identify and kill a predator. I install one of those inexpensive double fixture outdoor motion detector lights where it points toward the area where the predator is lurking. To put this very simple rig together is easy. Replace one of the bulbs with a screw-in receptacle. Plug a cord into the receptacle and run the cord into the house. Plug in something that will make a racket when the motion detector is activated. I like a buzzer or, a radio will work fine. Again, when something outside sets off the motion detector, your noise-maker inside will alert you to its presence. If you install a bulb into the other outside socket, you will have enough light to aim accurately to kill the predator.

    You must be able to point this motion detector in an area where there is no swaying branches or other animals that might give a false alarm. Neighbor’s roaming cats gave me fits for a while until I found ways of discouraging them from coming over. Here are some links to give you an idea of what the parts look like and the costs.

    Security light set-up

    screw-in receptacle plugs

    1 person likes this.
  7. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Songster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Weasel/mink or possum... Possum like to eat the stomache area out... But they usually will grab a chicken and eat, not kill a bunch... Also from the sounds of it would have a tough time getting into your coop... A mink however will kill lots of chickens, will eat the heads off (they suck blood out through the neck) and they can get into the tiniest hole its amazing... Not to mention will gladly take their time burrowing a hole through wood
  8. leonphelps

    leonphelps Songster

    May 15, 2011
    Bucks County PA
    get a haveaheart trap. put marshmellow in it the first three nights. when you catch the raccon, then move to cat food for a night. then you will get the first possum. then move to tuna and get the neighborhood cats.

    kill at your own leisure. just dont dump them in my neighborhood.
  9. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Songster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Your much nicer than i am, they dont get relocated at my house... If i get the chance they lose their life to even out the universe for eating my chickens

  10. papa smurf

    papa smurf Hatching

    Nov 27, 2012
    A connibear trap set in the open end of a 5 gallon bucket with bait behind works well for about all predators.
    A little risky with the animal police. But very effective.Possums and coons like marshmallows, weasels like chicken parts.
    Squirrels like [yes they will eat chickens] chicks but best is chicken flavored cat food in can"s placed behind the trap.Coyotes will eat nearly anything
    but they are a smart critter so you got to be smarter to catch them.
    Happy trapping

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