Chickens gone without a trace...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by aliusa, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. aliusa

    aliusa New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2014
    Hi All!

    This is my first time on here. I recently purchased 6 chickens of various breeds. I have nice size coop and a large fenced in run. I'm new to raising chickens so I thought I had all my bases covered--not so.

    One day I found one of my chickens missing and several feathers in the fenced in area and outside. An animal dug under the fence and grabbed her. So I bricked and cemented the base of the fence making sure there were no more gaps. I also made sure I put the chickens in the coop and the door latched nightly.

    A couple of days ago, because of a death in the family I wasn't able to put the chickens in the coop but they were in the fenced in area. So the next day I went to feed them and all 5 are gone without a trace of evidence! No feathers like before. It looked like someone came and stole them. But yesterday I found large droppings on top of the coop.

    Would raccoons, possums, or even foxes take 5 chickens with them without an evidence of struggle, blood, etc?

    Thanks,
    Ali
     
  2. johnderosa1

    johnderosa1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's possible that someone took them but it seems more likely that a critter got them. The fact that you lost one to a predator a little while before this points to a repeat visit. Once a predator finds a ready source of prey, they will come back to get more. The droppings on the coop roof reinforces the likelihood that it was an animal. Foxes, coyotes and even raccoons will kill several chickens at a time and take them away. I believe that a fox or coyote is more likely to carry off multiple birds without a trace ... Raccoons are likely to be a bit messier and leave behind feathers etc. how high is the roof of your coop? If it is low to the ground i would lean towards a fox or coyote. If the roof is too high to jump up on i would consider a raccoon. In any case, it doesnt sound like the work of a possum. Sorry to hear about your loss and good luck in the future. I would hold off on getting any more chickens until you have improved the security of the coop and run there are lots of articles here that give suggestions... Hardware cloth runs, secure doors and latches and if feasible, electric fencing(best solution in my opinion), etc
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  3. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! SO sorry for your losses!
    Yes, a raccoon, possums, minks and foxes can kill lots of chicken without much mess.
    I just had a friend lose a flock of 9 to a mink (?). There were several bodies, but at least 3 of the were gone without even a feather left behind. My friend DID have one rooster come back the next day, but that's it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014

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