Chickens gone!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Mumseemoo, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Mumseemoo

    Mumseemoo Hatching

    Aug 29, 2011
    I live in Western New York and have a mystery predator. I had a flock of 21 egg layers earlier this summer that were kept in a coop open to a fenced-in run. I used 2 x 4 welded wire fencing, 6 feet high,
    1 1/2 inch poultry netting over the top, and wire fencing buried underneath to prevent things getting in by digging.

    The first night 4 hens were taken, no signs of a struggle, no loose feathers anywhere. I did a check of the fencing and found a couple of places where something could have squeezed through between the fencing and the netting and I closed them up.

    A few nights later 7 hens were taken, again without any sign, but this time an eighth hen was left behind, dead and partially eaten. Her head was still there. I found another spot in the fence/net I must have missed and closed it up.

    This scenario was repeated several more nights until all 21 were gone. I slowly realized that whatever was getting in was biting through the netting over the top of the run to get in, leaving a hole roughly 8 to 10 inches or less in diameter.

    Known predators around here include fox, raccoon, fisher, bobcat, oppossum, skunk, and coyote. What baffles me is what could take numerous hens out of the pen through a relatively small hole without leaving any trace?
  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. So glad you joined. Sorry about your losses. Anyone of those predators can get the job done especially a family of coons. A coon will kill a chicken and then grab hold and swing it on to their back and carry it off. You are going to need a coop that can be close up at night to protect them. Good luck. [​IMG]
  3. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Crowing

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    [​IMG] Sounds like raccoons to me.
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Glen St Mary, Florida
    Welcome to BYC. Sorry for your losses.
  5. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    [​IMG] I recently lost my first chicken to a predator and built a locking coop the next day. It's a lot of work and expense to build a predator proof run so you're better off locking them up at night.
  6. mmccallum

    mmccallum Hatching

    Jan 3, 2010
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    [​IMG] from Kansas, Mumseemoo! Sorry to hear your flock got wiped out! [​IMG] That really stinks! I agree about closing that coop up at night. Maybe get a live trap so you can learn exactly what you're dealing with. Best of luck with a new batch!! [​IMG]
  8. [​IMG] [​IMG] from WA. glad you joined us [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms

    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Louisiana!! Sorry for your losses!! I have an open faced coop also but I use chicken wire over the top not netting!! Haven't lost one to a predator in almost 3 years!! I would only use netting if the coop was closed up at night!!
  10. Symphony

    Symphony Vanilla, Little Airt Airt


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