Chickens killed last night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BLaBauve, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. BLaBauve

    BLaBauve Songster

    Jun 14, 2009
    This morning we found our BLRW alone in the coop. Around her were the rest of our pullets (6), all dead. 2 were killed in the coop and the rest were killed in the run. All of their heads were bloody and some were half eaten. Our run is enclosed by a shed wall and a wooden privacy fence. We have hardware cloth buried around the bottom. We had deer netting over the top which was hanging down onto the coop itself. Therefore something climbed the privacy fence and went through the deer netting. We back up to an industrial park but do have some areas with lots of trees. Could this be raccoons? We will be fixing our coop. What can you use on top that is more durable than deer netting?? It would be hard to use hardware cloth on top for us. I'll try to post a picture of our coop. I just feel awful about the pullets and never want this to happen again. I should have locked them up in their coop every night. They've been fine for 7 months without any incidents. . . [​IMG]
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Sounds like coons to me.

    Sorry for your loss.

  3. BLaBauve

    BLaBauve Songster

    Jun 14, 2009


    The coop - It's hard to tell in the picture but we had deer netting over the top.
  4. Chickn chick 46

    Chickn chick 46 Songster

    May 22, 2009
    I'm so sorry about your pullets [​IMG] I have many times been horrified at myself [​IMG] for forgetting to lock in the hens at night. It seems like you had a good strong defense against predators. We have chicken wire on top for hawks and birds of prey, but alas, locking them up tight in the coop at night is really the best defense for night time predators. [​IMG]

    Sorry you lost your babies, don't beat yourself up too much, we all screw up
  5. Quillgirl

    Quillgirl Songster

    Aug 2, 2009
    Metro Atlanta
    You might consider running a 2x2 rail around the perimeter of the top, then attaching rafters every 2 ft and stapling chicken wire over that. Or divide your coop in half and make the half that encloses the coop the most secure from top to bottom (maybe do that hardware cloth over the top of the coop section.)
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    I'm really sorry for you that this happened. Practically speaking, I agree the net across the top of the run is about the best you can do for daytime. Covering a whole run tight enough to keep coons, possums and the numerous other nighttime varmints out would be very expensive and very labor intensive.

    Make sure there's hardware cloth or solid doors across any openings of your coop, and make sure it's fastened tight, because raccoons are quite strong and can rip staples right out. Make sure the door latches tight, and it's fastened every night. Also, be sure that the hasp or however you latch it is something that say a 2 or 3 year old couldn't open if they were determined. That's about the dexterity and intelligence a raccoon is said to have.
  7. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    Chickens always need to be put up in a coop/house at night. Racoons are very smart, excellent climbers and can get in most pens easily. A hot wire around the outside of your pen might be a deterrent however a racoon can drop from trees into a yard. I have sheet metal around the base of all the trees next to my run! The main thing is to lock the chickens inside at dusk.

    Sorry for your loss. It only takes one time. I know about that too unfortunately.
  8. Graiae66

    Graiae66 In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2009
    Oh my heavens! I am so sorry. It looks like you have a really nice setup, too.

  9. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms

    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    You could use either chicken wire or hardware cloth over the top!! Staple from your fence to your building and use zip ties to connect them together where they overlap.

    We used chicken wire and didn't have anything to nail it to on the top so we used zip ties to connect the wire together worked out perfect!!

    Good Luck!!
  10. Troyerbuilding

    Troyerbuilding On Vacation

    Aug 30, 2009
    Hartville OH
    We can relate. We just lost our NHR Roo last night. We said for months we were going to lock them in at night. The NHR liked to sleep at the opening with his butt hanging out. We thought it was cute. I am currently looking for a new NHR roo and we are definitely locking the rest in at night!! Unfortunately, lesson learned.

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