Daggone it, it happened again!!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rschunk, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. rschunk

    rschunk Out Of The Brooder

    Back on Oct 28th I posted that something had gotten into the outdoor portion of my coop and slaughtered 7 of my 8 Barred Plymouth Rocks. One survived although injured. I left her alone and she recovered but never laid another egg.

    On Oct 10th, I got another 9 new day olds from the Nursery. Kept them in the basement until last Monday when I put them out with the older hen, hoping she would take them under her wing so to speak.

    Well, she did and everything was going well until I went out today to rake leaves out of the barn when I found the older hen dead, head eaten off like the others, one chick lying by the feeder and the other 8 simply missing.

    I swear, I don't have any idea how whatever it was (supposing a raccoon) got into the inside coop this time. The outside door is heavy and in channels on each side. The main door was latched, the nest box top was down and the hasp closed (though not with a pin or lock) and a plastic jug was sitting on the nest box top. I doubt an animal would put the jug back on top if it somehow managed to lift the lid. And the 250 watt heat lamp over the cardboard box for the chicks was broken and lying inside the box. Lucky the thing didn't set the barn on fire.

    I don't think it climbed in from the top as the 1x2 wire goes all the way up and none of the cobwebs seemed to be disturbed, nor were any of the ones on the other parts of the wire.
    The outside walls (2), are 1x12 oak planking......

    So I went out to Micro Center Warehouse today and bought a wireless IR camera which will be installed later today as soon as I figure out the setup... :(

    Any thoughts????
    [​IMG]

    Door wall and nest boxes on right.

    [​IMG]

    Outside two walls, exit door lower center, roost to right.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Those 2x3 inch rectangles of welded wire fence is easy for a weasel to get into. Surprisingly enough those wee chipmunk to red squirrel size critters are ferocious.

    I feel for ya though. I've not had a problem with predators/losses since secured coops and keeping poor security of runs until last week. Had a heritage hen (precious as I had only two) killed last week. Thinking it was killed just prior to the near dark light I was in to close up the coop. When I went to open coop in morning there looked to be a black garbage bag in corner of pen...well it was a cleaned carcass down to legs and abdomen, had no idea she was missing.

    We've lived with skunks here for as long as we've had chickens and honestly their only nuisance has been eating feed until now. As I went to let chickens out this morning found a huge den started right under the compost bin that's next to the pens. Hour later and kids were screaming there was a cat in one pen messing with chickens...one of those Pepe le Pu cats but instead of being the dogged one was the aggressor. Couldn't believe I had to open door of run and push it out with the axe. Yeah, didn't want the spray of axing so went for gun as it waddled away...just missed timing for a shot at it as it went behind neighbors shed. 1200 fps pellet gun at ready and think I'll be getting this non afraid daddy tonight or morning.

    Sorry, see I wrote one sentence to you then vented. Predators just suck and need immediate action. In your case I think it would take hardware cloth or an enclosed roosting structure in your pen for night.
     
  3. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    you top to the nest boxes looks pretty thin, could it be lifted up at the corner? i see what looks like a gap on the top left corner when i looked at the original photo.

    Sorry you lost your hens, it is heartbreaking to say the least.
     
  4. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can see grass through the wall at the second board near the pile of feathers. Is that board torn?
     

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