Dead Chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kelliekevin, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Kelliekevin

    Kelliekevin Out Of The Brooder

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    For the second time now I have lost both my chickens! After the first time we re-in forced the coup with hardware cloth. That seemed to work for a while anyway... until this morning when I found them dead. There are no tracks in the sand inside the coup and I can`t tell how it`s getting in the coup. I`m guessing it`s a mink or a weasel but I`m not sure as they were killed during the day and I thought minks and weasel`s are nocturnal. There is trauma to their necks. Any suggestions on how I can figure out what is killing my chickens and or how to stop it?

    Thanks in advance

    Missing my girls
     
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    While primarily a nightime predator, weasels will also hunt during the day. Before you get any more birds, find the hole - probably very small, even an inch - where it got in. Covering your run and burying fence around the outside edge will make it more secure.

    so sorry about your losses, I had a weasel get into my coop one night last fall and lost my entire breeding flock of cochins - a huge setback.
     
  3. JueJue

    JueJue New Egg

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    Dec 19, 2012
    I too went to the coop this afternoon, only to find one of my hens with what seems like a broken neck just inside the entrance to the coop, [​IMG]they are in a secure area with the coop inside of this, am interested to know if they could of caused this injury themselves or whether something else could be responsibe. They have this secure area with coop but they also free range in garden during daytime, any ideas???

    I have lost one hen before to sudden death but there was no neck issues on the previous one, looked like a probable heart attack.
    I've only been keeping them a year or so now so want to make sure I'm doing things right. Thanks
     
  4. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2012
    Was there any blood on the neck? What makes you think it was broken?
     
  5. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As for mink and weasels, I hate 'em.
    Google "box trap". They are simple to make and tha'ts what I used to hammer the weasels around here.
     
  6. JueJue

    JueJue New Egg

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    Dec 19, 2012
    There was no sign of any blood or injury, but when we picked her up the neck felt floppy, where the rest of her was stiff, had one before as stated and that ones neck was rigid - cant find any other cause - i have 6 others in same area that are fine aparting from a couple moulting.
     
  7. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    There's got to be a hole in there somewhere; it definitely sounds like a weasel, mink, or stoat if there's injury to the neck. They can climb through holes that are 1/4" - I know, because I lost five ducks in one night to one. After checking the duck's coop, we were able to determine where entry was made based on the claw marks, and no kidding the hole was that small. They were climbing up the side of it and dropping in underneath the roof. We fixed the problem, then my husband and I sat out for hours until we finally caught them red handed, and the attack was during the day. In our case, it was a "herd" of five stoats. One way to check for the entry point is to go in your coop at night with a flashlight while someone stands outside to look where the light is spilling out. You can try setting traps, but the problem with that is you kill one predator and another moves in to claim its territory. Your time is much better spent making the coop area impenetrable.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it is a weasel and you can kill him, it will be a while before he gets replaced. Weasels have a large home area, about a square mile (640 acres) per animal.
    I used to set 4 weasel boxes out after any kill and i never caught more than one and then it would be months before any sign of another.
     
  9. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've only seen one weasel on our farm, and that was years ago ... and, before that? I only saw the damages they caused -- every chicken killed, in a whole flock, between visits to the coop. So, you're gonna wanna trap/kill that thing, and reset in case there's more.

    Here's a good thread about the box trap for weasels, and it includes a link to a good youtube video on how to build 'em as well.

    Link: http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php/24176-Weasel-Boxes

    Sorry you folks are goin' through this ...
     
  10. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    X2 - and kudos for the great advice
     

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