dead hens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by choopes, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. choopes

    choopes Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2010
    my farm South Alabama
    something is eating my hens! I find a dead yesterday, half eaten hen. Legs in tack, but half the body cavity eaten. Then I found another this morning. This happens between sunrise and 9 am both times. Me and my Ruger .22 may sit down there tomarrow. I;m thinking possum. I have a pic. of the dead bird, but don't know how to post. I can't find holes in the pen. I've had these birds for 5 or more years, raising them from chicks, and I hate to loose them, They're just chickens, but my friends.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Sounds like a possum damage but a strange time of day for them.
    Most possums foraging are right at dusk and through the first half of the night.
    Hawk, Owl, dog, cat, weasel, mink, are other possibilities.
    I have some secure pens, some not. Regardless, they all get locked in the fort knox coops at night because even the secure pens are vulnerable.
     
  3. choopes

    choopes Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2010
    my farm South Alabama
    At night they roost up high, perhaps this explains the morning attacks.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Raccoons, weasels and possums are excellent climbers.

    There is virtually nothing a raccoon can't climb, even a sheer wall.
    They're one of the only animals that can descend a tree face first.
     
  5. chickwhispers

    chickwhispers A French Hen

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    So sorry about your losses. So frustrating and heartbreaking. Do a search on here of predators and I know there are some good threads on here as well as the learning forum. Good luck in getting your predator. But yes most of us lock our chickens up at night just for that reason and don't let them out for an hour or so after sunrise. Unless you catch this one they will keep coming back until supply is exhausted. Again best of luck.
     
  6. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you using chicken wire or 1/2" wire fabric?
     
  7. choopes

    choopes Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2010
    my farm South Alabama
    I am using standard chicken wire. I see no signs of digging in I've shured up the fence this has happened. Something small may find a hole (like a snake) but little more. Interestingly enough I've been feeding them now at 6am. It was the later feeding days that brought the predator. Also its been raining a lot here lately. The 9 hens (now only 6), one roo, and a goose live in this enclosure. unless I let them go roaming. Thats not too often. Not out of sight. One hen now has an injured foot, and can not get up with the others to roost at night. I go down in the evening to help her up. My girls are getting old. 5 or 6 now. Egg production is falling off. Still it is sad to see them taken advantage of so violently. Maybe its time to raise some more chicks. That, or simply get out of it. Thanks for your kind words.
     
  8. chickwhispers

    chickwhispers A French Hen

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    Minks can get in a 1 inch hole. The damage doesn't sound like a mink but you never know.
     

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