Disappearing chickens from secure coop????

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tearose, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. tearose

    tearose Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2013
    Please help; I some very tiny chickens, last night one gone from coop and the night before also. My coop is a converted dog kennel and totally enclosed with fence outside and a secure bldg. for the coop. I take a lot of time making sure there are no spots where something can get in. These birds have disappeared without a trace. What on earth is getting in and taking one little chicken from inside the coop at night without a trace??? I will move the 4 I have left back to a cage in the house. This is weird!!!!
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    How big are the holes in the kennel? Weasels can often fit through one inch holes. Are you closing them into the building and locking the door at night? Pictures might help.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I'd say weasels or snakes. Both fit through very tiny holes.
    Unless the snake is very small also, it may not be able to fit back through the hole after the meal.
  4. tearose

    tearose Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2013
    I open the gate to the coop in the morning and shut it at night. They have inside shelter or can be in the outer fenced area. I have 4 ducks and 1 goose that sit out in the fenced area all night. Also, I have a really old Muscovy duck that stays with this tiny breed of chicken in a separated section that they have so the bigger birds(1 big mean rooster, 6 chickens and 13 banty) can't fit into. I will send pictures. It helps I am trying to keep out so I can figure out what I need to do so this can't happen. Thank you so much for the quick response, this drives me crazy, lol!
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Mink or weasle was my first thought as well. If they don't have a solid door that can be locked, they are at risk of being attacked. Most predators will always go for the easiest meal, the one they don't have to work as hard and expend as much energy for. Mink and weasels are smart, they'll bypass those big birds (which are sitting ducks-literally- in the dark) and go right for your small fries. They're small too, and can easily slip thru the gaps in your chainlink run. They may even gobfor the ducks/geese/bigger chickens when all of the small ones are gone. They are brazen little things.
    Another option could be rats. They'll kill small chicks and chickens too. They tunnel into the coop/run and sometimes the tunnels are very difficult to spot. Good luck.
  6. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2012
    Sorry for your loss! Pictures would definitely help. Predators can be very sneaky.
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Dog kennels usually are made from chain link fence and a chain link fence dog kennel is great for keeping dogs confined but it is not so great at keeping everything out of where you would rather not have it, sometimes dogs included. In this respect it is like poultry netting other wise known as "chicken wire." Don't think of how well a fencing type will keep your chickens confined, think first how well the fence material you chose will protect or keep your poultry safe and secure from all of the dangers that chickens face each and every day. A well fed chicken (or any animal for that matter) is less interested in getting out of, or into a pen than a hungry animal will be. This is a simple fact of life.

    I vote for old "No Shoulders" otherwise known as a snake. I am not saying this to get you worked up or jittery but a "No Shoulders" could even be living inside the present confines of your coop and be coming out at night for a fresh chicken nugget that those nice humans up there in the big house keep providing him with.

    Good luck, and remember "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going."
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013

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