Dropping like flies!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MountainCourage, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. MountainCourage

    MountainCourage New Egg

    Nov 12, 2013
    Hello everyone,

    I am a new member here. Have come to this forum for advice on several occasions and finally decided to join. Anyway, I have lost 7 young healthy chickens over the last two nights. I am not close enough to my pen to hear anything happening from inside the house. I came out two mornings ago and found 4 of my hens laying in a pile underneath their house, and another 3 yesterday morning. No bite marks, no trauma of ANY kind that I can tell...and I have looked extensively. I do not believe this is some kind of virus because it is happening after they are up for the night, yet I am finding them outside the house where they roost. I am assuming a predator, probably a weasel or mink, but am not sure. I live in the mountains of western NC and it has to be something very small like that as the biggest hole in my pin is no more than 1 1/2", and whatever it is seems to be killing simply for the sake of killing. These were all several month old, very healthy chickens, so I would love to hear any advice anyone might have on what I can do, what I need to look for, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Note: I have looked through the forum at other post similar to this, but just haven't found one that has the same specifics as of yet. In the meantime I will keep looking. Thanks again!
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    1 1/2 inches is pretty small. A weasel is the only thing I can think of. Are you sure that's the only hole?
    Cover all openings with hardware cloth.
    So whatever it was got into the run, ran them out of the coop and killed them?
    If the coop has sufficient ventilation I'd lock them in the coop at dusk.
  3. YlwBrchHobbyFrm

    YlwBrchHobbyFrm Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 12, 2013
    I would also say it's a weasel. They can slip into very small spaces in order to get it- and I've had them kill simply for the pleasure of killing and with no intention of eating the chickens. It's terrible :( So sorry to hear of your losses :(
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I had a weasel get into my coop several years ago and killed a dozen half-grown chicks. The only evidence of trauma was that they each had little bite marks either under a wing (where I would call the "wing pit") or in the neck. Almost like a little vampire had gotten ahold of them. They don't need a very big hole to get in.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by