Every last bird dead in the coop....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by zengrrl, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. zengrrl

    zengrrl Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Oakland County, MI
    I went out to feed and water my birds before work and found every single bird of 7 with its throat torn out. What broke my heart was that most of them were trying to hide, under the ramp, behind the food bin. I can only imagine how terrorized they must have been. Blah.

    I called my husband hysterical of course and he came home from work and cleaned up the mess. Now he is on a mission to avenge their deaths. I don't even know how whatever it was got in but I'm guessing either a weasel or raccoon. Can weasels climb? We have a large shed type building and the galvanized fencing over the top of the run and inside of the coop, the tiny hardcloth mesh all around. All doors etc were secure. At this point I'm believe it must have been some ninja's. We have checked the snow for tracks and since that day did find what we believe are weasel tracks but also possum and raccoon elsewhere on the property.

    At this point, I'll wait til its warmer out and clean out all the pine shavings and investigate how it got in and truly fortify the coop. I thought we had Fort Knox, we had 2 years of safety until now. Lesson learned.

  2. Raccoon

    These masked bandits are sly chicken predators as well, and with the added gift of the opposable thumb, they can be quite the burglar.
    They can often figure out latches and door openings. If you know these guys are present in your neighborhood it may be a good idea to put a more complicated latch on your coop door or even go as far as putting a lock on it.
    How will I know that it was a raccoon that killed my chicken?

    If this burglar gains entry he will normally kill multiple birds. Most of the time you will find their bodies still in the chicken coop because he will have problems carrying them off. He'll usually kill by ripping into their neck.
    Raccoon's will rip open the neck and eat at the crop and often go as far as to rip the breast open and eat on it as well. They are also good at stealing eggs.
    1 person likes this.
  3. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    I'm so sorry for your lose[​IMG]
  4. that coop coulda climbed a tree or something, jumped onto the roof of the run (if it was covered), and ripped a hole in it to get them.

  5. Henhousehijinks

    Henhousehijinks In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2013
    I'm so sorry, what a horrible start to the day !
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    So sorry for your loss.

    If throats were the only location of fatal injury/consumption, then I'd guess weasel or mink, they can climb very nimbly and squeeze through the eyes of needles (so to speak), raccoon's are rarely so `fastidious'. Set both a standard live trap and - check Youtube for instructions on how-to contruct a `weasel box' (big Victor Rat Trap is main ingredient).

    Again, sorry - hang in there - retire the vermin and nurse your gumption.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  7. zengrrl

    zengrrl Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Oakland County, MI
    I just read that weasels can climb trees! Omg first off I didn't even know we had weasels where I live. Also they can squeeze in an opening the size of a quarter though I didn't think I had any of those. It would have to drop onto my roof and swing under the eaves and from there drop down from the ceiling through the welded wire (larger openings). Even the run is inside so to speak. Then it would't have been able to get back out so Im thinking it must have figured out a way to get under. Its on a cement pad but there must be an opening somewhere. Thanks all for your words, it truly is every chicken keepers nightmare I know.

  8. If you have suspicions that your dealing with a raccoon, a couple of dog proof raccoon traps is a good investment. There is no, or almost no learning curve needed to use one.
  9. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    a weasel only needs less then 1 " X 1" to squeeze into a mink slightly more when using a weasel box bloody liver ( M'rat, pork , chicken does'nt seem to matter )and a little Anise oil works well for bait

  10. Talihofarms

    Talihofarms Songster

    Dec 4, 2010
    I would think that you are dealing with a coon if the crop was eaten out.
    However unless you have a warm spell the coons are normally hibernating this time of year.
    Weasels will kill everything they can get their little fangs on.
    I have dealt with Fishers,Minks, Weasels, and it sounds like it was most likely a Mink or Weasel.

    If you get fresh snow look for the tracks.
    They will be back once an easy meal is located.

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