Fox? Cat? Only feathers & feet left in run - 6 other chicks unharmed - mid-day attack

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by NewtownChicks, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. NewtownChicks

    NewtownChicks In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2012
    Sandy Hook
    Chicks are 11 weeks old and this was the 3rd day I'd let them out all day. Went to check on them mid-afternoon and noticed they were all huddled near the tiny coop in their yard, but one was missing. Took me a while to find what was left of her. Piles of feathers in a couple spots and then a lot of feathers and her feet. So sad. I've read the pinned article on this and it seems like the culrpit would be a cat, but then a search of the forum makes it seem like cat attacks are pretty rare. I know we have fox, possibly coyote and fisher cat in the area as well. Ideas?

    I haven't let the girls outside since because I need to figure out what the predator was and ensure their enclosure is safer. They were in a 3' tall temp run that is covered on all sides and top with chicken wire. I noticed one gap between sections of fencing on the top where a small animal could get in and that seems most likely given the state of the rest of the run. I'd only made the temp run because I am still trying to come up with a tractor so I can rotate them through the yard. Now I'm thinking maybe I need to invest in electronet? Ideally I want to be free ranging them so thinking solar powered electronet on a pvc frame might enable that.
  2. HeatherEmme

    HeatherEmme Chirping

    Apr 4, 2013
    Just about any predator is predator to a chicken. Just do the best you can to secure the run and coop. That's all any of us can do really. Chicken wire is not predator proof though. Raccoons can easily pull it apart or stick their hands through the holes to snatch a chicken head or wing or whatever part of the poor chicken it can get and then simply rip off pieces. Weasels can get through the holes as well as snakes. Now that the predator knows where your chickens are and has learned it can get a free meal there, you'd best get to securing that gap or figuring out how the attack happened because it will more than likely be back.

    Some on here use electric netting from Premier. I considered it too but since we have hawks and very little sky cover, we went against it. If maintained properly it should keep out most ground predators. HTH

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