(Graphic photo) Something got into the hen house...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jasmer, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. jasmer

    jasmer Chirping

    Oct 15, 2012
    ...and killed three of our chickens. A couple got away unscathed. One was bitten on the rump but seems alright, I haven't inspected her yet. The rooster has a big bite--several teeth marks--along his rump and the feathers are missing.

    One dead hen looks entirely unharmed, maybe she got trampled or died from the stress. Broken neck maybe? Couldn't find any bite marks. One of them had her belly eaten out, which made me think skunk or racoon. One of them was eaten completely, with just her head and the tip of one wing left. The rooster's injuries are what threw me. It looks like a row of large teeth, I'm thinking canine. We aren't sure if he's going to make it and might put him down. I've taken pictures and circled the punctures as they're a bit difficult to see in the pictures and because I applied non pain relief neosporin.

    The punctures are at least the circumference of a pen or pencil and appear to be patterned like canine teeth. They seem too big to be a raccoon, we don't have possums where I live and I've only seen one fox in my entire life. We had a mountain lion problem last year, but it carried them away in the night and left nothing but a pile of feathers. I'm thinking coyote. What do you guys think?

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013

  2. Bullitt

    Bullitt Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    Did you see any tracks?

    If it looks like a canine bite, that narrows it down to fox, coyote, or dog. I am guessing you do not have wolves in your area, right?

    How did the animal get in the coop?
  3. jasmer

    jasmer Chirping

    Oct 15, 2012
    We don't know how it got in or out. The coop has a 10 foot fence around it, nothing dug under, it's all still nice and tightly packed against the ground. We're thinking it squeezed through the door since it only has one latch, it might have been able to squeeze in by forcing the bottom open and got out the same way. No tracks. The coop is a deep litter system with straw and stuff, and it's along our gravel driveway.

    I've only ever seen one fox where we live, so that leaves dog or coyote. Our neighbors have a dog that killed one of our chickens recently, and our own dog has killed several as well, but they were both in doors for the night. Doesn't rule out stray/feral dogs, or coyotes, it's just mind boggling how they got in at all unless they were able to jimmy the door open or something. I still haven't ruled out the possibility of a cougar. We had one that took 5 chickens this spring, but the neighbors shot it. Cat wouldn't have any problem getting in or out though.
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging 6 Years

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    If a predator got in, you need to beef up security a lot, ASAP. Racoons can climb fences, so a top is needed, and/or lock the birds in a very secure nighttime coop. Hope your injured birds are doing well. mary

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