half our chickens gone...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lacasitarojafarm, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. lacasitarojafarm

    lacasitarojafarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    161
    0
    89
    Jun 23, 2010
    Skagit Valley, WA
    Two nights ago we moved the chicken ark to a new pasture. We lsot one hen moving the ark as they all got out and one Araucana hen went into the woods and we were not able to catch it again. That night we left all the chickens locked up but the door open as we have an electric fence and had not lost any chickens to predators since we got it. I quess we were wrong. The next day my husband went out to our farm (We are leasing it so it's not on our property) and there were 5 dead chickens. [​IMG] 1 Barred Rock was totally missing. The only reason we know it was gone are some fathers that got caught in some pasture grass. 4 naked necks were just bitten (on the neck) and left there. The bites are small. They are not torn apart, just bitten and dead. [​IMG] 2 Amaraucana pullets were bitten around the neck.back and left there and one leghorn pullet's head was bitten off and the rest of the body was left there. The ELECTRIC FENCE was on the whole time and one panel was on it's side a bit, swaying but now down on the ground. Whatever it was went through/Over the fence. Then last night we left the coop closed. Now 4 dead Cornish crosses and 15 dead variuos chickens. What is getting them??? [​IMG] We have an electric fence but not any netting against birds and what birds is getting in at night? It's a VERY wooded area in Washington state next to a state park so it could be anything, martens, raccoons, weasels, foxes, any ideas? What would discourage them?
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Sorry about the losses. I don't know what got your birds, but decapitation sounds like raccoon.

    Good luck & welcome from Imp in Renton
     
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    8,690
    223
    316
    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Lots of predators will behead and bite like that. Weasles are a good guess because they can squeeze in through the smallest spaces....Possums will do that, raccoons....

    So sorry to hear your bad news.....
     
  4. TreeHugger

    TreeHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

    333
    1
    141
    Apr 7, 2008
    I've seen a lots of young raccoons out & about with their mother. I've only had a few incidents in the last six years, but both times involved young raccoons that managed to squeeze into my chain link pens. Once they got into a kennel that housed all of my extra roos. I had about 20 roos & they killed every last one of them in one night. Unfortunatly whatever it is getting into your pens it won't stop until you have no chickens left.
     
  5. briana1975

    briana1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    Carleton Mi.
    You could always put a game camera up. Then you would know what it is.
     
  6. Owls???
     
  7. robk0220

    robk0220 Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    0
    99
    Mar 12, 2010
    Wapwallopen, PA.
    Sounds like a coon to me.
     
  8. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Sorry about the losses. What type of wire are you using for your ark? Sounds like you need to improve that layer of security, as well as modify your electric fence set-up. Have you tested it to see that the fence isn't shorting out on surrounding vegitation? Touch it or use a tester.

    A picture would help. If you are near Olympia, I could take a look and see what is the issue with your set-up.
     
  9. lacasitarojafarm

    lacasitarojafarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    161
    0
    89
    Jun 23, 2010
    Skagit Valley, WA
    I will take and post pictures this evening. The ark is salvaged wood and the windows are wire/mesh-less as we though it was too high off teh ground for predators and they would not get past the electric fence. We tested the electric fence and it's on. I am at work now and I cannot even concentrate with how upset I am. My husband and I took SUCH good care fo those chicks to have them suddenly killed in this way is very upsetting. Our land is in Mount Vernon by the Skagit County airport on Hwy 20 to Anacortes. the Padilla Bay reserve is next door. I saw an eagle once looking at our chickens but we got the electric fence and we shut them up at night. Until two nights ago. My husband is very upset as well. The Cornish Cross were very close to beign ready to eat and the hens are *almost* ready to lay....[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  10. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    498
    1
    109
    Dec 11, 2009
    Sorry about your losses....I can't even imagine what your predator would be. Something smallish that would be able to get through the fence, like a weasel for the bitten necks. But then the de-capitated bird? And the missing bird? ??? Perhaps a family of coons traveled over the fence. Check the strength of the fence, not that is it grounding out. After I move the fence and mow the strip of grass under it, it delivers 6000 v (youch!!). When the grasses start growing into it, it delivers only about 1000v. My dog touched the fence once, he won't come nearer than 100 feet to the birds now.
    I hope you don't experience any more losses. No fun.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by