Having issues with predators killing my chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Keisha, May 4, 2009.

  1. Keisha

    Keisha Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Does anyone have any suggestions to keeping predators away? I have lost 7 hens in this week alone. The barn is tinned, and we cannot figure out where they are getting it. Its opposums and racoons that are the main problem. We played the radio in the barn and it kept them away for a while, untill they figured out it wasnt real people in there. My dogs are worthless and are too scared of the racoons and possums to do anything about them. It would be nice to get a real guard dog for my flock but I have too many dogs as is.
  2. SoJoChickens

    SoJoChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Fountain Green, UT
    Set some traps. Now that they know your chickens are there, they will try everything to get to them for a free meal. You can also try putting up an electric fence (unless you have trees around the coop. The critters can access the roof from the trees and an electric fence won't stop them.
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I'm sorry you've lost so many chickens. You must be so frustrated!

    You really need to go over every inch, when you're looking for an opening. Check up high on the walls and the roof, too. They're both good climbers and can also drop down onto a roof from a tree or other object. Could they be prying a piece of the tin back to squeeze through? Check all the seams, too. Make sure they're all secured. Also, look all around the foundation for any holes. Even small ones that can be hidden by a grass clump. Is there a possibility that it might be a weasel? They can squeeze through really small holes, especially the smallest of the species. Check to make sure the door isn't flexing after it's closed, allowing a predator to slip in through a gap, also.

    You could definitely keep a trap set all the time. Sometimes people that house chickens inside barns build them a separate enclosure of wire to live in, if the barn is more open than the chickens need, for protection. That's an option, too, depending on your circumstances.

    Good luck. I hope you can find a way to take care of this problem soon.
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...and your protective wire needs to be hardware cloth with no opening bigger than 1/2". If you are using chicken wire you may have to cover it. Also look for ground-level openings and breaks between the roof and eaves. It's a lot of work to predator proof for raccoons and opossoms, and especialy for weasels, but it's the only way.

    Sorry to hear of your losses...
  5. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    Set a live trap and bait it with dry dog or cat food; both possums and raccoons will take the easiest meal they can get. And after you catch one, reset the trap every night for a week. Both varmints travel in families, so you're sure to catch at least 2 or 3.

    I'm doing it myself, because a possum killed a dozen of my "just out of the brooder" babies last week. I've caught a male already, but I know for sure there's more out there.

    Didn't help that we had 9 inches of rain in two days last month. All that high water ran the snakes and critters to higher land.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
    www.PivotalForce.com, www.CountryChickens.com
  6. Keisha

    Keisha Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Thanks for the advice guys. We're going to see if we can get some live traps from the DNR and im betting we'll catch our own cats in there atleast a few times. one of the predators catches and kills the chicken and then eats the meat off of it. whereas the other one rips the head off and doesnt eat the meat - i'm guessing this is a weasel?
  7. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    There is a product called 'Shake Away' and has several different versions. I'm pretty sure one version is for raccoons, maybe possums. You can google it and hopefully find the stuff. Just sort of throwing this out there. I think Shake Away is supposed to smell like predator urine.[​IMG]
  8. chickens3

    chickens3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Eau Claire, Michigan
    They will get in from what ever they can to eat your chickens as long as they can get a easy meal for them selfs

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