1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Help determining what killed them.

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

  1. Country Tea

    Country Tea Hatching

    Mar 19, 2013
    I now have NO chickens.

    Each time it was only one dead and the ONLY thing missing was their head. Nothing can get into the coop, but is there anything that can reach in and somehow grab the chickens through the chicken wire?

    It's bad enough they are killed, but it seems to add insult to injury when the only thing they seem to eat is the head.

    Could it be a raccoon?

    Thanks for any help you can give me.


  2. Country Tea

    Country Tea Hatching

    Mar 19, 2013
    Also, does anyone have suggestions on how to deter raccoons? Would hanging pie pans around the outside of the coop work?

  3. Ravenseye

    Ravenseye In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2008
    Pepperell, MA
    Raccoons often kill by reaching through the wire and pulling or biting a chickens head off. I've seen chickens actually put their head OUTSIDE the chicken wire as they try to get away from the raccoon, which of course puts them in harms way. I'm not sure what would deter a visit but it might be best to be sure that the coop is secure. A sturdy, small mesh wire enclosure including windows is a start. Raccoons will also dig so you might have to bury the mesh a ways underground. Make sure you use a good fastener on the openings as well since raccoons are great a "picking locks". You might want to try one of those solar powered predator lights that go on automatically at night and blink every few seconds. I use one for fox (and it doesn't always work but seemed to help) and I move it around on the fence line every few weeks.
  4. ashcons

    ashcons In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2011
    I deter them generally with 1/4" hardware cloth (too small for them to reach into or the chickens to poke body parts out of; also too strong for them to tear into) and the persistent/curious ones with CCI Short Target .22 surprise presents.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by