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Help! Muskrats killed my chickens!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by jljjcookie, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. jljjcookie

    jljjcookie New Egg

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    Dec 23, 2012
    Did anyone have problems with muskrats? They dug through the ground and got into our coop an killed all but one chicken. We put strong wire mesh all in the floor of the coop an secured it well. Today we found out last chicken decapitated in the coop. We have no idea how it got it! There was no hole! Our coop is wood frame with chicken wire as walls and then a loft in the roof where it's closed in except for the ramp they walk up. We ordered more chickens but are worried. Help!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] I'd be willing to bet that you are dealing with a mink rather than muskrats. Both live in similar environments, but one is a vegetarian while the other is a carnivore.
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Great to have you here! I'm by no means an expert but I wonder if it isn't muskrats but something else. Muskrats are vegetarians, I think, and while I could see a cornered one defend itself and maybe kill a chicken, I don't know that one would actively dig in to the coop to go after them. I am thinking maybe a raccoon was the one that dug in?? As far as the the culprit in the last attack that you have no idea on ho wit got it...weasels and rats can get into the smallest places - smaller than you think it would be possible for them to enter. Were these adult birds? I don't that a rat would take on and decapitate a full grown bird - but a weasel would. And since you must live near water to have muskrats, how about a mink as a possibility. You might post here for more thoughts. Sorry about your losses.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/13/predators-and-pests
     
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Oops! Sourland beat me to the punch!
     
  5. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!!
    [​IMG]
    Glad you joined us!!!
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. Hardware cloth is great for keeping beasties out. Hope you get your predator situation sorted!
     
  7. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi and welcome to BYC. Sorry about your losses. I agree with sourland that is probably a mink.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us. So sorry to hear about your losses [​IMG]
     
  9. KimberlyRemer

    KimberlyRemer New Egg

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    I was finding Dead chickens head bite off or gizzard area tore open. Several a day...... The animal was not eating the chickens, just killing them. I found the predators scat and tracks of a muskrat. I had a trapper set tons of traps. I thought maybe a mink was doing all this killing at first but was wrong. Trapper caught muskrat!! Guilty! Muskrats can be killers if food is scarce due to over population of muskrats.
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Yes, some of these predators just eat heads, or gizzards or other parts of the body and leave the rest of the bird. The least they can do is eat the whole thing!!

    Great to have you aboard and enjoy all your poultry adventures!
     

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