Help something is killing my bantams "graphic pics"

Granny Hoffman

Songster
9 Years
Jul 19, 2010
250
4
131
SE Michigan
I went out at 8 this morning and let the "kids" out and everything was fine. I fed them their breakfast of yogurt, scrambled eggs and oatmeal. I went back out 2 hours later and one of my bantam's was dead. The same thing happened on Saturday morning. I checked the run and everything seemed to be fine, nothing got underneath the fence. We did have a hawk flying around about a month ago, but I have never seen him again and I assumed that if it was a hawk the bird would be gone.
We will be putting hardware cloth along the bottom of the run on Thursday (can't do it sooner), how far up should the hardware cloth be?

Any help would be appreciated, this is making me sick, not knowing what is going on.

This is how I found her when I went back out to retrieve the breakfast bowls.
63578_img_0615.jpg


This is our run. Kids are enjoying their morning scratch.
63578_img_0604.jpg
 

joedie

Songster
10 Years
Mar 17, 2009
1,492
11
161
SW Indiana
At least 12" deep and 2 -3 ft above ground. You might also want to cover the top of the fun. Mine is covered with chicken wire but it coops flying things out. Sorry for your loss.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,872
33,101
1,092
On the MN prairie.
If you want total proection, you'd need to put the hardware cloth all the way up the sides and over the run. What you have now will still allow a mink, weasel or rat in. That having been said, I only have the hardware cloth 2' up to prevent smaller chicks from getting out, and other critters from reaching in. I have 2x4" welded wire over the top of my run, too. I do let my chickens free range all day. The run is for when we'll be gone for a few days, or when I have small chicks that I won't free range. I'm not sure you can totally prevent rats or weasels from coming it. They don't need much of a hole to get through.
 

MMPoultryFarms

Songster
9 Years
Jun 21, 2010
1,404
13
141
Okarche Oklahoma
I say Coopers Hawk or Sharp Shin hawk the flesh is consistant with that of talons and beak ripping. the Hawk would make a swoop not allowing any time for safety. If it were a weasel in day light the birds would have been alerted and more or less would have found it in the coop. You stated ""this is how i found Her"" indicating it was definatly a hen and a hen lives on Defense a Rooster live on Offence. to sum it up there wasnt enough time for the alert to be made. which indicates a SSH or coopers who both love to fly under the radar and strike there prey. A hawk will challenge anything While consuming its Prey with those gleaming eyes.
it is not uncommon for them to eat right in the pen sometimes there the same size as the chickens they attack. this season I had a SSh fly over my shoulder and kill a guinea not 30 feet from me.
So I say Small Hawk class.
 

MANNA-PRO

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