I need some advice! Losing birds quickly!

amanda83

Hatching
9 Years
Jun 3, 2010
2
0
7
There is some animal coming into our barn overnight! We have lost 26 chickens 8 ducks and even 5 guinea fowl in the last 3 weeks! A friend told us that windchimes would make the animal nervous and scare it off. Does anyone know if this is effective or have any advice? Our barn is open and our critters run free with the exception of the goats, but the attacks have only happened in the barn. The six chickens we have left now roost outside trying to be safe. I have even waited outside to try to get rid of whatever this is, but never showed. I am really confused as to what would corner the birds and kill them then drag them out of the barn to eat them.
 

ChooksChick

BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist
11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
7,738
156
341
Larry, KS
My Coop
You HAVE to give these poor defenseless animals a place that they won't be subject to predators breaking in- that's the only way. A fox, coyote, or even raccoons could be doing this, and they won't stop until the last bird is gone. They'll come back when you get more. The only reason it's all happening at once is because they discovered where to get a free lunch now.

Read up about safe coops here: http://www.examiner.com/x-9873-Kansas-City-Urban-Chickens-Examiner~y2010m2d8-Urban-Chickens-101-10-important-features-in-a-chicken-coop

http://www.examiner.com/x-9873-Kansas-City-Urban-Chickens-Examiner~y2009m9d26-Urban-Chickens-101-How-to-avoid-a-free-chicken-dinner-for-neighborhood-predators
 

Katy

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
16,317
71
331
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
Quote:Renee's right...they've discovered a free lunch buffet and unless you make a secure place for them at night you'll end up with no birds at all.
 

amanda83

Hatching
9 Years
Jun 3, 2010
2
0
7
we have had animals free ranging for over ten years and have not had a problem like this. We have ruled out the smaller predators just because of the height they roost at. There are four farms within five miles that have free ranging birds and never had problems either until lately.
 

turtlebird

Songster
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
508
32
176
Have you set out a live trap? Sounds like you have a persistant free-loading predator. Good luck with the remaining critters.
 

ChooksChick

BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist
11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
7,738
156
341
Larry, KS
My Coop
Somehow they've either avoided you because you've had a dog or animal that deterred the predation or there's perhaps been a jump in the numbers in the predator population. Raccoons can get at them at any height and they will! A friend recently had a fox jump a 6' fence right in front of her in the daytime to attempt to finish the attack it had started the night before.

There is no solution aside from building them a coop in which they can sleep at night that will work for any length of time. You can still free range all you want, but give them a place for sleeping.

I wish I could tell you this will work itself out, but it won't. Your neighbors should do the same, because this will happen to them, too- it's just how nature works. You can deter and even have outside dogs to protect, but nothing is ever truly guaranteed. I built my coop as if I had bears to protect against, and while I've watched my neighbors suffer terrible losses, mine have been safe. It's the only way I can sleep well.
 

magsrags

Songster
11 Years
Aug 12, 2008
2,875
5
209
Staten Island NY
oh good grief get to work better protecting those babies.:<(( I'de be byside myself after that loss...........and have felt that pain so know what I speak of.
 

greathorse

Songster
11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
2,065
27
191
Northern Colorado
I am not one to get all beside myself if a hawk picks one off during the day while the birds are out, it happens. It has happened a couple of times in several years. But if you have birds roosting in a barn where a raccoon or anything can get to them while they roost you might as well ring a dinner bell at about dusk.

Get those birds some protection, it isnt too hard to figure out what it takes. If allowing them constant outdoor access is important you will need to do something until you can get a good dog. You have a smorgasbord at the present time.

Geeze you will get picked clean from now till kingdom come.
 

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