I think we've been weaseled!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickensducks&agoose, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    I spent the morning crying. I was woken up in the night by noisy chickens, and got the flashlight and went out to investigate... the roost had fallen down, and the chickens were laying on thee floor of the coop. So I picked one up that looked particularly uncomfortable, and set her up on a different roost. Three others took that opportunity to escape! Into the dark and the rain. So I tried to catch them, failed, and closed the coop up to protect the rest. Anyway, this morning, the 3 outside chickens were wet but fine, but there was our biggest EE out in the run (connected by a chicken sized door) next to the fence with no head... and just one wing of our little silkie.... we've had fox problems, and made the run specifically designed to withstand the brute force of foxes... but part of the 'secure' pen was just turkey wire, and I think we've been weasled... in fact, i think the weasel got into the coop, and took one or both of the hens, which is what scared the rest into knocking the roost over... and then dragged it out the chicken door, into the pen, and then over to the far edge to try to drag it OUT... but it wouldn't fit, because my EE was the biggest hen in the world... so it ate her head off and left... sound like a weasel?
     
  2. kartking22

    kartking22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2008
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    More than likely, you were visited by a coon. Damage sounds typical of what they do. Also, weasels are WAY too small to drag your EE hen. They're not much bigger than a small rat. Check your coop for holes that they might get through. A coon actually ripped through my nylon netting several times in one night, killing 14 of my pheasants. I added 1" chicken wire that day to keep them out. The next night he died of lead poisoning and tasted really good.
    Never underestimate the cunning of a racoon. They are really smart in finding ways to get your chickens. Extermination is the only way that I found to rid them from coming back once they find easy prey. A live trap set with cat food on the outside of your coop is the easiest way to catch them because they don't always return at the same time and usually return in the middle of the night.
    I'm sorry for your loss. Sometimes life isn't fair but if you want to keep your chickens, you will either need to coon proof your coop or just take care of the predator once and for all.

    AH, just re-read your post again. Definately racoon!!!! A racoon will reach through the wire and grab a chicken, eat as much as they can and return to eat the rest the next night. I have had this happen too. That's why you found the hen dead next to the fence. Check the fence next to where you found your hen and you will find feathers on the outside where the coon grabbed her. Actually had one darn near eat a hole through the chicken wire to eat my bird.
    Electric fence set 6" off of the ground will work to deter them from doing this if you don't want to kill the racoon. I actually resorted to putting old corrugated roofing around the whole outside of my coop to keep the coons from grabbing birds through the wire and also keeps them from climbing the sides.
    Here's a few suggestions to your problem. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was thinking coon, too. Like most predators they are persistent, and I'm so sorry. You will have to rethink your setup, I know you will- and be sure to check any loft areas for sleeping coons and/or winter nests, where they sometimes set up in cold weather near food. We have a raccoon named 'Mary' in our loft. Mary is a bit different having been raised by the barn cats. Nevertheless, we designed the coop, which is in the barn, as a fortress against raccoons, just in case.

    Poor chookies sound very frightened. It may be a raccoon 'family' too- possibly a female with older cubs who are ready to go on their own soon. Kepp in mind that boars (we have one visiting) can be HUGE, so fortify against body weight as well as reaching paws.
     
  4. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    by BOAR, you mean Man-Raccoon, or Pig? I don't think my coop could stand up to a pig.. Do pigs eat chickens? Anyway, I found a bit where the wire has been peeled back from the roofline, exposing a space where a raccoon might be able to get in. Yeesh. Anyway, I've got the chickies locked up TIGHT tonight, and am going to get some boards and screws up there tomorrow... I'm going to try to borrow a trap to catch the little monster.. then I'll let it go near my friend's apartment, she has dumpster diving ones, so it'll have little raccoon friends... (I'm a vegetarian, and can't kill things yet)
     

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