Kill by reaching thru wire?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RoyalHillsLLC, May 29, 2007.

  1. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    I lost one of my hens over the weekend. I thought I had built Fort Knox! I have welded wire around the bottom (4 foot wire) buried a foot in the ground. Then I wrapped poultry wire to narrow the size of the holes. It goes up to the roof (7 foot). I have bird netting across the top, along with a plywood and shingle cover on one end with plywood sides to break the wind and rain, where they sleep.

    Something killed my smallest hen, ate her head, and left her. I found evidence of where something had tried to pull fethers thru the fence in a couple different places. But, I could not find any holes big enough for a critter to get thru.

    Has anyone here had coons kill them by grabbing them while they sleep thru the wire, pulling a head thru and eating it, and then that's it? Where I found her laying was in a corner by the plywood, away from the fence though. Not where the feathers were! I am confused as to how the bird got moved so much inside the pen unless the other chickens did it somehow.

    I did put out a live trap and catch a young raccoon the first night, but I still can't figure how he could have done it. Hmmmm.
     
  2. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2007
    SW Indiana
    Weasel! We had this happen also, only through a picket fence. We actually were able to follow some feathers back to it's home under our wood pile. It was a weasel we found!! Our dog started staying out a lot more, especially during the early morning and early evening. Weasels seem to hunt right at sun up to early mid-morning and mid-evening to sundown. And they aren't to shy about it either! Our Lab/Retriever mix kept it at bay. I guess it gave up after not getting any more food for a while. It took about a month of making sure our dog was out at the right times. Sorry!
    Amy J.
    P.S. I have heard of cat's possibly doing this also, reaching in and pulling the head through. The test is: how messy was it? A cat makes a mess, a weasel does not.
     
  3. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    Boy, that's too bad. What size welded wire are you using (with chicken wire over it)? Do the chickens sleep outside next to the fence? I know raccoons do grab thru the wire, if they can get their little paws thru, and reach something. Hopefully it was the raccoon you got.
     
  4. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    I believe it's 2" x 3" welded wire, whatever the smallest I could find was.
     
  5. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    Good chance it was the raccoon you got, then. I am pretty sure they can get their little paws and front legs thru chicken wire, if the chickens sleep against the fence. Maybe there is something you could do to discourage their sleeping there.?
     
  6. Freebie

    Freebie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    Something similar happened last year to one of my hens. Very little blood, no head and the body was inside the coop. My coop is inside my barn, a converted horse stall. One hen was killed the other injured. We too set a live trap and caught a small coon.

    I put some peg board up in the coop where they like to sleep next to the wire and have not had another incident.
     
  7. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    1/2" or 1/4" hardware cloth will keep your birds safer. A rat can chew pegboard.
     
  8. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I lost 6 of my chickens to raccoons that had pulled their heads through the wire and ate it off. Raccoon pulled so hard on one of them I almost couldn't get it out of the fencing. After that I covered all my fencing with garden netting and keep 2 traps set at all times. Haven't had a problem for a while now. Sorry for your loss.
     
  9. Freebie

    Freebie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    Quote:I now have the other stall converted as well, so the peg board is down. Thankfully I have not had another incident. I consider myself pretty lucky.
     
  10. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    I am thinking I need to add more protection around the bottom in a couple spots and "re-arrange furniture" to keep them further from the edge. Thanks for the input. It helps to talk things out.
     

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