Last 3 Hens Found Slaughtered

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Padfoot417, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. Padfoot417

    Padfoot417 Chirping

    May 31, 2011
    Hey all. This morning we went out to a pretty gruesome scene...the last 3 of our hens were all laying dead in the run. Plenty of feathers laying around, chunks of skin, the whole 9 yards. I just want to identify the predator, I'm thinking weasel/mink/something of that nature only because there was limited space to enter the run. No open areas, no huge holes. Just part of the overhanging tarp/screen was torn with something like less than a foot hole. No tracks around either. All the chickens were headless and their hearts were torn out. Lots of skin was ripped off and plenty of meat torn apart. Even their wings were torn apart. Just a very sad morning. Any input would be greatly appreciated.Thank you.
    1 person likes this.

  2. Ameraucanas

    Ameraucanas Songster

    May 15, 2015
    Sorry. I have no idea. Good luck, though! I know that it can be very hard to loose chickens, and I really sympathise with you.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Raccoon. Show picture of coop. Get a live trap and bait it with one the carcasses this evening.
    1 person likes this.
  4. I am sorry for your loss! [​IMG]

    Although I am unsure which 1, you are on the right track.

    I would definitely set a trap tonight even though you have no more hens, in case you are going to get more. So when you say the last 3, have you already been having problems with predators?
  5. bantamrooster

    bantamrooster Chirping

    Apr 13, 2014
    Ya sounds like raccoon.
    "something like less than a foot hole". Anywhere near a one foot hole would be big enough for about every predator to get in.
  6. Millworker26

    Millworker26 In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2016
    SE PA
    X2 on the raccoon, or more likely raccoons. Need to trap and kill them and reinforce run/coop with hardware cloth. After you do that get more chickens.
  7. If you are using a tarp or screen to cover holes, they are useless! You need to replace it with quarter or half inch hardware cloth.

    Best wishes!

  8. GertrudeLover01

    GertrudeLover01 Songster

    Mar 20, 2012
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I'm so sorry. I also had a raccoon (or something) tear into my coop and kill all my birds. We had to completely tear down our coop and redo it. It took lots of time, money, and effort but we have our new birds happy and safe now. Tarps are pretty flimsy, and I would advise against using those in the future. It really does sound like a raccoon that got your birds. With your next venture, I would suggest a dusk to dawn floodlight. It helps deter predators and gives me an extra bit of peace of mind. Also, definitely consider closing your girls in a sturdy coop to sleep at night. If nothing can get in or out the actual coop, something getting in the run will be a lot less of a big deal (but it still would have to be fixed). Best of luck, and I'm sorry again.
  9. Millworker26

    Millworker26 In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2016
    SE PA
    Someone on this forum said "if a 5 year old can get through your enclosure so can raccoons." I think that's a pretty good barometer to the effectiveness of an enclosure.
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Songster

    Feb 18, 2016
    Multiple dead birds inside the coop, with that kind of damage, is most likely the work of raccoons, and likely as not, more than one. Like momma and all the kids. They could enter through a hole that is only a few inches wide like it wasn't even there. A month or so back, I witnessed a full sized coon go through a woven wire fence......hole was about 4" x 5" larger.

    Now that you know what didn't work as far as a secure coop is concerned, if you plan to have more birds, your next order of business will be to find a way to secure what you have or build something better. As is, there is no point restocking with new birds, they will be killed too. No need to trap or do anything more with the birds or predators until you have a secure coop that nothing but you can enter.

    Fort Knox and make it bomb proof.

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