Losing chickens to a predator during the day

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by whobody, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. whobody

    whobody New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Have my chicken run fenced with 2x4 mesh 5 feet high on the outside and chicken wire 2 feet high on the inside. something got 2 of them today between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. any ideas? I'm thinking a mink or weasel? Appreciate the help, first timer here.
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Not enough information for us. What was the damage? Were they just gone or how were they left? This time of year, foxes and coyotes are feeding young and they can climb. Hawks are daytime predators as are roaming domestic dogs, sometimes cats (though not usually with grown birds). Your location may help as well; for example, folks up north have fishers and down south, we do not.
     
  3. whobody

    whobody New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Live in northern Michigan up in Traverse City, the chickens are about 7 weeks old now. One was just a foot and feathers outside of the run the other was inbetween the 2x4 mesh and the chicken wire which is about 4 inches apart missing the head. Took the rest of the chicken and baited my live trap with it. Definitely not a hawk as I had a board leaning up against the fence to privide some shade if the wanted it and it was behind the door. Thanks!
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Doesn't sound like a weasel or mink to me and certainly not a hawk. I'm going to let some other folks weigh in on this one. Daytime doesn't necessarily eliminate a raccoon, but I'd like other opinions.
     
  5. Mudstar4ever

    Mudstar4ever Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2011
    I'm almost positive I know what your problem is. Lynx. We lost three chickens the very same way you lost yours, except I watched it and couldn't get to them in time. [​IMG] Lynxes are like bobcats, but a little more stealthy. They are somewhat nomadic creatures, but stop when they locate a good place for food. Then they remain there until the prey has run out. Lynxes attack during the day, around the time you offered, however their favorite time is before sunset. (If you're wondering, we looked this up shortly after the ambush on our chickens. [​IMG]) They are extremely skilled climbers and they are very smart. For us, they climbed a tree and jumped over the fence and into our coop, then dragged our chicken over the fence. We won the fight though and were rewarded with being able to bury our lost hen. There's not much you can do against a lynx because they are a protected endangered species. [​IMG] (But I am not a fan of killing anyway, I mean it's the circle of life, people.) However, I suggest you build an entire enclosure for your chickens' area and add a little more support to the fences. I don't have the best solution, but I'm pretty sure I know what the problem is. Take some binoculars and watch for a lynx. They look exactly like a cross between a small house cat and a bobcat. Good luck!
     
  6. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Real sorry to hear about you losing your chickens this way. We put 1/2" hardware cloth 4' up on our run, covered the top with it before the corrugated roof went on, and installed it on the coop windows. We also went 6" below the surface of the ground to prevent predators digging under. The hardware cloth was recommended as it is much heavier than poultry wire fencing, and if a predator is outside the run they cannot get their hands into the small 1/2" openings to grab a passing chicken.
     

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