Losing lots of chickens to some unknown predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by costello, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. misguide

    misguide New Egg

    Aug 23, 2015
    I agree...sounds like a fox. I have had my share of missing chickens only to find that clever fox hanging around. They have avoided my traps so far but I am sure that I will get him soon. Now that winter is coming i expect the visits to my coop to increase. Raccoons are just as clever.
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    You have two built in electric fence testers. Just touch the back of your hand to the wire and if the fence bites you then you know it's working. If you touch the fence with the palms of your hands you may involuntary grab hold of the fence, that is not recommended.

    My money is on either a bobcat or a coyote, or both.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  3. 1655ot

    1655ot Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 27, 2012
    My Coop
    You can use a hammer to test the fence. While holding the hammer by the handle hold the claw of the hammer on the wire and slowly ease the head of the hammer toward the metal fence post to almost touching it. If you can see and hear the arc of the current then the fence charger is working. If not the fence is grounded or the charger is not working.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Really after all your losses I wouldn't use:"bandaids" ie, piece of tape etc.to fix your fence. Get new wire and new charger and tester and do it right. So you won't be losing birds right and left. Its very traumatic to the birds that witnessed the killing. When you check up after a predator kill, look for pieces of fur, etc. that might have gotten caught on the fence, it will help clue you in to the pred. If/when you get snow, that should make it easier to see where they got it. You might pick up a second hand baby monitor and if it is close enough to your house you could put the receiver in your bedroom. If there is an attack your birds should be making a racket that would awaken you.
  5. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Have you tested your charger when it is not hooked to the fence? You should be getting full power. If not, check your ground rod. How far is it into the ground? Most ground rods are 6' long, and you should have at least 4' into the ground. Is the ground dry, i.e. drought dry? Dry ground does not do as well in grounding a fence. If your ground rod is not working properly, you can add another one 10' away. Lowes and Home Depot ground rods.

    Hope you figure it out. I second the idea of a game camera. I have 4 of them, and find them invaluable in determining what predators are coming around. Once you know what you are up against, you can take the next steps to keeping your chickens safe.
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    You can water the ground around your ground rod.
    1 person likes this.
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    The fence it's self is made out of bare-naked wire, it wouldn't work otherwise. So don't sweat the small stuff. Some electricians tape should be more than enough to fix this problem.

    Because electricity takes the path of least resistance, anywhere, anytime, and in any fashion, that the fence is grounded results in reduced fence performance or even in complete failure as the electricity runs to ground down the fence pole and not down the varmint's leg.

    This also means that the grass and weeds that grow into contact with your fence results in reduced electric fence performance. Even a fox or other varmint that contacts your electric fence momentarily grounds the fence out. This is how an electric fence works by sending an electric shock or pulse to ground through the want-to-be chicken killer.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Coyote or bobcat has figured out how to clear the fence and is conducting snatch and grabs. Other predators mentioned do not do as described. Dog is not responding appropriately or cannot get in at predator.

    If problem not resolved, then please provide my details on how you are setup and what dog does..
  9. Chickeemomma63

    Chickeemomma63 New Egg

    Apr 14, 2012
    Randleman, N.C.
    My Coop
    Predators can be sneaky, to say the least. I decided to use outdoor solar lights all around my fenced chicken yard, in addition to shutting my chickens up in a coop each night. When it's hot, I have wire doors to go where the regular doors are located, and I tie them shut. I guess my best defense is having dogs in a separate lot that's close to the birds' lot. These are rat terriers, and they miss nothing. In addition to keeping predators at bay, they also help with rodent control. I have more dogs than just the ones in that lot. During the day, I let about 8 of them into the chicken lot and building. If there's a mouse when they go in, it's history. My cats help with that, too. I've never lost a chicken to a predator since I've done things this way.

  10. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    A rat terrier will not be any defense against determined coyotes.

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