Lossing chickens night after night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Buttercupp, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. Buttercupp

    Buttercupp New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Dec 29, 2009
    Elkton Maryland
    We have been finding dead chickens in the coop night after night with mostly just the head missing which I assume is a recoon but can't figure out how he is getting in. Never missing any chickens he leaves them in the yard and eats what he wants. Put a trap by the coop with a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. Not catching any predators. Any advice?[​IMG]
     
  2. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    louisiana
    First are they enclosed completley
    Second what kind of trap are you using?
     
  3. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Could be a weasel or other member of the mink family. Weasels can get through very small holes. They probably won't be attracted to peanut butter and jelly.
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Are they getting into the henhouse or the run? And if it's the henhouse, is it shut up at night time? Andif it's the run, is it covered?
     
  5. Countrywife

    Countrywife Corrupted by a Redneck

    885
    1
    129
    Aug 20, 2009
    Carolina
    Put the trap IN the coop, and near the feeder- I had a possum coming in and killing chickens like that, just to get to the feed. Then try baiting the trap with chicken feed.
     
  6. alpinefarm

    alpinefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    659
    9
    141
    Dec 6, 2008
    Western Colorado
    Most likely a weasel. They can get in thru a hole as small as a quarter and generally kill only one chicken at a time. They vampirize the chicken (drink blood from the neck) and sometimes eat the neck/head area. This is a hard time of year for weasels to survive, so they are looking for easy meals.

    *Today*--before you lose another chicken or two--check over your coop with a fine-toothed comb and seal off any holes, even if you have to do it temporarily with steel wool or tin foil stuffed tightly into the holes. Shut the chickens in securely after dark. If the chicken yard fencing is anything less than 1/2" steel hardware cloth, don't let the flock out in the yard, except *perhaps* in mid-day. Although weasels generally kill at night, I've seen them out and around during the day...they can be quite brazen.

    It is not easy to trap or kill a weasel. You will need a small (skunk-sized) and very sensitive trap, baited with fresh meat/chicken. I have used a "Have-a-Heart" trap. Put it outside in the yard or by the coop where you have found holes.

    If you use a live trap and are lucky enough to catch her, you must take her a long, long way away from your home, as she may have babies in a nest this time of year and will travel a long way (even across the top of fresh snow) to come back to them.

    You can poison the weasel, but be careful where you put the bait, especially if you have pets.

    Good hunting!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  7. quailbrain

    quailbrain Chillin' With My Peeps

    698
    0
    139
    Mar 26, 2009
    Oregon
    Weasels are well little weasels. I hope that you can catch him. It's heart breaking to loose just one but morning after morning is awful!
     
  8. BellLisamo

    BellLisamo Diagnosed w/ Muscovitis

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tombstone, AZ
    skunks have been eating the heads off my juvenile chickens.... and guineas... i have a trap set...
     
  9. Joyryder

    Joyryder Chillin' With My Peeps

    687
    10
    143
    Jun 11, 2009
    Scandia, PA
    I think fish would work better in the trap then PB&J. Weasels killed my quail, but never bothered my hens. My DH says thats because they generally are climbers. IDK.
     
  10. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    louisiana
    Best thing i know is catfood
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by