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Lost 3 dozen chickens in less than 48hours

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Akane, May 22, 2010.

  1. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    First mites, then gnats, and now.. something... Over night all but 3 of the over 2 dozen chicks I hatched so far this year went missing without a trace. I opened the coop one morning and they were gone. My husband thought they were there the night before but wasn't sure so odd but ok they are fairly small and edible by lots of things. They also have slept under the coop before so maybe they'll reappear. This evening we went to close the coop and it was empty. Not a single chicken. We checked the standard coop and found 4 of the bantam hens in with them but not the bantam roo that kept trying to roost in there instead of the bantam coop. Searched the yard and no feathers or bodies. No tracks, no damage, no feathers, no dead chickens.... What can take a dozen adults and 2 dozen chicks in a little over a day and night without leaving a killing field? I thought foxes but the last dog attack we had coated the yard in feathers. Weasels? Same thing. Owls? Hawks? They wouldn't take 3 dozen in that short of time even if they could do it without leaving a pile of feathers behind. All I can think of that could do this is a human. So we have the remaining bantams and standards padlocked in to the big coop together and my grandpa coming over with a shotgun. Some one tell me you have another idea cause living in the middle of nowhere with rarely locked doors it's not too comforting to think some person is running about the property. At least if anyone so much as touches the door knob they are going to find themselves staring in the window at 100lbs of growling dog.
  2. tri-5-ron

    tri-5-ron Songster

    Feb 6, 2010
    Orange County
    I think if you suspect something is taking them, you might want to buy a wireless "driveway alert".
    Basically it is a motion sensor that signals a buzzer inside the house.
    If anything moves around the transmitter, it sets off the buzzer, and lets you know something is out there.
    Some motion activated lights might also help.

  3. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    The only sensors with enough range to reach my coop cost more than replacing my entire flock twice.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member 8 Years

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Sure seems like a human predator. Could you borrow someone's game camera and set it up to catch them??
  5. dntd

    dntd Songster

    Dec 4, 2009
    Lock the coops up at night with a padlock. If it gets broken you'll know it's human.
  6. EastinChickens

    EastinChickens Songster

    Apr 4, 2010
    Wow, this is strange. I lost three chicks last month and no trace of how they disappeared. The attacker left 1 dead bird behind. Had a huge slice over the shoulder.... We thought owls, but after reading this I have no clue....
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  7. chickenjones

    chickenjones Songster

    Jun 30, 2009
    Burleson, TX
    When you say chicks how big are they? How old, I guess. Could it have been a snake? We found a 4 1/2 foot rat snake in the coop a couple weeks ago right as it was getting in the next box full of eggs!

    We just got a wireless driveway alert. It is awesome! We had a game cam set up but seeing what was out there after the fact doesn't stop anything! The driveway alert is great. We keep it on all the time and we know when the chickens are heading in to the coop for the night as well. Sorry for your loss. Good luck.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing 8 Years

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    sounds like a coon or several coons to me! Especially if they keep coming back, I swear one left a message on the door, please leave BBQ sauce!

    But with coons, very seldom do you find anything, they are just gone. mk
  10. NarutoTn

    NarutoTn Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    you need a friend thats a hunter and have them sit out (hiding) all night for a couple of nights and shoot the pest

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