Lost 3-Trying to Determine Predator-Graphic Detail

kgilmore1

Songster
Mar 26, 2017
113
80
141
We lost 3 chickens last night and I'm trying to determine the predator so I can stop the problem. I had 6 chicks that are about 6 weeks old and I'm integrating them with the 10 week old chickens I have. The older ones sleep on the roost in the coop and the 6 younger ones were in a very large wire crate in the coop for the integration process. This morning 3 of the younger ones were pulled to one corner of the kennel and dead. Their heads were eaten and that's it. Our neighbor with chickens has had problems with opposums but we have also had rats around the barn this year, but we haven't seen any lately. I secured the coop better and putt the little guys in the nesting box tonight hoping they are safer there. Any ideas?
 

Flufferes

Poke
Apr 30, 2017
355
39,977
877
washington state
We lost 3 chickens last night and I'm trying to determine the predator so I can stop the problem. I had 6 chicks that are about 6 weeks old and I'm integrating them with the 10 week old chickens I have. The older ones sleep on the roost in the coop and the 6 younger ones were in a very large wire crate in the coop for the integration process. This morning 3 of the younger ones were pulled to one corner of the kennel and dead. Their heads were eaten and that's it. Our neighbor with chickens has had problems with opposums but we have also had rats around the barn this year, but we haven't seen any lately. I secured the coop better and putt the little guys in the nesting box tonight hoping they are safer there. Any ideas?
Raccoons like to eat the necks and nibble on the combs.
 

Faith Family Farm

In the Brooder
May 19, 2017
12
5
34
Several years ago we lost our entire flock. We had a predator stake-out one night. We sat about 49 feet away in camp chairs with a flashlight. I actually used an injured hen to lure it back. I wasn't being mean but the hen was dying anyway. We watched and when we seen it I shines the light in its eyea. Raccoons eyes glow red in a flashlight. We took care of the predator that night.
Earlier this year we had a pretty big rat getting into the coop. We tries ever trap possible and finally had to get a bait station. Our rat was only eating leftover corn never once attacked or tried to hurt my girls. My guess is raccoon and you will need to kill it
 

Faith Family Farm

In the Brooder
May 19, 2017
12
5
34
Several years ago we lost our entire flock. We had a predator stake-out one night. We sat about 49 feet away in camp chairs with a flashlight. I actually used an injured hen to lure it back. I wasn't being mean but the hen was dying anyway. We watched and when we seen it I shines the light in its eyea. Raccoons eyes glow red in a flashlight. We took care of the predator that night.
Earlier this year we had a pretty big rat getting into the coop. We tries ever trap possible and finally had to get a bait station. Our rat was only eating leftover corn never once attacked or tried to hurt my girls. My guess is raccoon and you will need to kill it
I meant 30 feet lol....not 49
 

kgilmore1

Songster
Mar 26, 2017
113
80
141
I'm feeling like it could be a raccoon too, because to just eat the heads seems more like "sport" to me. My husband is against killing anything, but I've heard raccoons won't hardly stop killing or attempting to get in.
 

Faith Family Farm

In the Brooder
May 19, 2017
12
5
34
Predators are predators. If you don't kill it it will kill all of your chickens. It knows they're there and easy food. They can rip fence right open. You will.definitely have to protect your flock. Hopefully you'll figure something out. Good luck
 

Kassaundra

Sonic screwdrivers are cool!
9 Years
Sep 1, 2010
16,499
2,079
471
Henryetta
If you have preditors as large as raccoons getting in your coop at night, you need to secure your coop better first off. Sounds like raccoons to me b/c it was something that reached through the kennel bars and pulled the chicks to the edge, rats don't really do that, weasels wouldn't do that either, opposms could but not as likely as a raccoon.
 

kgilmore1

Songster
Mar 26, 2017
113
80
141
Well it turns out it was my extremely aggressive 10 week old hens working together to scare the younger chicks into a corner of the kennel and one would grab and hold it while the others attacked. Caught them in the act today. Not surprised because they beat up my rooster and are really aggressive with me too. They killed another chick today so I'm moving the remaining two back to the outdoor brooder for now
 

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