Lost all my girls. Devastated.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MamaChicken4, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. MamaChicken4

    MamaChicken4 In the Brooder

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    A few days ago I went to check on my 14 girls locked up in the coop. Only to find all but one dead. I was so traumatized since these chickens are my pets and I was so attached to them. After 8 months of raising them, they had JUST started laying eggs. I've lost a couple to sickness, but nothing like this. There was blood and feathers everywhere. Whatever is was was still in there because I saw it pulling one of the bodies under something. When I got over there it had disappeared. Later my husband and I checked everywhere and couldn't find any digging holes or anything. We have a buried perimeter around the coop, hardwired cloth over the vents and made it super secure. It's a total mystery. After days of research, the only thing I can come up with is possibly a mink or weasle climbed the coop door and got through the 1 inch gap at the top.

    To make a long story short, I don't know what to do with my one girl now. Building a small coop in our basement is probably my option until maybe I can start over the flock next year. It's too cold to put her in a coop by herself over winter.

    I'm very upset and wondering why I didn't know about mink before. I always worried about fox. Anyone else had this issue?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging 6 Years

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    So sorry for your loss! Any opening larger than 1/2 inch in diameter will let in some predator or other also, it's possible to have a predator hiding in the coop when you close it up for the evening. Reevaluate your security, and find friends for your remaining hen soon. Mary
     
  3. minnehaha

    minnehaha Songster

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    I am so sorry for your loss, wow, a one inch opening? After you saw the predator did you lock up the coop so that the only way for it to get out was the way it came in? I'm asking because someone mentioned that maybe it got locked in versus getting in through a one inch opening. If if got in and out through an open door it would sound like a raccoon to me.

    Maybe you can get on Craigslist and find a pullet or two the same age to keep her company.

    Again, so sorry for your loss, you must be traumatized. [​IMG]
     
  4. OMG! I'm so sorry. I lost all four of my girls a few months ago. At least i was spared the gore. They just vanished.

    I'm starting to think in terms of concrete blocks and electric fences.
     
  5. Beer can

    Beer can Free Ranging

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    When I was a kid within a few nights my father lost almost his whole flock of RIReds to a weasel, even the big bad mean rooster. Just bit their heads off, didn't eat anything, maybe drank the blood? He eventually caught it in a rat trap.
    I lost a few this summer at night letting them roost in trees, free ranging to save $. I don't know if it was a coon or what? I keep them in their coop and run now. Shot a opossum in their coop a few years ago, forgot to shut the door. This summer I caught a skunk in their fenced run, dug under the fence going for the scraps I threw in for them. Luckily it decided to go back threw the hole it made under the fence when it saw me.
    Sorry for you loss, I would suggest killing whatever it was and start over, get your remaining hen some friends, after you kill your intruder.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss. Weasels and minks are about the worst.

    As was mentioned above, Big Victor Rat traps will do the job A bit of bloody liver slipped into a pocket created by cutting the toe from an old pair of pantyhose is sufficient, slip this "package" over trap treadle and FIRMLY tie the "neck" of the bait's fabric enclosure to upper portion of treadle. If not experienced in setting these traps, wear a pair of heavy leather gloves when doing so.

    There are videos on youtube on how to construct tube & box traps that will also serve to retire this vermin. Good quality steel wool jammed into "gnawable" cracks will sometimes serve to slow them down (secure with wood screws/washers to be sure).

    If possible, put a baby monitor in coop (if home and awake is a good early warning).

    Hope you can find a few friends for your survivor!

    Takes a while to rebuild the gumption reserve after such a loss, so hang in there!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. fenwickchic

    fenwickchic In the Brooder

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    I just lost my beautiful black banty roo this past Friday from a weasel in the middle of the day. I had no idea these predators even existed! He was a hero because he died keeping my 5 hens alive. Thankfully, I have a chicken tractor so I just moved it from what had been a semi-permanent location near my garden in the back of the yard to the patio by the back door. I hope this confuses the weasel until I can get it up on the concrete patio and winterize it. That will begin tomorrow. I have had the dog out running around searching in the garden and around our shed and wood piles in the back looking for the little [email protected]@ard. He definitely smells him and was rooting around throughout the area. Hopefully, the darned critter will smell him too and hit the road. I am afraid of traps and don't know any other way to get rid of it except for the dog. R.I.P. Charlie :(
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging 6 Years

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    RIP Charlie, so sorry. Mary
     
  9. MamaChicken4

    MamaChicken4 In the Brooder

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    Thanks for all the encouragement and help. I think I'm going to try to find a couple hens to keep my last one company and build a small coop in the basement for them. Poor thing is in a dog crate in my craft room the last couple days. I'm going to look into the traps for sure! And if I start again I'm doing concrete and hardwire cloth on EVERYTHING. I may try building an impenetrable coop inside our barn that's closer to the house, instead of the coop that's by the pond. And it's funny someone mentioned the baby monitor because I did that for the first several weeks they were in the coop and then figured they were fine. I'd keep one permanently and get a rooster next time too.

    Sorry about Charlie too! I've been so depressed this week since this happened. It's hard to lose pets.
     
  10. Beer can

    Beer can Free Ranging

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    A roo probably won't help. My father had the meanest RIRed rooster I ever saw. He would feed them with a metal garbage can top for a sheild. My mom had to beat him with a broom once after hearing a guy screaming who was stuck up a telefone pole. He must have went up the pole when they werent around, and they made their way under the pole and the roo wouldnt let him down. That roo still lost his life protecting his girls against a weasel .
     

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