Lost our First Chicken

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by WooHoo451, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. WooHoo451

    WooHoo451 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2013
    We lost our first chicken last night, so I am trying to figure out what did it and how to prevent it. This is my first year raising chickens, so I am very new to this. The attack happened around 10:30 - 11 at night, right before I was going to close the door to the coop for the night. There were a lot of the down feathers in the coop and no chickens, so I gathered up as many as I could and noticed I was missing one. I haven't given up hope on her, but I am also realistic in thinking she isn't coming back. I think it's a fox, but I did hear coyotes that same night. I figured there would be more of a mess if it was a coyote though. Any thoughts on if it was a fox, and if so what to do to stop it? For now I'll just make sure I lock them up a bit sooner.
     
  2. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Sorry for your loss. I have lost chickens to both a fox and coyotes in the past. Each time it was snatch and run, so there wasn't anything left behind but a few feathers. The fox attack, lost 7 chickens in 2 days during daylight hours, was very sneaky and if I hadn't seen him myself I would have never known what got them. In that case, all the chickens were vocalizing and all the squirrels in the trees (and we have hundreds) were chattering. The coyote attack was faster and therefore quieter, also in broad daylight.

    On the other hand, I had a problem with the neighbor's dogs for a while. They left the dead chickens behind, only taking enjoyment in the chase.

    Your best bet is to lock them up earlier. They should be putting themselves to bed around dark, so you can close the door much earlier. They are helpless in the dark and can't even run from an attack they can't see.

    Good luck!
     
  3. WooHoo451

    WooHoo451 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2013
    I am working on a system that will automatically close the door when night sets in, so that if I can't get home at night I don't have to worry. That'll take some time though. I'll just have to me conscience of locking them up before we leave. Sucks to learn the hard way, but it's the best way to learn.
     
  4. WooHoo451

    WooHoo451 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2013
    We figured out a little more of went on last night. We have a 140lb dog that has figured out how to open sliding glass doors if they aren't locked, so it's not uncommon for us to come home and find him wandering around outside. When we came home it didn't cross our minds that anything was wrong when our dog was out and about. I went to close the chickens up for the night and noticed they weren't in there coop. I thought to myself OH Great, a predator got my flock. I quickly round up 6 of the 10 chickens and figured the other four were either scattered or the predator had a big meal. Woke up in the morning, and saw 3 of the 4 missing girls wandering around. I went to work and got a text message from my wife saying there was a chicken in our house. Apparently, when the fox/coyote attacked....one of the chickens decided to take refuge through the door that our dog kindly left open. When we came in from looking at night, we shut the door, trapping the chicken inside and it was quite content with it's new coop. Thanks for the advice! Hopefully this gives you a little chuckle! I still need to get rid of this predator though!
     
  5. MercyMe03

    MercyMe03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have a game camera? Set that up so you know exactly what you are dealing with.
     
  6. LauriTX

    LauriTX Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2013
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    We just built a new coop for our girls because they were free ranging with just a pen. Something got in and took 3 of the 4 and left the baby roo there dead. We knew we needed to make improvements to the door but didn't know that it was that bad. We live on 6 acres with 5 for horses and our house on one. We did have them in our fenced yard. The coop will go in the fenced yard before we get new ones. :(
     
  7. HeatherEmme

    HeatherEmme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Coyotes and foxes can dig as well. Some people put skirts of hardware around the bottoms of the coops/runs to deter diggers. Other than securing your run, making sure your chickens are locked up earlier, or shooting the fox, I'm not sure what else you could do.
     
  8. LauriTX

    LauriTX Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2013
    Lavon/Nevada, TX
    One of our original red girls showed up on the front porch later that day! I was so happy! We bought 4 9 wk old pullets and they are in our back yard and Red is there also. I think she is a little traumatized. :(
     

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