1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

My chickens are dead... :-(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kmc1360, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Kmc1360

    Kmc1360 New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Feb 17, 2007
    I have lost several chickens and am not sure what is killing them. The first death had no sign of injury, it was just laying there dead. We are thinking that the hawks are snapping the necks of the chickens. We have enclosed the run area with netting so that the hawks cannot get in to the pen to hurt the chickens but we just found another one dead this week with a small wound to the neck.

    We are in the arizona desert so we have snakes, hawks, spiders, bobcats and much more. Does anyone have any insight about our deaths? We really want to prevent any further losses. Any helps would be appriciated!
     
  2. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Very sorry for your loss. It's hard enough to loose chickens, but worse to not know how it is happening / how to stop it.

    Is it happening at night? How secure is your coop / run at night? That's when all the bad things around here come out to kill my chickens.

    Odd that you are finding them dead and not seeing any of the signs of predators that eat chickens.
     
  3. ChrisnTiff

    ChrisnTiff Out Of The Brooder

    67
    12
    41
    Jan 11, 2007
    Crane, Missouri
    If your chickens are dying and you don't know the reason, I would suggest you take one in for a necropsy. They may be sick rather than a predator getting at them. Most states will do it for free or just a small fee. Check with your local cooperative extension to find out where to take it. I hope you don't have any more losses but if you can find out what is causing it maybe you will have a better chance of preventing it. Good luck,

    Chris
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,906
    145
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Dogs will kill a chicken and leave it lie with little to no signs of injury. Don't know how your coop is set up; or how secure it is, but if it's in an area that stays dry around it (like a cement floor) you might try dusting with cornstarch or flour to see if you can pick up any tracks. A necropsy is a good idea, too.
     
  5. FrozenChicken

    FrozenChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    135
    3
    143
    Apr 1, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    Ermine or weasels will kill chickens :mad: they bite them in the neck and suck their blood. They are small so they can get throiugh even the tinest hole.
     
  6. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,195
    10
    191
    Mar 29, 2007
    If it is something small like a weasel, hardware cloth around the pen should keep them out. Unless they can climb (???) and go through the top.
     
  7. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    [​IMG]
    I'm sorry to hear about your birds. [​IMG] They are right- A necropsy is the only way to know for sure. Then you can prevent it with your new birds.
    Did any of the birds act strange before their death?
     
  8. Corey NC

    Corey NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    I would also suggest getting a have-a-heart trap just in case it is a coon or possum, not sure wether it works well for weasels. Most feed stores carry them.
     
  9. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Overrun With Chickens

    5,038
    12
    281
    Apr 9, 2007
    Troy,Missouri
    I'm sorry to hear about your birds. I had trouble last year with owls. They would take the heads of my birds at night.
     
  10. MarkR

    MarkR Chillin' With My Peeps

    298
    4
    151
    Mar 11, 2007
    Ivy, Virginia
    Quote:It sucks, I know from personal experience, when you catch a skunk, though. Those suckers can turn around really fast. Just remember hydrogen peroxide, not tomato juice.

    Mark
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by