mystery mass hysteria this am

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chixmaidservice, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. chixmaidservice

    chixmaidservice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2013
    After watching the election results far too long, I got awoken to the unmistakeable sounds of hen bedlam. Alarm clock read 4:50, so i bounded out of bed, grabbed a rain coat to cover my pjs and stuck my bare feet into my barn shoes that live on the back porch. Remembered to grab the flashlight and picked up a rake as well. Wrenched open the door to find hens throwing themselves at the walls to escape, everyone screaming, Roos still on highest roosts, and no apparent cause. No signs of injury, no signs of break-in, so I am perplexed. I did see one hen crowded into a corner being squished by others on top of her, but removed them, and she seems fine. My coop is raised about 20 inches off the ground w a pallet floor. I have a pretty deep bed of straw over that and the only disturbance to the bedding was right under the hanging feeder where the hens scratch. This is the only ingress point i can see. The coop in surrounded by chain link fence covered w netting above, and has V hardware cloth buried and running up the chain link to about 8 inches. I thought i had fort knox. I have thin strips on either side of the 2 gates that i suppose could of let a squirrel sized predator in, and then he could of limboed up thru the pallets? Why don't i see any injuries tho? It was pouring rain last night so i do not think they got spooked from the sound of a predator outside the fence because i have the polyvinyl panels on the roof and the rain drumming on that would of drowned out any noise. Worried about tonight, i added hardware cloth to the area under the feeder but do not have enough to cover entire floor. Any thoughts on what I am facing? Suburban area, in northeastern Ohio. I have never seen a mink or weasel in my life around here and i do have a small herd of cats that have excellent rodent skills.
     
  2. Nick 1

    Nick 1 New Egg

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    Nov 9, 2016
    I had 19 out of 20 chickens killed by a mink last night 11/8/16 , southwest ohio I saw the mink in the barn later in day but he got away . You could have had a weasel or mink can get in small places . trap is set tonight .
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    So sorry! Chix, your coop is not secure enough. No opening larger that 1/2" diameter! Rats and weasels can get through 1" openings, and climb very well. Setting traps is good, but doesn't fix the coop and run issues. Yes, birds will panic if a 'bad guy' shows up, and I'm glad that the squished hen is okay. Mary
     
  4. Nick 1

    Nick 1 New Egg

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    Nov 9, 2016
    Thank you Mary . I hope to get him . I have had coon trouble where we used to live last year and always got them . But first with mink at new place . It was secure for coons but never dreamed of mink or weasel.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    "If you have them, they will come!" Chickens attracted every imaginable predator everywhere. We all learn the hard way about security, me included. Mary
     
  6. Nick 1

    Nick 1 New Egg

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    Nov 9, 2016
    Thanks Mary . Have a good day . Nick in Ohio
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Just a tad of info......Birds get night terrors sometimes as they sleep....If one panics they all will....I keep a dim light on always....


    Cheers!
     
  8. Nick 1

    Nick 1 New Egg

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    Nov 9, 2016
    I have always kept a light on at night especially had chickens for 43 yrs
     
  9. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds to me like you got there in the nick of time. Whatever that was probably heard or saw you coming and vacated before you got there. Best to assume it will be back, and if it was a weasel, a 1 inch opening is enough for them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Nick 1

    Nick 1 New Egg

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    Nov 9, 2016
    I got the mink this morning in live trap and going to get it mounted for my man cave .
     

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