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Mystery

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by krazytrain6, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. krazytrain6

    krazytrain6 New Egg

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    So the past two months we've lost 4 chickens to "something" They are free range, locked in coop at night, out in morning just after sunrise, all kills except 1 incident(x2 dead) were single kils. Found out in the open, most discovered between opening the coop in morning to about mid day, small puncture wounds to upper neck area. Two birds had feathers pulled from body but that could have been subsequent to the kill after having been sitting out until discovered.1 additional chicken was "mortally wounded" from an attack, it's crop and upper chest area was exposed but still alive, had to put her down. None of the birds had any meat eaten from bodies. They share the barnyard with 3 doe boer goats so doubt anything large is killing the chickens as it is not bothering the goats. We live in central Texas.
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I have no idea what it could be, it will keep coming back until it has wiped out your flock unless you do something to protect them. If you don't have a run to lock them into, I'd suggest building one so you can keep them safe until you get the problem resolved.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Any dogs, especially pups?
     
  4. WesleyBeal

    WesleyBeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Small puncture wounds to the neck area had me thinking mink. Don't know if you have those down in Texas, though.
     
  5. HeavensHens88

    HeavensHens88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking most likely mink or weasel. Raccoon's also a vague possibility, although they would take the entire body. The description also fits the lackadaisical hunting habits of an naive domestic cat. Any pictures?
    Sorry to hear of your losses. :hugs
    ~Sarah
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  6. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A inexpensive trail cam would take the guessing out of the problem.
     
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could the puncture wounds be from a snake? As in rattlesnake?
     
  8. Eric 2016

    Eric 2016 Out Of The Brooder

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    mink, mink, mink. I just got over an ordeal where I lost 16 chickens and a duck. I finally stayed up all night and checked the coop every hour u till I caught the thing red handed, I quickly ended it. mink kill quickly and easily with a bite to the neck vertebrae. he will wipe you out if you don't act quickly.
     
  9. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree that bites to the back of the neck (and sometimes puncture marks beneath the wings) are the signature of a mink / weasel and some of the cousins. But they normally operate at night, and often kill everything in sight. That didn't seem to happen here.

    My best guess is something killed them, then of those that were gnawed on they may have been gnawed on by something else.
     
  10. Eric 2016

    Eric 2016 Out Of The Brooder

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    I actually thought the same thing at first, that one animal was doing the killing and another was dragging away. it turned out that the mink was living under the coop and killing 3 or 4 a night then actually dragging dead birds under during the day. I couldn't trap him because he wanted to kill. I had to wait him out.
     

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