Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ARB, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. ARB

    ARB Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2009
    I bought 4 chicks a couple of months ago and housed them in a tight commercially mfg. rabbit hutch. During daylight hours three chicks were missing with feathers around the hutch. One chick dead and partially eaten from under the mesh floor of the hutch. Blood in water trough. Hutch locked and tight. Any ideas how/who could have gotten in?? Live in suburban north Jersey.

    BTW replaced the chicks and built a run/coop and now have 3 hens and 1 rooster. When does the rooster start crowing. Want to warn my neighbors.

    Joined this site to learn how to keep chickens alive during winter cold. And better coop ideas.
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    If it has a wire bottom, your predator is pulling them through. Some predators will chew their feet off and work their way up. I do not want to be too graphic but imagine standard chicken imagine a grown chicken being pulled through it. It is messy, blood and feathers get everywhere.

    You need to get a solid bottom on that hutch asap and fence around the bottom, burying the wire several inches and then out and away from it to stop diggers.

    if you do not, you will lose everything you put in there, because the predator will be back. Look for a coon, weasel, mink or something of that nature.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  3. randomchick

    randomchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2009
    Prescott, Ontario
    Least weasels can go through a wires 1/2 inch wide. I had the same experience with 4 ducklings. They squeeze through, bite the neck, and tear the carcase out through the bars.
  4. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    Racoons pull chickens through wire unless the spacing is less than 1/2". Had a racoon behead on of my pet hens by first grabbing her wing through chain link, then pulling her over to get her head. [​IMG] Now I have hardware cloth or sheet metal around the bottoms of all my pens.

    Hope you can get rid of it/them...a rabbit hutch is not sturdy enough. They can even open doors to them.

    My baby roos start to crow around 4-5 months, they aren't very loud yet then though.
  5. ARB

    ARB Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2009
    Thanks for the replies.

    Hard to imagine that chicks about 6 or 7 inches tall could be pulled through that small of a mesh. We have active fox, racoons, possum, even coyote. We are near wet lands so there may be rats or weasels or something.

    I now have my replacements in a larger run/coop with standard chicken wire. Right up next to the house. So far no pbms. Don't know the age but they are about a foot tall. Rooster still not fully crowned or combed or whatever it's called.

    They are great fun to watch. My mother who is 97 sits in the open door of the run and feeds them and eats figs from my tree. Reminders her of Italy when she was a child.

    Need to read up on winter heating.

    Thanks again.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, chickenwire is not for keeping anything out, but for keeping chickens in. Raccoons will chew right through it and rats and weasels can squeeze through it, too. You may need hardware cloth/wire with 1/2" holes and made of stronger guage. Love that visual of your elderly mother enjoying the birds.

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