Nighttime Attack--Whodunit?

abigailjt

In the Brooder
Oct 22, 2018
10
17
26
Durham, NC
Hi everyone, I have a small backyard flock of seven. Early this morning (still dark) I heard my chickens screeching and ran outside. Something ran from my yard, but my eyes hadn't adjusted enough to see what it was. Two of my hens had blood dripping from their combs, but nothing else hurt that I could see! I will do a better inspection in the light. They did not want me touching them! I saw that something had made a hole by pushing and separating our hardware cloth from the wood it was stapled to. I was honestly surprised they survived and escaped mostly unscathed, as I thought most chicken predators were more aggressive and wouldn't leave the chickens alive. Any thoughts on what this could be? We live in a very urban area and have not ever seen predators around our yard.
 

abigailjt

In the Brooder
Oct 22, 2018
10
17
26
Durham, NC
We’ve already sealed the entry point this morning. It was basically a small hole that I could fit up to my forearm through. I have an a-frame coop so the predator pushed the hardware cloth away from the wood un-stapling it and reached right into the roosting area. I think whatever it was reached in and grabbed around but couldn’t get his whole body in. A lot of feathers strewn about, but not enough to leave bare patches on my girls. We have small shallow flesh wounds around two girls combs and that’s it. None of them seem to be in shock (I’ve treated for it after a hawk attack before) and everyone is acting normal. I’ve also put ointment on the wounds. Also, I added location to my profile, but we are in Durham, NC right outside of a downtown area. There are some trees and brush around, but no large wooded areas near me, mostly just homes with backyards and roads
 

abigailjt

In the Brooder
Oct 22, 2018
10
17
26
Durham, NC
Use screws and washers at least 2 squares away from edge of mesh.

Plenty of preds in urban areas...raccoons thrive on the stuff we throw out or feed the wild birds. Cold could make them hungrier.


Yes, we're going to reinforce with screws this afternoon. Thanks for the specifics! That's helpful.
 

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