No idea what got my hen

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Leisa22, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Leisa22

    Leisa22 New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2014
    I went to open the coop to let the girls free range and one of my hens was headless with a deep wound to her side body. A few feathers were scattered in coop as well. I noticed a small hole dug under coop but the hens tend to dig these holes too. I took the hen out and buried her in the yard behind the coop. The next morning she was dug up and no were to be found. I live in the southeast in a community setting. I have seen moles, armadillos, deer and possums in my back yard. What do you think got my hen and how to protect the others besides adding brick reinforcers along dirt bottom of coop? Thanks
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Raccoon. And here's a tip. Don't bury your birds anywhere near the housing for your chickens. It will attract predators, and cause you more problems. Many people burn their dead birds. We don't do that, but we do bury them a considerable distance away. I don't mean miles, but on the opposite side of the property, anyway. Definitely do the reinforcers, and don't delay. Consider motion activated lights and/ or sprinklers, too, and maybe a hotwire. Whatever killed your hen will be back for more, so don't waste any time in doing your preventative measures. I personally prefer prevention as the easiest course of action. But if it's a raccoon, you may have to resort to trap and destroy. Hopefully not. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  3. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    A while back I posted on a thread to show my nighttime electric fence setup. Although I have hardware cloth all around the coop, when I lock them in for the night I run the wire gate in front of their door, which completes the circuit for the electric fence, and turn it on for the night. From what I've seen, predators come to sniff around before they start trying to dig or climb. They get zapped but good and run off. This is a mixed blessing when it's a skunk. Every spring a skunk comes sniffing around my coop at night. How do I know? They hit that fence and spray. Ugh. Luckily they're facing the coop, so the coop itself doesn't get hit but WOW does the backyard reek for a few hours!!!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/928849/55-dead-chicks/10#post_14184913
     

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