Ok, dead birds and no guess!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by blaked, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. blaked

    blaked New Egg

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    Jul 23, 2016
    Hi, first time on here and sure similar info but can't find a clear answer.
    Issue:
    Lost 3 birds. One Leghorn female and 2 Guineas. One each of 3 nights in the exact same location in the run. Only 1 bird each night and all others in the coop. This am looked closely at Guinea and head was gone legs stripped of meat and leg bone broken. Did not see "teeth" marks like if my dog chewed a stick though.

    Coop run info:
    About 15ft X 25 ft. 8ft tall. Hardware cloth all around and out 2 ft on ground. Top covered with aviation net. Inside the coop construction sand.

    I can find not a single hole or open issue. Net is still stapled and zip tied in place. No holes in sand that animal dug under and through. No holes in hardware cloth.

    I have 2 roosters. And though spunky can't see them doing this but not sure if birds eat each other. Full water and 30 lbs food. Total of 12 Guineas and 6 chickens all together since day olds and now about 5 months old. They free range in day and go in run/coop at night.

    Any ideas?
    Would one of the roosters kill and eat like this at night?
    If a predator then wouldn't it try to get other birds vs just 1?
    No feathers, parts, etc. nothing outside of run.
    All deaths same corner but smooth sand, no holes in wire, net at top intact 1x1 holes all fine, no hair or feathers or blood etc.
    I'm stumped and not sure what to do.
    Love input and I can send pics of coop but I and wife have looked and no holes.
     
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm sorry to hear about that. That is perplexing. I have no idea what it could be, but I just wanted to rule out the rooster. Chickens can barely see in the dark, which is why they are so vulnerable to nocturnal predators. So the rooster wouldn't be able to do it. You mentioned that you found them in the same part of the run; do you know if they were in the coop and then taken out, or did they not go in the coop and were out in the run? Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Good luck!
     
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Sorry for your loss. With what you have described I would suspect a rat or a raccoon. Get a critter cam to get your answer.


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    1 person likes this.
  4. GertrudeLover01

    GertrudeLover01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had that same problem at one time. I also covered my run with the aviation net and it was intact but something was getting my birds. The only difference was it was taking them out somehow! Honestly, I don't know what it could have been for you. Maybe think about installing a dusk to dawn floodlight that can deter some nocturnal predators? I did that and it has worked very well.
    Lack of coop damage aside, the damage to the bird sounds like a raccoon or opossum. It could have been something else, though. I'm sorry for your loss and wish I could be more helpful.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    GHO. Access from above or flier possible?
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is your location? Do you have weasels?

    A weasel can get into a coop through holes as small as the one you describe, although they often kill more than one bird at a time. Killed in the coop and moved to the run may be what happened and that might be a raccoon. If the run and all is covered, that would mean no owl could get in?

    Look everywhere for any holes larger than even 1 inch. All corners, vents, windows door, over the run, under the run, etc. Unless Scotty beamed them in, they got through that somewhere.
     
  7. blaked

    blaked New Egg

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    Jul 23, 2016
    Thanks for the replies. Very odd.
    I would think if it killed one it would kill more but not sure. Not a single feather or bird part etc out of the run. Only 1 taken each of past 3 nights.
    I'm in Northwest Ar. Not sure about weasel as not sure what's in area.
    Know we have coons and possum but can't find a single place one could get in let alone back out again.
    I'm locking birds in coop tonight but hate to bc it's so hot.
    I'd love to get game can but wife not big on the added expense. Need the guys from CSI :)
    Thanks for the heads up that it would not be the rooster as I was nervous about locking them all in the coop together if one was cannibal.
     
  8. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Void where prohibited.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    OP. Go out tonight tonight and listen. Listen for a plaintiff whistling call that might be off in the distance. Everything you describe so far is dead consistent with GHO. If another loss, then look to determine time of night loss occurs by checking multiple times.
     
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So birds are or were roosting at night in the run or in the coop? As in where was the bird that was killed likely to have been roosting? It may be possible a raccoon reached through the wire or netting to nab a single bird and take a head off.

    Game cameras need not be expensive. Perfectly good ones for this use can be had used off ebay for under $50. Maybe half that.

    It may be time to share pictures of the coop and run if you are willing to. BTW, locking the birds up at night should not be an issue for a well ventilated coop. Mine go in at night on their own with no complaints. But it has ample ventilation, so is no hotter on the inside than out.
     

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