Please help!! 11 dead chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by strick62, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. strick62

    strick62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2013
    Jefferson, ga
    What a day!I am distraught..
    My 7 year old granddaughter and I went to let the chickens out today and found utter carnage. All of our 11 chickens are dead. Six were dead in the coop and 5 trails of feathers around the coop. Something ate through NOT pushed aside hardware cloth to get in the coop. They were abt. 4 mos old and beautiful. What could have done this?
    My granddaughter is beside herself as are the rest of us. Chickens were fine when we locked them up last night.
    Please give me some advice. We will replace the hardware cloth with plywood.
    Thanks
     
  2. jenX72

    jenX72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2013
    OMG!! I am so SO sorry...I can only imagine. I have lost 3 to dogs....and something tore into our baby coop and one disappeared ( we thought 2 did, but one girl came back the next day). Look into racoon, or opossum. Get you a live trap (they run around 50 bucks) and you can set it up near the coop, then carry off whatever got in there. Put up your food at night so things aren't attracted by the smell. Those are the only two critters that I could imagine would eat through the wire. But, maybe a large dog could, which would have carried off the birds. The opossums and racoons sometimes leave more behind. Is there anything else you can tell us that you have since noticed? I am so sorry :(
     
  3. strick62

    strick62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2013
    Jefferson, ga
    Thanks for your reply.
    We found no bones at all only areas of feathers. They were Americaunas and speckled sussex. It almost looks like they were dragged out 1 by 1 and eaten close to the coop.
     
  4. jenX72

    jenX72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Here are some tips about what info you can put together, by how many were missing, what you see around etc....It may make you sad, it makes me sad to think about it, but at the same time it will help you protect the remaining chickens and that is definitely what you want to do.
    http://www.avianaquamiser.com/posts/What_killed_my_chicken__63__/
    I check right before I go to bed with a flashlight...first I shine it down to see if I see any reflecting eyes looking back. Then I go down there and walk around it, to make sure nothing has been digging or pulling at the fence. I started doing this after something pulled the wire away.
     
  5. strick62

    strick62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2013
    Jefferson, ga
    What can chew through hardware cloth?
     
  6. strick62

    strick62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2013
    Jefferson, ga
    That was all of my chickens that were in the coop. I have 5 silver laced wyandottes that are 2 months old in a dog kennel on the back porch.
     
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm so sorry!! Can you find tracks? Bite marks on the dead birds? The distance between the canine teeth can help identify the predator, at least by size. I've never had anyone chew through hardware cloth; how awful! Live traps, game camera, and shoot the culprits. It's hard, but putting a dead bird in the trap as bait may help. Your coop will have to be made more secure, and consider adding electric tape around the perimiter also. Mary
     
  8. Nutmeg101

    Nutmeg101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't think things chewed through hardware cloth!!! Holy cow! I am sorry your granddaughter had to see that!
     
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  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    could you see any foot/paw prints on the ground, any fur stuck to wire where it went into the coop? Do you have bears in your area? I can't imagine what would chew through hardware cloth , was it 1/2" mesh or larger?

    If it's possible to run a few strands of electric wire around coop and runs, it may deter your predator. Do you have or could you borrow a game camera? You could set it up and aim it where the pred gained entry. I know this sounds gruesome but, if you left a carcass inside near the opening, it will probably come back to take it.

    Some people put a baby monitor in the coop and can hear if the birds are in panic. Others have a radio play all night, talk shows are best, so preds think humans are around.
     
  10. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have pictures of the damage? I agree, electricity is a great option. Do you know what predators are in your area? Coyotes, bears, etc?
     

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