Please Help! Chickens getting eaten one by one (long post)

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by phatty, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. phatty

    phatty New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2016
    I have my chickens free ranging, with a small shelter inside an electric fence (energized at around 8000 volts). A few weeks ago, I heard a commotion out there at about 11:30 pm and went out to find a rooster with his head and neck eaten, and an EE pullet missing. I didn't think anything could get inside the electric fence!. I put some wire up on the sides, and left a small, maybe 4"x4" space to allow the chickens to get out in the early mornings, I'm not available every morning to let them out. Last night, again at 11:30, I heard a chicken screaming, and found a Rhode Island Red pullet with her head and neck eaten. There was a pile of feathers in one corner of the coop, and her body in another corner, right by the edge. She was roosting up maybe 2 feet off the ground, something would have had to have pulled her off the roost. What is killing my chickens? Why does he wait 2 weeks then come back? At the same time of night!!! Can a possum/raccoon etc. get into a fence energized at 8000 volts? I read some stuff that made me think it could be an owl. There were feathers scattered around a fence post on the first kill. Is an owl smart enough to find that little 4x4 opening and get through it? What can I do??? Please someone help me! My chickens are getting eaten one by one and I'm scared for them tonight! [​IMG]
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Might not be the same predator, could very well be an owl....
    ...........best to have a secure locked up tight shelter at night.

    Have you actually tested the fence to get that reading of 8KV?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  3. Dan Schlemmer

    Dan Schlemmer New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2016
    Minks are notorious for tearing the heads off and drinking the blood and leaving the carcass behind uneaten
     
  4. poorfarm

    poorfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 8, 2016
    Weasels too, and they can get through a 1 inch square mesh (or 1 inch chicken wire mesh). I had a mink get into my only "converted" chicken coop (used to be a small old barn), and killed half the flock in one night. It was winter, very cold and a lot of snow, probably not a lot of food animals easily found. I never did find where it got in. I moved all the survivors out immediately to my new purpose-built coops which are secure, and left the old barn vacant the rest of the winter. Before I would feel safe about using it again, I think I would have to line the entire inside with half inch hardware cloth.
     

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