Please HELP-Killing my Girls

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BabyGirls, May 24, 2007.

  1. BabyGirls

    BabyGirls Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2007
    Concord, NC
    [​IMG] Please anyone help me. I am new to this site and my heart is just breaking. I inherited 14 beautiful girls (and 2 turkeys-1 male 1 female) THey are like my best friends. I lost 1 girl to something (thought was just old age, 2 months ago) then nothing else happened. Yesterday something got another one of my girls mid-day around 2:00pm, (sorry for this descritption) but with no head but NO blood? THen I woke this morning and 2 were killed, feathers everywhere and 1 was missing. Also my female turkey flew out of the pen and was missing. She turned up an hour later and the one that was missing I found her under the pen's side storage (half eaten) I am just devastaed and haven't stopped crying. They are my friends and I know to others this crying and my feelings are stupid and silly but I am just beside myself with grief. Not to mention I feel like I should have protected them and let them down (and to thier death). Please help. Someone said it could be a foxor a raccoon?? THoughts please!
     
  2. Hope0491

    Hope0491 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2007
    VA/PA
    Oh No! We don't think it's Stupid OR Silly!! We are right there with you! I lost 24 guineas to something unknown last year, I think it was a weasel... and I lost a good bit of my silkies and cochins this past year too... I know how you feel. It's terrible loosing your babies... [​IMG]

    ....and I'm so sorry for your loss... :aww
     
  3. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    "No head, and feathers everywhere," points very strongly to a hawk or owl. But the "under the shed" aspect is weird and suggests a mammal like a weasel, perhaps. Although an owl could easily drag a bird under the shed, too.

    It is hard to say what to do. Perhaps keep them securely locked inside the henhouse for a few days to discourage the predator from sticking around. A light on outside the coop at night would help discourage it, too.

    It isn't silly to be upset. I'd be devastated if that happened to my girls. I hope you can find a way to prevent any more losses!

    -MTchick
     
  4. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    And you can't blame yourself. We do what we can to protect them, but sometimes these things happen. You are being responsible, and trying to save the ones you have left. That is all you can do. And I'm sure whoever you inherited them from would understand that.

    Could you wet the ground down around the coop, and maybe get some tracks? Maybe that would help you track the animal down. And I'm wondering if it dragged your turkey underneath so that it could come back to finish it's dinner?

    My thoughts are with you.

    Meghan
     
  5. edbama2

    edbama2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 6, 2007
    Slocomb, Alabama
    I don't know if this will help or not. I leave a radio on 24 7 with lights on by the coop. It seems to deter everything so far. Sorry for your loss. We all understand here. [​IMG]
     
  6. BabyGirls

    BabyGirls Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2007
    Concord, NC
    Thank you so much for your replies. I didn't loose any last night. We set traps out around the coop but nothing took the bait. We did see a raccoon last night as we were trying to get our female turkey back into the pen for safety (she didn't want to go at all and actually made sad noises) Which made me cry even more.

    I did see foot prints around the new dirt we put all around the coop, they look like Raccoon but not sure if that is what is doing this. I didnt even know that they eat big chickens and would also come out during the day to do it. Also we have a tree right next to the coop and wonder if it will climb it and jump down to get into the coop. Once it did it wouldn't be able to get out other than climb the wire (I hope it can't do that?)

    My one girl must have gotten her eye snagged as it is closed and she won't open it at all. I called a vet and he gave me eye ointment to put on (but catching her to put it on has been very difficult) and considering she's been traumatized. Has anyone seen this happen with their eye's and how to treat it?
    They are all very upset and they all huddle together all day. I felt so bad. I didn't sleep at all. Thank you again so much for your kind words..others just don't understand. I went from 14 to 9 in 24 hours. [​IMG]
     
  7. Freebie

    Freebie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    As far as putting the medicine on her, I would do that in the evening. When roosting they are much easier to get ahold of and treat with medicine. Hope that helps
     
  8. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2007
    SW Indiana
    Weasel! (No head, No blood, and under shed) [​IMG] We lost a hand full this way last year. Only they would pull them half way through the pickets on the fence. It always took the head and cleaned the blood out and sometimes even took the insides without making a mess or ripping it apart! We followed the trail of feathers under a wood pile that had a tunnel dug out under it. Their footprints also resemble raccoons. Do you have a dog that you can leave out for a little while? Once they're unable to get anything for awhile it will move on. That is what we did for about a month and we haven't had anymore trouble.
    Amy J.
     
  9. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    I know how hard it is when no one else seems to understand how fond we can become of our birds. That's why this forum is great - everyone here has a soft heart and will totally sympathise (sp?) with what you are going through.
    Please don't blame yourself. Predators are very good at what they do, and I don't think I know a single chicken keeper who hasn't had at least one loss this way.
    Also, about the racoons - not only can they climb back out of your pen on the wire if they do jump in, but they can actually learn to manipulate latches and hooks. They have tiny little hands, don't forget! I had two coons get into a pen years ago by opening one of those slider bolts. I couldn't believe they managed to work it, but they did. Happily my dog was on duty and woke me up in time to intervene.
    I'm glad you didn't lose any last night. I hope the problem is over.
    Freebie's advice about applying the meds at night is excellent. They are at their most calm and manageable then.
     
  10. Julie R

    Julie R Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2007
    I lost one of my girls this afternoon, I went to out this morning to do my normal morning check and feeds and everyone was fine, even the ducks and rabbits all doing fine. I went into town came back and checked on everyone and my littest chick was dead. She was really close to the fence and had one leg on either side and her body was mostly pulled through half way, her head was also removed from body - but there was no blood every where alot of feathers around her. I saw no tracks near the body, I do not have neighbors with dogs , have no racoons, I have seen a cat a few days ago but dont think a cat could do this. My husband thinks that since the others look fine and are unharmed that she might have gotten her head stuck trying to get at a bug or something and manged to get her leg and body stuck in a panic trying to free herself but the head thing bothers me. I only have 2 chickens and 2 ducks left in the pen I am afraid to leave them out there not knowing what happened. I did not have a chance to really look at her since hubby took care of it for me.
    Any thoughts you might have would be great

    Thanks Julie

    ( in memory of my little itty bitty)
     

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