Poll- When preds attacked, where were your chicks?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 23, 2009
Lenoir, NC
I am just curious, for those of you who have lost birds to a predator, were the chickens locked in a coop during the attack? Also, how high is your roost?

We thankfully haven't lost any or had any attacks, but I am trying to figure out if roost height/coop enclosure has an effect on chicken mortality by a predator (scientific, I know:)).

Anyway, I have an AWOL chicken that roosts in the forest at a height that we cannot reach without a considerably long ladder. We are trying to determine her chances of survival since she will not go to/return to the coop even following repeated efforts to force her (i.e. she doesn't seem to learn from long-term coop confinement).
Lost a hen to a hawk attack while she was free-ranging. The attack occurred on the ground. Me and family and 2 dogs were within 30 feet of her during the attack and never heard or saw anything.
IMHO a raised coop is one of the best defenses against casual predators. At least four feet off the ground is a good place to start.
you didn't post what your coop is like, perhaps you could let us know what you are dealing with.
The ones who roost in trees...what breed are they? I had some Americaunas who would always roost in a tree adjacent to the coop, even one Americauna hen who persisted in roosting on the top of the run and under the shelter of the coop roof overhang....my other hens never did that.....

Mine are cooped up at night and locked inside the coop. It's a nightly chore but it keeps em alive.....they free range from about 4 pm till dark, 7:30 or so when they coop up themselves.
the only times we have had problems with preds is when they were out free ranging....and/or got left outside somehow.
I had several chicks get killed while living in the floor of a 8x8 barn with very few holes for anything to get in. I'm pretty sure it was a rat that killed them, that's about the only thing small enough to get in there and most of the chick were just dead with small pucture wounds under their wings and some had there heads eaten off. Later I found a small hole in the ground in the middle of the barn. When I got the chicks out and put poison blocks in there, I started finding young dead rats and there was no more traffic through the hole.
Mine were in their house which I thought was secure. Now it's padlocked so I KNOW it's secure.

No casualties though thanks to a good roo and a bright flashlight. Lucky I was awake when the coon attacked (about 5:30am)
We've been fighting what we think is a weasel for quite a while. It can get into the coop through a really small hole and slashed my duck who was in a metal dog crate. I super glued the duck together and she's ok but every once in a while they get a small chicken. Our roost is about 5 1/2 feet off the ground but I think they get the chickens flustered until one falls off and they snatch it.
when i lose birds it almost always when the birds were not put away at night and early like 6 am the neighbors dogs get em

the owl was right at dusk that got my ducks right as i was closing them up for the night
i,ve lost 2, one small chick that was free ranging with mother and no trace of what happened, 2nd a 4mo, old in pen with 4 foot wire with head off and some other eaten areas, again, don't know what happened but read that possums will do this. my husband and i go out each evening and lock the hen house and count the chckens as we have ocassionally had one that was left out. i live in a small town in rural ga. and one block up the street there is a den of foxes that the city will not do anything about.
My losses were when a racoon pulled a pet hen's wing and head through a chain link fence (have added sheet metal and hot wire to the bottom of that)...and the others were when they were free ranging and used to roost in a big tree. Racoons would climb that tall tree and get them.

As almost all now go inside chicken houses at night, no losses on them. However there are still about 5 that still free range and roost in that same tree at night. If racoons come around again they will probably be "goners".

I also have about 15 that have always roosted in the horse barn, above the horses, and nary a one of those has ever been lost.

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