1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Post Raccoon Massacre...Hens won't lay in the hen box anymore

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tcap, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. tcap

    tcap Hatching

    Mar 8, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    A few weeks back a raccoon got into our coop and sadly got one of our girls. I have a few questions to you all regarding predator ID and lasting effects of the attack.

    1. Based on some predator id "calling cards" I have read, I have determined that a raccoon got into the coop and killed my lady because the throat was slit and most of the innards were removed. The body of the hen was rather unscathed - but the neck was really long and stringy - nearly 20" long. Sorry for the gruesome detail - but these are just the facts. Based on these facts, does this seem congruent with a coon kill?

    2. I have a trap set next to the coop in hopes of trapping whatever it was - nothing has seemed to come back so far - i am using a dog food that has a base of salmon and some canned tuna fish. Know of any other baits to trap such a coon that works well?

    3. MOST IMPORTANTLY - prior to the kill, the girls ALWAYS laid eggs in their nesting box. Since then, I can't get them to lay eggs in there and it is an easter-egg hunt every day if we let them free roam. Any tricks to get them more comfy laying in their nesting boxes? Is it a function of time?

    I have read about hens killing other hens - but I really don't think that was the case as the two surviving girls were very freaked out the next day and we had to corall them into their coop for the night. I value your opinions/thoughts and look forward to getting perspective on the questions raised.


  2. oliviad51

    oliviad51 Songster

    Jul 23, 2009
    North Carolina
    #1- not sure..Usually when I get raccoon visitors, they take the whole body. It could be a opossum, but im no expert.

    #2- I use a piece of bread covered in peanut butter, and mini marshmallows...Ive never had any better bait. I've caught 4 opossums and 4 raccoons since last monday using just that bait.

    #3 try putting golfballs or wooden eggs in the nesting box..make sure the bedding is clean & cozy

    Good Luck, and I hope you catch whatever got your hen! I hope this helps, and keep us updated!
  3. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    All innards removed and body not really eaten says weasel to me. Raccoons will bite the throat but they generally eat at least one of what they kill. And they eat most if not all of the carcass.

    Can you move the nest box. Maybe a change of location will help.

    I did have a raccoon get in and kill one of my hens and try to drag her out of the coop but the hole was too small. The other girls were traumatized and it threw off laying for several days.

    They have begun laying again though.
  4. slackwater

    slackwater Songster

    Feb 1, 2010
    Have you penned them in the coop since the attack? Maybe penning them in there for a few days to re-establish laying in the nesting boxes will remind them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: