Predator Puzzle, Dead and Missing chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 2dream, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. 2dream

    2dream Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Jackson MS
    I am quite puzzled and need input. Night before last something killed a cornish bantum hen. Ate everything but 1 foot, the head and the feathers. Last night I closed the pop door but there was a crack about an inch that was left open at the bottom. Today I found a half grown chick dead, head, back, gizzard and both feet were all that remained and I have one whole half grown chick missing completely. This house is a tin A-frame. The floor is wood with 1/4 inch wire at the walls for ventilation. The run is 1" chicken wire doubled from bottom to half way up the 5' wire height, with 4x4's all the way around the outside staked to the ground. There is netting completely covering the run and half the house. All zip tied to the chicken wire. There are a few holes in the top of this netting from age but nothing major. The vulnerable point is the netting at the door to the run. No signs of anything digging in or around the run. The entire house has been checked for holes large enough for anything to get in. NOTHING
    First dead chicken we thought, owl, possum or the black domestic cat that roams our neighborhood. Last night there was no way it was any of those things. A rat is the only thing that could have fit through that crack under the pop door. Would a rat do this? Any ideas out there. Remember, this is the equivlant of Chicken Alcatraz. I guess there is the slight possibility that a very small young possum could have but I just don't really think so.
    Dazed and confused.
     
  2. baldie

    baldie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2008
    Douglas, MA
    Weasel?? I think they can fit through a 1 inch hole [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  3. HLAC

    HLAC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2009
    Central Utah
    Can an animal lift the door? A raccoon is pretty handy and will lift/pull to get into spots, 'specially if there's a chicken dinner on the other side.
     
  4. 2dream

    2dream Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Jackson MS
    Quote:Ummm possible I guess. Never saw one in this area - but....
    Do weasels climb? There were no signs of entry into the run to get to the house, so only entry point was one of the small hole in the net or over the door to the run between the door and the netting where I can't zip tie it down and still open the door.
     
  5. 2dream

    2dream Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Jackson MS
    Quote:Probably could but the door hangs up when open so it would not just fall shut and the door was still closed with only the 1" crack.

    Now you know why I am scratching my head and going what the heck is going on?
     
  6. 2dream

    2dream Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Jackson MS
    Quick research says yes, weasels live in my area. My poor chickens won't even go inside their house tonight. I have laid large sticks and twigs over the door and netting for the night. If somthing goes over I will know. If not and I have more chickens dead or missing in the morning - I don't know, I guess I will try something else.
    If I lose another chicken I will buy a baby monitor tomorrow.
     

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