Predetor or stolen chicks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by angussss10, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. angussss10

    angussss10 Hatching

    Dec 2, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi There,
    I came to this forum because I am really struggling to figure out what happened to my 40 white rock 6 day old chicks. I have a coop in the upstairs of my barn, well secured (just raised / finished 40 without any losses to predators) Saturday at 6:30pm I went out to top up water / feed and check on the gang, all was good. Went back Sunday before noon and my entire flock of 40 birds are gone. Naturally my 1st thought was something (predator) got in, however there is absolutely NO sign of struggle, scattering, or anything. I assume if something got in there, I would find some form or evidence? I've done some reading before I posted and see that Rats will take the chicks vs other predators would eat there and leave evidence possibly. Again, the shavings aren't scattered, there isn't any fluff or any left overs. Would a rat / squirrel / weasel take all 40 chicks?
    People know we have the chicks because as mentioned I just did a round of 40, and you can see the glow of the heat lamps in the barn windows so I am not ruling out that someone may have helped themselves to my birds as well. Yes stranger things have happened and there are still chicken thieves out there. I did notice a couple of red squirrels outside the barn this morning so is this my answer? I didn't know until researching this morning that they would eat baby chicks, but again, would they really take all 40 without a sign of evidence?

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    There are a few predators that will take chicks without leaving any evidence. Snakes for one but a snake is not going to eat 40 chicks at a time. That’s just too many. A canine like fox or coyote will often take them without a lot of evidence but they’d have to break in and would likely leave some evidence.

    From what you said, it is almost certainly human.
  3. angussss10

    angussss10 Hatching

    Dec 2, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    That is my gut feeling. I have gone through the coop 3 times now for any kind of sign of a kill but there is nothing. There are many squirrels around because our farm has lots of bush around but I just cannot see all 40 going in one night.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    It seems that a predator of any sort would have left some evidence - some blood, damaged enclosure, scattered shavings ---------- Sadly, I also conclude a high probability of theft,
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Sounds like a 2 legged predator.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That just really stinks!!!

    Time for a padlock and stealth cam.

    Look on craigslist, or other local advertsing, see if anyone is selling chicks.

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