Sigh, my whole flock is dissapearing!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by buck431397, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. buck431397

    buck431397 Chillin' With My Peeps

    140
    0
    109
    Aug 29, 2009
    Pilesgrove, NJ
    Well a few weeks ago i think i had 8 hens, a pullet, and two roosters. Right now, ive got one roo and three hens, and who knows what the count will be tomorrow. They seem to be dissapearing one at a time, but today am missing two.

    They free range, and have to say the pen is a bit unprotected at night, but believe me when i say, I have NEVER had this problem! my only problem has been hawks and only for the small ones. The flock is sooooooo good about protecting themselves, i just dont understand! Im guessing its happening at night, and there is a new predator around, but heres the problem, there are no feather piles, no blood, no remains. What could be doing this? I live in south jersey, and i know we have foxes, bobcats. What would take them and leave no trace, and come back every other night?

    AACK! Anyone want to come help me fix my pen???

    I am very sad, by the way [​IMG] Some of my favorites are gone, and im worried about my super awesome rooster.....
     
  2. LivinNewDreamInND

    LivinNewDreamInND Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    0
    111
    Mar 22, 2010
    [​IMG] I am sorry about your flock. I hope you find the culprit soon. I wish I was closer to bring you some hardware cloth to protect your pen!
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Do you have a dog crate you could put them in, maybe inside your garage at night, for the time being?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    4,617
    20
    264
    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Arghhhh. They needed to be in lockdown long before now! Please please protect the remaining survivors or they will be picked off one by one or faster until none are left. They are sitting ducks.

    JJ
     
  5. Rebel Rooster

    Rebel Rooster I Will Love! :)

    Jun 29, 2009
    Central SC
    My Coop
    Could be coyote, fox, or a cat of some kind... they all will grab and run... Hope u catch the critter!
     
  6. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,047
    10
    153
    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    When so say unprotected, do you mean to say that you haven't a coop for them?
     
  7. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    4,256
    36
    274
    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    It doesn't matter if you haven't had this problem before - you have it now. Something has found your flock and won't stop until they are all gone. Chickens can't protect themselves from a coyote, fox, raccoon, or other large predator during the day or night.

    i concur with the others. Get then into a safe place pronto, such as in a crate in your garage, anything to keep them from being carted away. i personally wouldn't even let them free-range at this point. Then start working on getting your coop and pen predator proof. Lots of good information in the Coops and Run section.

    The people who lived in our house before us said they had ducks for years with no problem. Then came out one morning to find them all dead with their heads bitten off. i am assuming they just let the ducks free-range and live in the yard with no protection. That only works for so long, because eventually something will find the easy meal and take advantage.

    i hope you find the culprit and keep the rest of your flock safe. If you want to post a picture of your coop, there are lots of folks on this board who would be happy to give you suggestions on making it more predator proof.
     
  8. 5pinkarrows

    5pinkarrows Chillin' With My Peeps

    439
    0
    98
    Oct 22, 2010
    Rio Rico, AZ
    It sounds like the problem we had with a coyote. I put mine up in a secure coop at night, but let them free range around the house during the day for over a year. All of a sudden, we lost 2. The next week, they were only out 20 minutes and we lost another. Just this morning I chased the coyote away from the coop. He was trying to figure out a way in. Unfortunately, chickens are a whole lot dumber than their predators. I loved letting them wander around the house, but just can't do it anymore. They were being picked off within feet of my house in the middle of the day! Once a coyote or other predator finds an easy food source, they just keep coming back. A local farm here had a mountain lion picking off their critters. Eventually, he wasn't even eating them, but would come and slaughter a bunch every night. It's frustrating, but fighting predators is part of having chickens. A large dog crate is a good idea for the time being, but whatever is getting them may start coming in the day, too. Sounds like it's time to build a secure coop. You can do it fairly inexpensively. Ours is not at all fancy. We basically built a frame with a door and wrapped chicken wire all around it, double layering or adding rabbit wire to the bottom few feet. Then we just have a couple of lean to shelters inside. I hope this helps! Sorry for you loss. I know it is a sickening feeling.[​IMG]
     
  9. harris farm

    harris farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    176
    0
    99
    Aug 8, 2010
    Louisiana
    You can try this. Get some wooden pallets and stand them up on end. Then put some T post in the ground, for a fence, in the pallets to stand them up. Use bailing wire to keep pallets together. Add a gate of some kind, u can use a pallet with hinges, and add some tin on top. Some pallets have big gaps in wood so u might have to add wood to the gaps. Very inexpensive. U can even use chicken wire on top its cheaper then tin. It is better then nothing.
     
  10. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had this problem too a few falls ago. My entire flock was taken over a week. I had a secure coop I thought...the problem is that we become complacent with the care of our birds; but predators never do! They are always checking for an easier way to eat. In my case I figured out that the dog I had in a kennel nearby was keeping them at bay. When I found a home for the dog the predators moved in to steal my birds.
    I bought a new flock and changed the way I do things--all is good and no one is disappearing. Now all I have to do is to get my new turkeys and guineas that are sleeping in the trees to come to roost at night! This might be a difficult thing to do...wish me luck! Terri O
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by