Sigh, my whole flock is dissapearing!

buck431397

Songster
10 Years
Aug 29, 2009
144
0
142
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
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Some of my favorites are gone, and im worried about my super awesome rooster.....
 

LivinNewDreamInND

Songster
10 Years
Mar 22, 2010
292
0
144
hugs.gif
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!
 

jjthink

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 17, 2007
4,623
46
274
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
 

Enchanted Sunrise Farms

Crowing
12 Years
Apr 26, 2007
4,255
59
274
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.
 

5pinkarrows

Chirping
9 Years
Oct 22, 2010
439
0
98
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.
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harris farm

Chirping
9 Years
Aug 8, 2010
176
0
99
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.
 

Terri O

Crowing
10 Years
Jan 2, 2010
4,671
45
296
WI~chickening for 30 years!
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
 

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