Small animal. No bodies.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by snywalker, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. snywalker

    snywalker Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    21
    71
    Feb 24, 2014
    Last night, we had 12- 6 week old chicks taken. They were in a brooder in a shed. Something chewed through the plywood and took them all. There were some feathers and a little skin, but no bodies.

    The whole chewed in the plywood is not very big, barely big enough for the chicks. So my first thought was rats, but I thought people have said that they would eat the heads.

    We live in Michigan and until this time, our main predators were raccoons. But I don't think it was them this time.

    We haven't had a bird taken in 3 years. And we have never had anything like this. With this many birds.
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    7,727
    2,240
    416
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    So sorry! Mary
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,470
    7,682
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That stinks, so sorry.

    Rats would take whole carcasses...start looking for tunnels.
    Could be something in the weasel family, not sure they would chew thru wood tho they might.
    The smallest weasel will fit thru a 1" opening.
    How thick was the plywood?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  4. snywalker

    snywalker Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    21
    71
    Feb 24, 2014
    It was 1/2" on the brooder, I don't know what size was on the outside of the shed. There's no tunnels because the shed had a floor, they chewed a small hole on the bottom of the shed.

    If rats will take it all, it must be them. They are small enough and will chew through things. But 12 in 1 night! How many rats do you think that is? I bought traps.

    We never saw any evidence of rats until last winter when they would get into our food containers and chewed up all our lifejackets. Why would they suddenly become a big problem? And how do I stop it?

    And if they can get through all that, how do I stop them from getting into our house!?!
     
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,276
    499
    151
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    There are a predators that will take birds leaving no trace or at least not much behind. There are predators that will kill whole flocks of birds at one time. There are not many I can think of that will kill a whole bunch of birds like that and remove them ALL with almost nothing left behind. To do that would imply a whole bunch of animals or some animal is going to have to make a lot of trips back and forth, so they would not have time to take them far.

    But a hole in plywood large enough for a 6 week old bird is large enough for a lot of things.

    If not for the hole showing up at the same time, humans are about the only thing I can think of who could accomplish removing that many birds in a short period of time, leaving almost no trace behind.
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,276
    499
    151
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    Another idea......is it possible some varmint opened the hole and took a bird or two and the rest escaped through the same hole and are wandering around somewhere? Or were then snatched while out in the open?
     
  7. snywalker

    snywalker Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    21
    71
    Feb 24, 2014
    That was my first idea, because i have never had anything take more than 1. I looked all through the shed. (it's only 8x10) and part of the yard. The only thing I found was some feathers in the shed. The shed is only about 5 feet from my house. I thought they would be safer there than out back by the chickens. Now I am scared about something coming in the house.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,879
    2,531
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Show a picture of your brooder. I would like to see how the lid operates. Your predator may get into brooder much the same way you do or pry its way in.
     
  9. snywalker

    snywalker Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    21
    71
    Feb 24, 2014
    Sorry, I can't show pictures of my brooder because I already took it back apart.

    It just has a hinged top. That is a wood frame covered in hardwire. The floor was plywood on a frame. The shed was a small wooden shed.

    That morning, there was a hole chewed in the floor. (it's up about 1-1/2" above the shed floor) it was just odd to me that so many were gone in one night. No holes looked big enough for the chicks (shed or brooder)

    My son is planning on using hardwire below the plywood to prevent chewing. We put out traps, but nothing yet.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,879
    2,531
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Raccoons I used to keep as pets could pry corners and get in and out without damaging frame.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by