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Something got half my chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ericagrigsby, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. ericagrigsby

    ericagrigsby Out Of The Brooder

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    A little help here please. I just finished my coop yesterday. I have welded wire running around the entire run, poultry netting at the top. I flattened the welded wire 1 ft outside onto the ground & secured with stakes. I really thought this thing was secure. Put my girls in it last night & this am 4 out of 8 are gone. I'm seeing feathers laying on the ground but not finding an area where something got in. What can I do to add more security so I don't lose any more chickens. I really don't want to invest in an electric fence as I've put a whole lot of money into building already. Help please!!!
     
  2. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    Maybe the spacing in the wire is not sufficiently small?

    CT
     
  3. carlsaSC

    carlsaSC Out Of The Brooder

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    Is there a door that closes up the coop at night? My coop is inside a pen, and some will roost inside. Most prefer to roost outside on a roost about 5' off the ground. The coop door is closed at night for added security in addition to being inside the pen. I have 2" x 4" fence wire surrounding and over the pen. I have not had an intruder penetrate that wire.
     
  4. GAchickennewbie

    GAchickennewbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any chance you could take a pic of where the feathers were found? Were they all found in the same area?
     
  5. ericagrigsby

    ericagrigsby Out Of The Brooder

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    No door on the actual coop. That was my first thought, maybe a few of them ventured outside to roost & something got them
     
  6. ericagrigsby

    ericagrigsby Out Of The Brooder

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    Will take pics after I get home from work
     
  7. ericagrigsby

    ericagrigsby Out Of The Brooder

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    Here r the feather pics. Looking to me like they were pulled thru the fence
     
  8. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raccoon. You need either hardwire cloth or something solid like wood or metal about 2 feet high all the way around. Raccoon is reaching through and grabbing your girls. Probably working in tandem with another who spooks them getting too close to side of pen. Raccoons are able to pull fencing loose if nailed or stapled. I have seen them come back night after night and work on a spot until the get it loose. I find that having a coop house built like Ft Knox and securing birds in the coop at night to be only way. To beat a raccon. They are masters at getting doors and windows open, too, so pay especial attention to how you lock doors. Most predator attacks take place just after twilight and just before dawn. Check with your state about trapping. Here in Tennessee we are over run with racoons. You can kill or trap, but you cannot move them. So if I livetrap I have to kill them as there is a hefty fine if caught transporting. I use vanilla wafers or a napkin saturated with vanilla flavoring so as to not catch neighbors cats. Raccons are notorious for carrying rabies, so be very cautious of body fluids or getting bit. If it were not for having a stout coop and a LGD (he is half Pyr and half Anatolian) I would not be able to keep birds. So sorry for your losses. I been there in past and it hurts. The predators are just trying to make a living, too. Good luck. Donna in Dandridge, TN
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Sorry for your losses....must have been devastating to find those chicks gone.

    Agrees that it most likely was a raccoon(s) pulling them thru the fence.
    1/2" Hardware Cloth around the bottom would prevent that.
    The chicken wire at the top of run is susceptible to raccoons tearing thru it, I'd add some more 2x4 welded wire fencing up there.
    Definitely a tightly locked coop, with all openings(windows and ventilation) covered with well attached HC.

    Does the coop even have a roof?
    Maybe you weren't done with it yet....but needed to get those chicks out of the house.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  10. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have even fantasized about testing coop and run by actually one at a time penning different predators inside coop and run before I put in birds. If you could keep the predators in? Maybe coop and run good enough to keep them out! Everybody loves to eat chickens. That is a fact.
    If you are newbie loosing birds know that we all went through it as we learned. The poultry netting that is electrified sold by Premier really works and if you take care of it lasts 10years plus. I worked on a farm that used it for grazing meatbirds and egg layers.

    A couple things to know about electric fencing. You want the absolute hottest fencer you can find. Mistake many make is to have a 'pet type charger that won't turn even a dog. Also your ground rod being deep enough makes all the difference as to how much puncheven a good fence charger will have. I have used electric for 50 years to keep horses,cows,sheep,goat,dogs,poultry where they belonged.
    Only time I have had trouble is if I let fence get overgrown with weeds, lightening blowing a fuse or during extreme drought when ground gets too dry to ground animal.
    Donna in Dandridge, Tennessee
     

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