1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Something got my chicks last night...every single one of them....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lori9878, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. lori9878

    lori9878 Hatching

    Feb 19, 2010
    McDonald County, Missouri
    This is (was) the first time I've tried raising chickens. I had 17 babies, about a month old, EEs and Dominiques. Because of the intense heat, I had moved them to our coop (it came with the house we moved into last winter) a week or two ago. I ran the brooder light at night to make sure they were warm overnight, and checked them two or three times a day to make sure they had everything they needed--especially water in this heat. Anyway, this morning, my husband was the one to go check on them. He came back and told me they were all gone. The fence around the coop, and the coop door were both latched and everything was secure. However, there was a hole in the chicken-wire of the coop door (the door is covered with sheet metal about 2 1/2 feet up, then chicken wire to the top). The hole was about 6-8 inches across. I couldn't find any hair or tracks to help identify the culprit. A few feathers here and there, but no bones or any other parts. Two noticible piles of feathers were from two particular birds, but the others seemed to be either eaten whole or taken away. I am so angry with myself--last night was the first night I didn't turn on the light for them...I thought it was warm enough to not need it. Apparenly, the darkness invited a predator to take my babies. I weep to think what they must have gone through before they died.

    My mother suggested that I should get more chicks and try again, but I just don't know if I can put my heart into raising babies from day-olds--naming them, learning their little personalities, and loving them like pets--only to have something horrible like this happen to them. I just don't know if I'll ever get over this. It's too early to even think about replacing them and starting all over now.

    My husband is out cleaning up the coop and replacing the wire on the door. I would really like to know what might have did this. I've read some articles but the information didn't seem to be consistent. I'd love to have advice from people more experienced than me.
  2. pattypenny

    pattypenny Songster

    Sep 27, 2007
    I had 22 birds one month old 8 wellsummers, 5 partiage rocks, 4 buff orpingtons and 5 easter egger chicks and my neighbor's dogs broke into my brooder one night and killed everyone of the pullets so I know how you feel. the brooder was dog proof I thought incased in wire and tin over that but they broke in the wire door. My son saw them jump out and they had killed every chick i had.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    [​IMG] I'm so sorry you lost those babies! Could be anything from a raccoon to a small fox at that height and w/the size of the rip/hole. My guess would be raccoon.
    If you decide to get more chicks now or in the future, definitely go with wire heavier than chicken wire. Chicken wire is fine for keeping chickens contained, but useless against most predators, as you've had to learn the hard way. It's simply too flimsy to keep predators out.
  4. 3chimama

    3chimama Songster 8 Years

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    First of all, I am so very sorry for your loss. How sad you must be. I hope that with time your heart will be healed and you will try to raise more chicks. Raccoons are strong enough to rip through chicken wire...not sure what you had exactly but they are strong, especially when they want something...
  5. Sissy

    Sissy Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    Lori, Its sad. to lose you feathered family.
    I had 4 hugh roos and I forgot to lock
    the coop one night what ever it was
    they were gone and not a trace.
    blood spots here and there. and these were over yr. old
    maybe a raccoon, or dog. got to yours,
    But try again.

    I put hardware cloth over the chicken wire.with a staple gun.
    I usually put a golfball or 2 in the coop. with little ones
    also with my hens if its a snake it will gulp done the golfball
    and choke.
  6. Sorry for your loss I can emphasize as the hawks have been hitting my young hard. They do not bother my older ones but the little ones are not safe no matter what I do. I am not from your area so I don't know what predators you have. Again so sorry for your loss
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Don't give up, set some traps and get rid of those coons.. and start over.
  8. hipeatall

    hipeatall Songster

    Mar 2, 2009
    So sorry to hear you lost all your chicks.
    If you are up for it, getting more chicks and starting over might help.
    I just lost a 10 week old chick to a snake just last week... I was really sad to lose her, but I learned from her death and reinforced that entire coop.
  9. NarutoTn

    NarutoTn Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    i have the same problem but i lost 25 2 week olds.and it is attacking my other adults tho.
  10. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Songster

    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    I'm so sorry for your loss, but don't give up. take time to heal and try again. chickens of the world need good owners.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: