Something Got Polly!


11 Years
Aug 23, 2010
New Britain, CT
My boyfriend told me this morning, as we were leaving for the laundromat: "I have some bad news. Do I tell you now, or when we get back?" Somehow, I knew what was coming. "Now. Who's gone?" "Polly." Our Barred Rock, who was the one who kept coming over to me yesterday, seeking me out in the (people)yard. Still shy since we got her, she seemed to be getting more used to me. (I don't think the guy we got her from gave them the kind of human contact that pet chickens need.) He went out to see The Girls, while I was inside sorting clothes, and one of the 7 was missing. He said he thought he'd seen some intestines, and an eggshell, and some feathers.

Later (after laundry) I looked around the run. I saw the chunk of feathers & skin he pointed to, and another, like maybe she was "scalped". That's all that's left of my sweet girl.
After the Husky incident four months ago, we reinforced the chicken yard, making it smaller but higher, and put some netting over much of it as a ceiling of sorts. But apparently, there's a weak spot somewhere. He remembers checking on them last night, and both Polly and Brahma came out to see why one of their humans was out there. Maybe only Brahma went all the way back into the coop?
Any ideas what might've gotten to her? As it is now, I'm scared for the others, not knowing. I guess I'll be closing the door to the small run, so they are confined to that and the coop itself 'til I get outside in the morning--and pray that whatever cannot get in under the wood frame of the run. Starting to think concrete may well be a good idea [OMG, my six-year-old niece is reading over my shoulder--she reads VERY well for a 1st grader!] Just, any help will be appreciated
I'm sorry for your loss.
I do keep mine locked up at night in the small secure run and coop. If you put an apron of hardware cloth about 18 inches to 2 ft wide around the small run and stake it down it should keep a predator from digging under.
Sorry about your loss, a good bird lost does leave a hole in the heart

Now it's time to find out what happened and get even! You have other birds to protect!

Crawl all around the coop and check for gaps & tracks, look for signs of digging
Dig up the dirt around the coop and smooth it so your visitor will leave tracks when it returns, not if (it will be back)
Re-examine remains and if need be post a few photos so we can maybe help
Recheck your fence (did a coon reach thru and pull it off a perch then and get it piece by piece thru the holes in the wire?)
True Grit's comment about a wire skirt does as well as cement floor if you have a "digger" and is a lot cheaper
If it's a "climber" is the netting loose and did it just go under it?
Unlikely it's a "flyer" as the net should stop them for fear of tangling.
See if local animal control has "loaner" live traps and bait it with the remains.

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