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Something killing chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by kittycat1356, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. kittycat1356

    kittycat1356 Out Of The Brooder

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    So, last night I locked my chickens up.

    This morning they were all over my yard, most under bushes, dead, nothing eaten from them, it appears to be head and face wounds only, no other wounds were found. 4 out of the 8 were killed, the others flew out of the yard or were sitting high up on a table.

    One was attacked that's still alive, I assume she's dying, since she's really lethargic and not walking around like normal. I don't see any blood on her either.

    I live in east NC, and have a 7 ft. Wooden fence around the property. With one entrance, under the door about 4-5inches tall.

    I also live in the middle of a town. There's lots of cats, but they usually eat them I thought.

    I'm leaning toward weasel, any help is appreciated!!!
     
  2. peeptherooster

    peeptherooster New Egg

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    it might be a raccoon because they dont eat that much of the chicken just the crop and sometimes the chest
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    Raccoons, weasels, mink, oppossum... the possibilities are many. The most important thing now is to look for and repair any weak spots in your setup that will allow it back in when it returns.
     
  4. kittycat1356

    kittycat1356 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, none of the birds were eaten at all. Just killed and left. Whatever killed them didnt seem too hungry.

    The only way i can fix my current set up is by getting a dog. Its fairly secure, except the one gap i mentioned,( that i will cover too)

    But what predators dont eat what they kill, like at all. My quail in the cage next to them were fine, and the ones that flew out of the yard and up onto a table were okay.

    Also, a few had bloody faces, if that helps at all. >^< i got a havahart trap and set it right next to the coop area. If i catch him hes Boa food.
     
  5. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want, you could leave one dead chicken out in the open (at night), and set up a trail cam. When and if whatever comes back to the chicken, you can get a picture of it. Then you will know what you are dealing with.
     
  6. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dead chickens not eaten, I would think a dog. They enjoy the "sport" of the kill. A 6' fence will keep most but not all dogs out. But, being as the dead chickens were dragged beneath bushes makes me think a smaller predator killed them. I don't think a dog would go to the trouble of dragging them beneath bushes...they would just leave them where they were when they tired of playing with them. A smaller predator that is killing for food seems more probable. I would almost think it was a raccoon from the head and neck injuries, but nothing being eaten (crop, head, etc) doesn't seem to follow their MO. Have you seen any foxes in your neighborhood. They will kill and hide prey with the intention of coming back and getting it.

    Just some novice thoughts...

    Whatever it was....it will (try to) return.

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. kittycat1356

    kittycat1356 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well i havent had any more losses so far. We do have possums, possibly racoons or foxes too. But ive never seen any around. If it was a dog, it magically got in and out of our fence. Thats why i kind of marked if off my list of predators. Ive decided to get a pup of my own for chicken guardian reasons as well. I cant put barbed wire up and all that lol.
    If it comes back for more, maybe ill catch it this time. :/
     
  8. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm glad the predator hasn't revisited...please don't get complacent already, though. Most predators *will* return...since this one apparently did not eat anything it may have been some type of thrill-kill and it moved on. Being as the dead chickens were found under bushes, though, it makes me think the predator intended to come back and get it's "hidden" caches.

    The one chicken that you said was lethargic and not walking around normally, did you ever spot any blood on her? Is she still alive? Without the presence of blood it makes me think of blunt force or a crushing-type of injury.

    I'm curious about something, though. In your original post you mentioned that you "locked" your chickens up. Then down below that you mention that there's a gap 4-5 inches tall under the door at one of the entrances. Is this entrance going into the actual coop, into a run, or simply into your yard? A gap of 4-5 inches makes me think of a regular garden gate. Is the coop open to the yard whereas it can't be locked down itself? Just trying to figure out your setup.

    One thing you might do is to level out the sand on the outside of the entrance where the gap was and monitor it for animal tracks...even some flour sprinkled lightly in front of the gap would work if it's concrete or tile there. This is figuring that the gap has been sealed adequately.

    Best wishes, hang in there!!!
    Ed
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Bloody faces, many attacked. Look for weasel or mink as well.
     
  10. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Am I correct in thinking that weasels go into killing frenzies?
     

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