Unknown Killer!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by HunterUSArmy, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. HunterUSArmy

    HunterUSArmy Out Of The Brooder

    73
    1
    43
    Jul 2, 2014
    South West Georgia
    One of my chickens was killed...no torn fence no digging to get in... only thing I can think of was hawk the breast was eaten that was all any other ideas of what could have got my chicken
     
  2. Rocky Rhodes

    Rocky Rhodes Chillin' With My Peeps

    730
    134
    128
    Oct 5, 2013
    North Georgia Mountains
    Possibly a raccoon or possum. Both raccoons and possums can climb into a coop without a top, no problem. I would think that a hawk would take it away to eat it and they usually only leave bones and feathers and not many bones. I had a hawk taking my free range birds and I only found piles of feathers and an occasional skull in the woods. The hawk would take them from the yard and eat them in the woods. You could set some live catch traps around your coop baited with sardines or cat food and find out pretty quick, also covering the top of your coop with chicken wire might prevent future attacks.
     
  3. HunterUSArmy

    HunterUSArmy Out Of The Brooder

    73
    1
    43
    Jul 2, 2014
    South West Georgia
    I just covered the top with chicken wire! I feel little better now but still sick that it happened ! I'm about to go set the trap right now
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    16,994
    5,275
    501
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Poultry netting will do nothing in regards to stopping a raccoon or other common predator - it is quite effective at keeping chickens in, but does nothing to keep predatory animals out.
    Was this a daytime attack or did it happen overnight? If it was a night attack, you might want to consider adding an extra layer of protection to your birds by confining them in the coop and making that secure against any predator that makes it through into the run. Keep in mind that if this is a raccoon, securing the coop is going to require thinking of the raccoon as a strong, determined human with regards to their ability to problem solve and manipulate things such as latches, etc.
    I am not anti-poultry netting, I am just pro-realistic assessment of it's effectiveness in comparison with the situation it's being used in. In fact, I have used it in our own set up, but because our run is poultry netting over a cattle-panel hoop coop structure I know it is vulnerable to predators. My biggest concern (based on my assessment of the predatory threats in our locale) is attacks at night, so I have gone the route described above and confine our flock at night.
    While trapping this predator will solve one immediate threat, remember that for any predator you see, there are likely ten more that you do not. Securing your birds against all predators is a much more effective approach than trying to eliminate them as they come.
     
  5. HunterUSArmy

    HunterUSArmy Out Of The Brooder

    73
    1
    43
    Jul 2, 2014
    South West Georgia
    I understand completely. I'm unaware I was gone for two days on vacation come back and one of my girls was killed in the coop I covered the top with chicken wire Iagree it's not strong enough I'm going to upgrade it soon and I'm also going to make a door for the coop at night! T thanks for the advise!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by