Unknown Predator Getting Chickens in the Daytime

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jadekaelyne, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. jadekaelyne

    jadekaelyne Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2012
    Hi! So I have just had some of my chickens, one a Polish, two bantams. They were in a cage that was supposed to be proofed for things getting in. Something got them in the daytime, because at night they are completely sealed up. During the day we let them out and they are still inside the cage, it is a metal cage and originally had no roof, but we put chicken wire and some metal roofing over it to cover them. The cage metal is not entirely small holes, but holes small enough that animals cannot fit through them, but somehow, something got my two bantam hens, and my polish. Could anyone please help me to figure out what could have gotten in, what type of predator, and maybe how it got in? I'm devastated, they were my babies and I want to be able to catch whatever got them. Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. SuburbSpurs

    SuburbSpurs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is the top sealed off? A bird of prey may have taken them and returned.
     
  3. jadekaelyne

    jadekaelyne Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2012
    the top is completely sealed off. no way t move it, we cant even lift it.
     
  4. SuburbSpurs

    SuburbSpurs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maybe rats or oppossums? Raccoons can open some kinds of doors? But They usually make a mess.
     
  5. jadekaelyne

    jadekaelyne Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2012
    There was no mess. Not even a feather. They were just gone.
     
  6. jadekaelyne

    jadekaelyne Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2012
    Here is a picture of pretty much what the coop looks like, this isn't the exact coop, but the metal cage is the same, like the size of the wire. In this picture you can see boards and roofing against the sides, that is because this one had holes, the one they were in did not have holes.[​IMG]
     
  7. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

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    North Eastern Md.
    Sounds like a 2-legged predator to me. If a coon, or a fox took them, there would be a mess of feathers at least. Sounds like they were stolen.
     
  8. jadekaelyne

    jadekaelyne Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't feel like it would be someone stealing them, but I won't rule it out. I live way out in the country, so they couldn't just drive up without someone knowing. Very few people live out there, and we have no direct neighbors, but the people down the road know us and our cars, and would know if someone wasn't supposed to be there. However, a couple years back, our four wheeler was almost stolen. We found it behind our grapevine with the ignition torn out and someone tried to hot wire it. So it is possible that if someone has been creeping around when we aren't home or when we're asleep that they could have waited for the right chance to take them. We had another polish before this one who went missing with no feathers or anything. At that point they were free range, but there were no birds of prey during the time. It wasn't like him to wander off. We never found a single trace of what could have happened to him. That is something I hadn't really thought about though. Thank you!
     
  9. ArkieGirl72638

    ArkieGirl72638 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2013
    Do a double check around the whole perimeter of the fence. If it has a solid rail at the bottom, like dog kennel panels, there may be a low spot where the chickens got out or a predator got in. Those banties can get out some really small holes. I would run a course of chicken wire bent in an L shape along the bottom of the fence. Use landscaping staples to push the edges along the bottom of the fence and the far edges down. Most predators will go all the way to the fence to begin digging. By having a 12 / 14 border away from where the fencing begins, it will keep even determined diggers out.

    Double check to make sure there are no bent wires along the bottom, making a hole big enough for a chicken to slip through.

    I had predator problems myself. Caught my neighbor's dog helping himself to a chicken dinner daily. Got a picture of it on a game camera I set up. Owner had to promise to chain up or fence in the dog and pay me for my losses. Bugger ate a grand total of 18 chickens before I got the game camera set up. If you can figure it out, get a game camera and focus it on the pen. If it is a 2 legged intruder, you will have proof to file charges if they do not want to make good on their theft.

    Good luck.
     
  10. jadekaelyne

    jadekaelyne Out Of The Brooder

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    I'll check that out, thank you!
     

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