We can't figure it out

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by his_gal, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. his_gal

    his_gal New Egg

    Aug 28, 2010
    We've had our chickens a few months, and lost the first ones sometime Friday night or Saturday morning. My husband and young son went to the coop and found 2 hens dead (one of them was my son's favorite) and one stumbling around in a daze. One of the two dead ones had all the feathers missing from under the wings to the tail. Both thighs and legs were bare as well. The other had the feathers missing from one thigh. Neither had any other apparent injuries, and there was no blood. They were laying on the ground at the bottom of the roost. The one still alive did have a bloody spot where her tail joins her back and had a few feathers missing just above her tail, along her spine. She also had one swollen eye. We separated her from the others (they were pecking her, which could very well account for the bloody place on her tail) and poured on peroxide and piled on antibiotic ointment. I pulled the remaining feathers together and "stuck" them into the ointment to cover her wound. Her eye is fine today, and she seems to be doing ok. She seems to be very sore and squawks loudly when picked up.

    I checked the perimeter of their fence, and found a spot where something very small could have gotten in, so that pretty much rules out a dog; all the dogs around here are too big. I read through the sticky that tells about different kind of predators and what to look for, and the only thing that sounded close was a weasel. But, I've lived on this hill for 41 years and have never seen a weasel. That probably doesn't mean anything, though. Does anybody have any ideas what this predator could have been? We live in north Louisiana, if that helps. Thank you!
  2. Debbi

    Debbi Overrun With Chickens

    May 2, 2010
  3. Tiss

    Tiss Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    A small raccoon?
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Electric fence.
  5. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    Small dog?? dogs will hold a chicken down and pull feathers out or shake them until they stop moving.

    Since they weren't eaten at all I would keep a watch to see what comes back. A hot wire 6" high around your run/coop will keep small predators away...if there are no tree limbs overhanging.
  6. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Were your chickens outside of the coop or inside, if inside what size is their door?

    Is your run or pen sealed from above?

    Your description of the injuries is pointing towards a dog.
  7. pride&joy

    pride&joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That's my bet
  8. his_gal

    his_gal New Egg

    Aug 28, 2010
    I never thought about rats.

    I guess I thought rats would chew or bite them. We certainly have lots of coons around here, but don't they typically bite off the heads? Will they tear out the feathers and leave the chicken intact, with no external injuries? My husband seems to think that's what it was. The chickens were inside, but we forgot to shut the door. There are trees limbs overhanging, so that makes a coon seem the most likely suspect. I guess when I saw them with their heads not gone, I automatically thought "not a coon". Their pen is open on top, but the fence is about 5 or 6 feet tall. But, that doesn't matter if whatever it was came from a tree.

    The dogs around here are all too big; there was nowhere they could have gotten in. Besides, we realized our dog had been barking some the night before (she's on a cable near the pen) and she normally doesn't bark at much, especially other dogs.

    I guess we'll keep a closer watch and next time we hear our dog bark at night, we'll get up to check to see what' out there. Thanks for you opinions.
  9. TomG

    TomG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    Lake Oswego
  10. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    Quote:No they like goats.

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