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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by johnsonfarm, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. johnsonfarm

    johnsonfarm Chirping

    Oct 17, 2012
    I'm sure there's a post on this somewhere...

    About a week ago I lost one of my hens, whatever it was tried to dig a hole under the pen and drag her out but there was 3"x5" wire on the ground. So we layed chicken wire on the ground instead. This morning another hen was dead and her head and neck were all chewed up, lots of little prints in the snow so I'm thinking a weasel squeezed thru the chicken wire.

    All that's left is my favorite pet cochin bantam and his hen, and my pair of BB Reds. I do not want to lose them! They live in an a-frame chicken tractor so we're considering moving the whole works inside the garage or else getting 1x1/2" wire and doing the same for our two rabbits who I'm afraid would be next.

    Any other suggestions?

  2. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Crowing

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    I don't have any experience with weasels but a racoon will reach through wire and grab a chicken and eat whatever it can pull through and leave the rest. I would do a search on predator proofing & you might find some good ideas to fit your situation.
    1 person likes this.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Sorry to hear about your losses. Sounds just like something a raccoon would do. Do a search for 'hardware cloth." And be sure to bury it around the edge of your coop. Good luck to you!
  4. Sweetly Silkies

    Sweetly Silkies Chirping

    Dec 10, 2012
    My Coop
    I dont think a weasel can drag one out, but I do know that they rip their heads off.
  5. johnsonfarm

    johnsonfarm Chirping

    Oct 17, 2012
    Definitely a weasel, as there were tracks all over this morning. And we just saw a fox in our yard as well, so maybe with our first loss the weasel got there first and the fox tried to finish it?

    Anyway, part of our problem was not having a secure roosting spot for the birds (covered and only partially enclosed). So my husband built a nice cozy, predator proof "box" off the back of our shed which will be the beginning of our new coop (eventually build a run off of it). So for now, I will be carrying everyone to their coop at night and back to the a-frame during the day. And we put hardware cloth on the rabbit pens as well.

    Poor Henrietta (cochin hen) looks like she had a narrow escape as part of her comb has been ripped off :(
  6. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chirping

    Jan 9, 2013
    If it is a weasel here is a website that could help icwdm.org/handbook/carnivor/Weasels.asp
  7. Davlyn

    Davlyn Songster

    Feb 6, 2010
    Pike , NH
    In 4 yrs of having chickens this is the 1st time I have had a weasel. Yup found a hen wed. 1/9/13 dead & stuck in the electric mess fence. neck was a mess, blood all over. Her wings prints in the snow where the killer dragged her down the hill. The next morn, there were 4 dead in a coop. Got a trap, the weasel had another hen when DH got home to set the trap & he saw it tugging then hen under a coop. he was hoping the weasel would hang onto the hen as he slowly pulled her out, but it did not :'( I thought the doors were secure, next morn 2 more killed. we went over the coop again & found a very small crack at the bottom of the door. It is avoiding the trap :( It's now under another coop. when home I am keeping the chickens where we have the lean too for hay at the barn next to the house. Last nite it was chewing & clawing at the door of the coop. so far it has killed 9 of my hens & most were my 6 month old girls . How long will it take to catch this killer :( ?

  8. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chirping

    Jan 9, 2013
    That is awful! I hope you catch it!
  9. singingroo

    singingroo Hatching

    Aug 21, 2012
    Western Massachusetts
    My Coop
    I am so sorry to hear this...we have been through this horrible experience ourselves. About a month ago, we had 15 beloved chickens and in one night (first time we ever lost a chicken to a predator of any kind) a weasel killed 11 of them! The weasel ate only 2 of the heads off and just killed the other 9 for sport I think. We stayed up late that night tightening up every hole in the coop to protect the remaining 4 chickens (3 hens and a roo) and thought we had done a good job, but over the next day, the weasel had returned and 3 of the remaining 4 were dead. The one remaining hen now lives in a x-large dog crate down in our cellar until we can finish applying the 1/4" (yes, 1/4"!!!) hardware cloth to the entire coop. We are not taking any more chances with those weasels. The problem with 1/4" hardware cloth is that it's expensive but it's worth it if you have weasels because I read that they can fit into any opening that a hot dog can slide into :(

    We never could figure out how the one chicken survived (her name is Pumpkin) but she never even stopped laying through it all...we just ordered our new baby chicks for spring. That coop will be a fortress!!

    Hope you find that weasel. Good luck.
  10. donnajeanne

    donnajeanne In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2012
    Can anyone give a guess on this? I have a coop out back, fenced in...I heard a commotion yesterday, looked out back to see my roosters who were free ranging, peering into this coop squaking. I think about 8 minutes passed before I could get out there. When I did I saw my black hen dead on the ground...No blood, no obvious marks anywhere.....it's the 3rd dead bird this week.....I'm so confused as to what could have killed her so quickly.......

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