What could do this

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lyndy53, May 3, 2009.

  1. lyndy53

    lyndy53 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Apr 30, 2009
    The last couple of weeks I've had a problem with something getting my eggs, leaving shells and only eating the inside of them and getting my baby chicks. Whatever this is, is not bothering the big chickens. But it's taking the babies from their moms. I had three chicks that were about a month old that had been hatched in an incubator and the hens weren't real accepting of them so I had them in a small area that would keep them safe, I thought. This little pen within a pen was made with metal grating that I can barely get a finger through, the top had chicken wire, everything was attached very firmly. I put a tarp over part of it to keep them warm, went out to check and my chicks are gone, though nothing has been disturbed, not even the tarp. All three chicks gone, only a few feathers and guts. I'm at a loss, I have lost 10 chicks, not including the eggs that were ready to hatch.
    Any ideas ???
    Oh, also found one chick that had been torn to pieces but not eaten.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  2. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    I would say weasel/ferret or something like that that can squish it's body really small. Maybe even a rat? I'm very sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  3. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    905
    2
    148
    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    If you're finding guts and/or the chickens are eaten from the inside out, it's probably a possum. I lost 11 babies to one of them rotten bast*@%ds last night.

    Like you, I thought my pen was a fortress. Dog kennel sides, 4' tall netting on the inside walls, top covered.

    I've been waiting on the electrician to run electricity to the coop, but it's been too wet for him to run the trenching machine. I'm going to go run an extension cord this morning; it may not be as safe, but I can't afford to lose any more babies.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
    www.CountryChickens.com
     
  4. Silkie's Grandma

    Silkie's Grandma Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    39
    Jun 8, 2008
    West-Central Wisconsin
    I don't belive it is a weasel (do to the fact that it isn't bothering the adults - a weasel will kill EVERYTHING & leave only a mark on their heads or a crushed head) I would say it's a Rat, racoon, skunk or possum. (all very crafty at getting to a easy meal)
    If you have access to a live trap, set it with cat food & see what you catch. (that is how I discovered I had both Skunk & Racoon getting into my pen - it is eaiser for them to take the free cat food then to kill a live animal) U will want to camaflodge the trap a bit & they should go rignt into it.
     
  5. The Wolf Queen

    The Wolf Queen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    Silkies Grandma said: If you have access to a live trap, set it with cat food & see what you catch

    I agree with you but just to be safe I would get 2 or 3 different sizes of trap (1 rat size and 1 skunk/coon sized) because I have pet rats and they for sure could fit thru a skunk trap. I know it will cost more but the end result is worth it [​IMG].​
     
  6. lyndy53

    lyndy53 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Apr 30, 2009
    I just invested in a live trap but it's a small one. If I don't get anything in it or do and continue to have problems I'll get a larger one. Thanks for your input. I didn't know that oppossums would eat baby chicks and I do have them around. Half tempted to invest in a trail cam:/
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,952
    3,115
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
  8. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,228
    63
    233
    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    it's rats, set a trap with peanut butter on it.
     
  9. It's most likely Rats! I have had eggs eaten with shells left, just as you described and when I went out to my barn a second time the other night because I had forgotten something, flipped on the lights and two went running! So, my husband waited the other day and shot one. We went and bought rat traps, cooped up anything that flies up into the rafters for the night, so we didn't accidently kill a chicken. And this morning, we got one! We'll do the same thing tonight until there are no signs of them. *shivers*
     
  10. lyndy53

    lyndy53 Out Of The Brooder

    18
    0
    22
    Apr 30, 2009
    Must be rats, the trap I put out was tripped, food gone and so was whatever had been in it. I didn't know rats would eat chicks
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by