what do you think got my chickens?


10 Years
Apr 13, 2009
spokane, wa
went out this am to find all of my black copper maran chicks dead. they were about 3-4 months old and in a grow out pen inside the chicken run. i have another grow out pen in the run too with younger chicks that was not touched. their heads were gone and one of them (possibly more, i did not inspect too well.) had its chest ripped open. my first thought was a raccoon but the fence is 4 ft tall and totally intact. i suppose it could have easily climbed it, but i would think that i would have seen sections of the chicken wire either ripped or at least sagging a bit where it would have climbed... I am leaning towards my barn cat as the culprit. i know he can jump the fence without touching it as i have seen him. he has never acted interested in the chicks or chickens though. ugh, ideas? we are in eastern washington, if that makes a difference.
Sorry about your birds.

Did the attack happen at night and you just found them in the morning? If so I say raccoon. They are a lot more agile then they look, and might not of made the fence sag. It could also be a weasel or a mink, but I'm not sure how prevalent they are in your area.

The cat seems an unlikely culprit, but I could be wrong. Hopefully you catch the predator.
no weasels or minks around here... the only thing we ever get is raccoons or feral dogs, or coyotes on occasion. well its nice to think it was maybe not the cat.... i don't know how i would control the mice without him.... and if he is killing birds, he is gone!
Sorry that happened to your chicks...

I think if the heads are off, that is a distinctive sign of one kind of predator -- I think a weasel. But look it up on Google -- each predator leaves a different set of signs. It was not a cat.
I think it could have been a raccoon. Next part is GRAPHIC my friend has chicken wire all around her run with it completely covered over top threw the trees and everything so nothing can get in. She woke up one morning to one of her hens hanging from the top of the chicken wire which is about 7 feet high all torn apart. A raccoon had grabbed her threw the fence at the ground and dragged her up to the top of the enclosure. He never got inside of the cage, it was just able to hold onto the hen and move it up the cage side. Pretty amazing if you think about it. I wouldn't put anything past those buggers.

Sorry about your loss.
Sounds like a racoon, and it will be back!

Don't think it was the cat. I have 9 outside cats and they have never bothered any of my chickens, even young "teenage" ones.

Racoons can climb 4-6 foot fences with no problem.

Put a hot wire around your pen and put the cat away at night and set a trap.

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