What happened to my chicks?! *WARNING*GRAPHIC*

EKlinds

Chirping
Jul 13, 2021
44
57
84
New Hampshire
I am devastated right now and honestly kind of traumatized. Checked everyone this morning all was well. We went out for the day and just went to check on them again and all three were dead. They were literally decapitated and I’ve never seen anything like it. None were eaten literally just their heads were taken off. They were about 3 weeks old. We have them in a separate section of our barn and THOUGHT they were secure, lined a tarp around the bottom/edges and lined with cardboard with netting on top. I don’t see any point of entrance so I have no idea what could have done this and not even eaten them!? We have a fenced area outside of the barn PLUS our property is fenced iI’m so upset, they must have been so scared they were all in their little house together minus one of the heads being on the other side of the pen, both other heads were next to them completely off. Any ideas what the heck happened?!
 

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Skyle

Fluffy feathered feet addicted
Premium Feather Member
Apr 11, 2020
983
2,350
286
Between Italy and Slovenia
I'm so sorry for what happened, poor babies.
Here (I don't know if there's something similar where tou live) we have a predator which does the same thing: the beech marten. It kills every chicken it can grab by biting the neck, then it sucks the blood out of them, sometimes it decapitates them, too.
They can go through small holes, so maybe there's a hole somewhere it could fit.
 

Lollychicken

Songster
Feb 13, 2021
364
467
141
That's terrible!! If it's possible make or buy something with smaller holes so predator can't get in. (I have attached a picture of some ideas, not my pictures)
 

EKlinds

Chirping
Jul 13, 2021
44
57
84
New Hampshire
I'm so sorry for what happened, poor babies.
Here (I don't know if there's something similar where tou live) we have a predator which does the same thing: the beech marten. It kills every chicken it can grab by biting the neck, then it sucks the blood out of them, sometimes it decapitates them, too.
They can go through small holes, so maybe there's a hole somewhere it could fit.
Thank you I’ve been so torn up about it. That makes sense, I didn’t even think to be worried about those! We’re in NH so definitely have our fair share of fisher cats, weasels, etc. definitely lesson learned and will be making everything way more secure if we have young chicks again
 

EKlinds

Chirping
Jul 13, 2021
44
57
84
New Hampshire
That's terrible!! If it's possible make or buy something with smaller holes so predator can't get in. (I have attached a picture of some ideas, not my pictures)
Thank you! Yes definitely tough lesson learned. I will be putting something way more secure together for the next time
 

21hens-incharge

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Mar 9, 2014
28,782
118,018
1,742
Northern Colorado
First I am so sorry for your losses. That had to be horrible to come home to.

I offer a picture of my small 2 foot by 4 foot by2 foot tall brooder as an inspiration.
When not brooding it works as an isolation crate for injured or mean birds and has been used to transport birds I sold. The split lid means no one hops out when I need to reach in.
IMG_20200331_112828.jpg IMG_20200318_150943.jpg
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
66,448
61,465
1,392
southern Ohio
Sorry for your loss. A weasel might be the culprit. I use 1/2 inch hardware cloth wire and plywood to secure chickens. Chicken wire and anything with 1 inch or larger openings is not safe for them. Raccoons can reach through with their hands and pull chickens through piece by piece. Cardboard and tarps are not enough to keep your chicks safe unfortunately.
 

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