WHAT IS KILLING MY CHICKENS??

afre13

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 9, 2013
37
1
89
I started out with 10 pullets outside in a temporary pin while I got the coop built... The pin is made of pallet wood and fairly secure... Well lately something bad been getting in and killing them and not really even eating them, just killing.. We caught a possum and thought that was the reason but even after we got rid of him it still kept happening. Now I'm down to only 3 pullets!! I don't even know how they're getting into the pin and I'm freaking out because my flock is basically decimated. Please help.. I'm desperate
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,806
27,234
1,077
St. Louis, MO
Weasels and mink can get in very tight places and just kill, I've never seen them take a bite of the meat.

Do you have holes 1" or larger in your pen?
 

afre13

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 9, 2013
37
1
89
I try to keep it tight but pallet wood always warps so there are occasional holes. Also the top is a pallet with all the slots covered except one for light to come through... We have set out humane cage traps and whatever is in there gets the bait without setting the trap off..
 

sideWing

Songster
5 Years
Apr 9, 2015
2,070
408
231
Utah
I try to keep it tight but pallet wood always warps so there are occasional holes. Also the top is a pallet with all the slots covered except one for light to come through... We have set out humane cage traps and whatever is in there gets the bait without setting the trap off..
How big are the openings in the side of the trap? Is it a kind of wire? Is the trap closing and nothing in it or is it getting the bait and not springing the trap? Seems like if it were a big animal it would kill them all at once. I have heard of fox killing everything in the pen and leaving.
 
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sideWing

Songster
5 Years
Apr 9, 2015
2,070
408
231
Utah
The cage is like the one you buy at tractor supply... I'm not sure how to describe it. The trap is sprung, but nothing in it
Sprung but no animal in it and only a few chickens killed at a time. I'm thinking weasel. A raccoon would take the food and run off. Do you have other pets around? Is poison an option? I hate to use it, but a weasel would be hard to catch.
 

afre13

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 9, 2013
37
1
89
Poison wouldn't really be an option considering I have cats and dogs. I'm thinking it's more than just one pest because some have totally disappeared while others are dead next to the pin
 

slingshotandLAR

Songster
6 Years
May 24, 2013
406
84
101
I can help with the trap....

Mice take bait from cage traps a lot, so take a piece of wire and hang the bait from the top of the trap so it hangs in the middle behind the pan.

You can also wrap the trap in hardware cloth but I don't think that's needed.

Hope you catch whatever is getting your pullets


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