What killed my flock?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by awichers, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. awichers

    awichers New Egg

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    A predator got into our coop last night and killed the entire flock. It looks like it opened the door somehow and fit out by barreling through the chicken wire. 4 chickens were missing and 10 were dead in the coop. Any thoughts on a predator that would kill everything but not eat? We are in southern AZ and have coyotes (taken a chicken before), bobcats, and mountain lions. There was a small tuft if beige fur stuck on the wire. Your thoughts are appreciated![​IMG]
     
  2. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorry something killed your chickens.

    I do not understand something you wrote. You said it seemed to get in by opening the door. How did it do that?

    You also stated that it went through the chicken wire to get out. Why didn't it just go out the way it came in?

    Chicken wire is supposed to keep chickens in, but things like dogs and raccoons can tear through chicken wire.

    Given the area you are in, I am going to guess a coyote because coyotes are much more common than the other animals you named.

    You said it didn't eat. With four chickens missing, it might be that the predator ran off with those four chickens.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  3. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like the m.o. of dogs.
     
  4. AK Baha

    AK Baha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X 2
     
  5. awichers

    awichers New Egg

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    Tucson, Arizona
    Thank you! I think it went in through the door because the lock was disengaged. It us a simple wooden latch in the door frame that is pushed over the door. I locked it up last night at sunset. There us a spring to ensure the door automatically closes.
    We had chicken wire as the inside barrier reinforced by hardware tack on the outer side if the coop/run up to the height of 4 feet and chicken wire roe the top 2 feet and the top.
    I don't know why it fought its wed your rather than easy exit through the door.
    I do believe the four gals were eaten. I just don't know why it would kill and leave behind the rest. The last coyote ran into the yard while the flock was free ranging, grabbed a chicken, and ran off. We saw the whole thing. :-/
     
  6. awichers

    awichers New Egg

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    Thanks
     
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you saw the coyote, the coyote probably also saw you. That's why it only snatched one chicken and ran.

    With this incident, you said you do not know why it left the rest of the chickens in the coop. Have you tried to eat four chickens? I am guessing the animal got its fill and then left.

    An animal like a coyote has a high predator drive. If it is in a chicken coop with chickens jumping around, it will want to kill them.

    My father had his chickens free ranging one day when a fox came through and killed about a dozen chickens. The fox just ran around and bit each chicken on the head to kill them. Luckily my father was nearby and was able to shoot the fox before it killed all his chickens.

    I am still guessing it was a coyote, especially now that you said you had a coyote take one of your chickens before.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I said dogs because they kill everything in the pen just for fun. Last time I had a dog attack it was a German Shepard and a Black Lab working together. Shot 1 and the other escaped but they killed my whole flock.
    They say a fox or coyote snatches 1 bird and leaves the scene but I've had no experience with foxes & coyotes killing chickens. YET. Bullit does so he may be right. Coulda been multiple coyotes too, that's why they killed everything. I'd put some traps out, maybe whatever it was will return.
    This is a moot point but whatever it was might have gnawed thru the wire to gain entrance then exited thru the door. It depends if the door swings into the pen or outward.
     
  9. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a good suggestion. Maybe the animal or animals could be trapped and then we wouldn't have to guess at what it was.
     

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