what killed my girls last night?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by technodoll, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I'm completely devastated...

    Something broke into the coop after dark last night by pushing on the pop door just enough to wedge it open on the top (3 to 4" opening) -

    3 hens dead, 2 hens mortally wounded but still alive, struggling to breathe through the pain (DH had to give them the mercy ax while I wailed uncontrollably). One of the girls, Mina, had a hole on her back and didn't resist when he put her in the kill bag. The other girl, Antoinette, had a gaping hole under her left wing, there was no way to fix that - they were both in shock and trauma, saying goodbye was one of the most difficult things ever [​IMG]

    It was a scene of utter massacre, feathers everywhere - the 3 other girls had been dead for a while, their bodies were stiff. Each had a gaping wound on their side. No broken necks, heads intact, no signs of having been eaten. The coop smells of blood, death and fear.

    I found skunk footprints around the coop a few days ago but I doubt it's what killed them.

    Every week I find holes in the run's chicken wire, making a circle about 5" in diameter - I'm the queen of patching, this is ridiculous.

    I'm terrified it will happen again, even if I spent the better part of the day reinforcing the coop's security with hardware cloth on every opening, a new double-sided pop door with hard wedges, I rebuilt the main coop door... the girls are all locked in at night and this is the first time in 10 years that any predator got into that coop at night according to the previous owners.

    What got my girls??? What kills but doesn't eat? What rips chunks of flesh from the side and back of a bird? What is strong enough to push through a door and small enough to fit through a 3-4" opening? What kills 5 birds in one night but not the rest of the flock? What rips out so many feathers?

    I have been a giant mess since this morning, the devastation is crippling [​IMG]
     
  2. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Sounds like a weasel to me. I'm sorry for your losses. [​IMG]
     
  3. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Quote:So a weasel would kill this way? Do they do it for fun?

    I know it will come back again and again so it's fort knox from now on, but how determined are they to get back into a coop after having had a taste of chicken blood?

    Do they ever hunt in the day? If they do, I'm going to lose my entire flock as they free-range in daylight and have open-air pens -

    please help!!
     
  4. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    How horrifying. I am so sorry for your losses. I can't fathom how upsetting this must be for you.
    In response to your question, the only animal I can fathom being capable of this type of senseless carnage is a raccoon. From all I've read on here, they do it for sport and there is no rhyme or reason to their madness.
     
  5. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Coons can't fit through a 3" to 4" gap, though....UNLESS they were able to reach through & grab the chickens, but this sounds like more damage than that...
     
  6. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Quote:Coons can't fit through a 3" to 4" gap, though....UNLESS they were able to reach through & grab the chickens, but this sounds like more damage than that...

    something definitely got IN the coop and then left through the same opening after the massacre...

    we're dumbfounded and still can't believe this happened - how strong was this creature anyways?? to rip out fist-sized chunks out of a live hen and leave it there to die? [​IMG]
     
  7. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Riverside/Norco, CA
    Fisher?
     
  8. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Sometimes when faced with an overabundance of food, they will just go on a killing spree. They are surprisingly strong for now small they are. Raccoons usually kill one two and they are just gone in the morning...maybe a feather or two but no carcass--that is, if they can get it out of the coop. The weasels just will kill everything & "snack" around while they do it. HARDWARE cloth is the only way to stop them and make sure you clear the brush around the coop. Set traps, too...
     
  9. Chickengal505

    Chickengal505 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2010
    Bolivia N.C
    there not even my hens and im rageing at that darned weasel... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    from the size of the holes and wounds sounds more like a mink our coon do not get but 8-12 pounds I see them go through 4-5" holes all the time. too many folks try to assign a thought process to animals they do not posses this they are only feeding themselves. just instincts they are hungry there is food in front of them , no more no less
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010

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