What killed my Polish Bantam???? WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Apollo's Mum, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Apollo's Mum

    Apollo's Mum Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Jun 2, 2008
    Hawkes Bay, NZ
    This morning I made a grizzly discovery - during the night one of my young Polish has been killed, dragged out of the run through a small hole that had been dug under it and eaten entirely. The Polish all range from 9 to 12 weeks old and are in a rabbit hutch until they are large enough to free range safely and this has never happened before. Could a rat have done this? We have a real problem with rats at the moment and my dogs are currently catching 2-3 a night as I take them out as soon is it gets dark. The only thing is these chicks are now almost the size of a pigeon so are they too big for a rat? Or could a stoat or weasel be the culprit? I found a dead rat that had been eaten just meters from the hutch a couple of days ago which could indicate that was killed by the same thing, otherwise it could have been a hawk (I leave the dead rats the dogs catch out and a harrier hawk gladly comes and takes them away each day - but it has never bothered my chooks or pigeons.)

    WARNING: this picture is pretty grusome - but could a rat have done this???

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  2. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Columbia,SC
    Sorry for ur loss. Rat or Weasle could have done it. Need to put a hardware cloth apron on ur run and secure to ground with landscape pins. Then they can't tunnel.
     
  3. Thatchickenguy

    Thatchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

    58
    1
    29
    Jan 31, 2011
    Most likely a raccoon. Thhey leave pieces and not a lot of predators chew to the bone. Coons like tom drag they're prey off.
     
  4. Apollo's Mum

    Apollo's Mum Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Jun 2, 2008
    Hawkes Bay, NZ
    I'm in New Zealand so luckily we are fox, snake and racoon free. Predators here are owls, hawks, falcons, rats, feral cats, weasels, stoats and ferrets. I've never heard of our possums killing anything either.
     
  5. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    if a weasel, stoat, or ferret can get its front foot in a hole and grab a chicken, it maybe able to drag one out, even if it had to do so in pieces. [​IMG] Rats can also take on prey as large as or even bigger than themselves. Most full grown cats won't even tackle a rat. You'll probably need to get some hardware mesh (1/4" to 1/2" squares, no larger) and wrap your pens in it. As someone else said, it would also be a good idea to wrap the bottom of your run up to a couple of feet and at least one foot out to deter digging predators. I'm sorry for your loss.
     
  6. GammaPoppyLilyFlutter

    GammaPoppyLilyFlutter Love Comes with Feathers

    Jun 26, 2010
    California
    Probably a raccoon or a weasel- they grab birds, carry them off, and tear them up. Poor chicken... I just hope for her sake the predator killed her quickly and as painlessly as possible [​IMG]

    Oh, and perhaps you want to warn people that there is a graphic picture on this thread. Some people are a tad squeamish about these things.
     
  7. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    5,314
    58
    291
    Aug 12, 2009
    Poor little one! I hope you get what got it! Can you secure a trap over the hole?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by