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What killed my pullet?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CayuseRanch, May 31, 2011.

  1. CayuseRanch

    CayuseRanch Songster

    Apr 4, 2011
    Newalla, Oklahoma
    So this morning as I was leaving for work went and did my Coop checks. Came to our new coop/run that has been under construction for the last month. The area they are in is completely enclosed with shade cloth on top. First I saw one pullet laying on her side and knew it did not bode well when I walked in and she didn't move. When I got closer her head was gone but everything else seemed fine. Then I started looking at the other's. The cockeral had a gash on the head but is otherwise fine, but another pullet was torn up pretty bad around the neck area. The fact that the body was still there made me think dog, but there is no way that a dog got in the coop. I have walked and searched everywhere. I can't find any damage to the chicken wire or shade cloth, Didn't find any areas that were dug under where something got in. I can't figure it out? What could have gotten thru chicken wire that is big enough to kill a chicken? Granted she wasn't full grown, 3 months. Any ideas?

  2. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Songster

    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    Raccoons can easily reach through chicken wire, even rip through it, and will often take the head and throat. It doesn't sound anything like a dog; a dog wouldn't eat just the head or throat. I'm sorry for your loss and highly recommend that you use 1/4" hardware cloth rather than chicken wire.
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  3. stormylady

    stormylady Songster

    Dec 27, 2008
    Sounds like a raccoon to me too, it got alot of my hens in the same manner, so sorry for your loss .
  4. CayuseRanch

    CayuseRanch Songster

    Apr 4, 2011
    Newalla, Oklahoma
    Hmmm, didn't think about them reaching thru it. It has a stiffer fencing material on the bottom, can't remember what it is called, but it can't really be pulled apart. The chicken wire is on the side but the top half, if that makes sense...will see if I can find a picture of the run where it shows, but a raccoon could certainly reach thru either one, just surprised that they would keep going close enough to the fence for that to happen if there was a racoon there.
  5. GammaPoppyLilyFlutter

    GammaPoppyLilyFlutter Love Comes with Feathers

    Jun 26, 2010
    I'm guessing a coon or a rat. Probably a coon, since they'll stick their paws through chicken wire and grab a bird. But rats can also slip through chicken wire, and I've heard they sometimes bite the chickens.
  6. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Songster

    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    i've heard weasels can do that and fit thru small holes.
  7. yegg

    yegg In the Brooder

    May 31, 2011
    Maybe a cat could've pawed through?

  8. stormylady

    stormylady Songster

    Dec 27, 2008
    Quote:I know this is going to sound kinda silly, but really before our Raccoon attack my chickens knew no enemies, except HAWKS they have always been on the look out for them, but my chicks from day one were raised around Cats, Dogs, groundhogs, a whole gammet of Animals and had no reason to fear them, UNTIL the Raccoon happened now they know the danger and My Roo Crows in the middle of the night if he hears or sees one. They still don't mind the cats and dogs but if they Groundhog comes around the coop which it does to see if it can reach the food threw the fence, Zues put the girls on notice now and they start heading for the coop pop hole and waits till he calls them back out. So sometimes I think it takes a big scare to make them understand (learning experience). All of my chicks so far has been raised in a brooder and didn't have a Momma to show them the dangers.

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