What killed my pullet?


8 Years
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?
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.
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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.
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.
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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