What Killed My Sister's Birds?

ScottSEA

Hatching
May 19, 2015
1
0
7
My sister lives in eastern Colorado. She had four birds in a coop, and the first night something dug under the fence and got in - but left without doing any damage.


...the only sign was the hole left behind. Immediately, they buried some chain link fencing all the way around to stop the digging and that kept everything out -

... until last night. This morning all four birds are dead; one was decapitated, two were bitten and the last was eaten. The kicker is that there is no sign of forced entry anywhere. No holes, inside or outside. Apparently, ninjas did it. Anyone have any idea who the culprit might be?
 

Bengt747

In the Brooder
May 3, 2015
64
6
35
If there was no real evidence of forced entry, I would say you have a weasel or similarly sized critter on your hands. I would recommend putting 1/4" hardcloth around the perimeter of the pen from the inside, being sure that it gets wired tight to the bottom of the pen. If you're able to bury them hardcloth about six inches under the dirt beneath the fence perimeter itself as well, that would be an excellent added precaution. Running electric fence close to the ground around the outside perimeter would be another option, if feasible.

As nice as the 1"x2" wire fencing is (and those sizes similar to it), a weasel is liable to slip through it every time once it figures out there's poultry to be had, unfortunately.

Depending on your animal damage control and state wildlife regulations, you may want to try setting some standard Victor rat traps to try and catch the critter if you feel that it is a weasel you're dealing with. A trail camera might prove useful as well to try to determine exactly what you're dealing with, but you shouldn't feel obligated to spend the money on one if you don't have one.
 
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