What killed ten chicks-left only 3 bodies

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChurkLover, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. ChurkLover

    ChurkLover Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
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    Can someone please tell me what they think killed my 10 baby chicks last night? I had them in a large gray 100 gallon stock tank, away from the other 20 full-grown chickens. They were only about 2-3 weeks old I am guessing. We purchased them from a farm supply store about a week ago. On top of the stock tank, I had one of those children's playyard gates with 4 panels (doubled-over) to allow for animals to stay out/chicks in and still let air get in -it's been upper 90's here all week. Last night after I let the chicks out to play a while in the grass, I put them back in the tank and covered it and everyone was fine. This morning, I went to let them out and noticed the payyard gate that was laying over the top had been pushed to the side about a foot maybe. It was still covering one side, but there was now an opening where something got in. Seven chicks were gone with remnants of a little blood, feathers and a couple of pieces of the chicks (a piece of leg bone here, a raw hip there, etc.) Three of the chicks were still intact, but dead. Two of them were bloody on their backs, like something bit them and maybe crushed them and the third was dead and only had one little scratch on it that I could see but that scratch would not have killed it so I am wondering how that one died (maybe a heart attack after watching the others die?). Someone please tell me what you think so I can set a trap to catch the animal before it goes after my full grown birds! Uggghhh!!
     
  2. catmad

    catmad New Egg

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    Could be any number of things, but my first thought was raccoon. They could easily move the type of covering you describe, climb down, eat, and leave. I used a stock tank for a time, but had a hardware cloth cover that secured with cable, and cement blocks on top of that. Anything that can slide around is just a nice way to keeo their snacks confined, as far as a coon is concerned.
     
  3. Pickaduck

    Pickaduck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2011
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    I'd guess a stray cat or possum, either can easily push a cover off and climb in and out of the tank. Possums tend to eat there and can leave parts behind, same with cats. Course maybe it was a raccoon but from my experience raccoons leave more bodies behind. Whatever it is I hope you catch it and I'm so sorry for your loss!
     
  4. ChurkLover

    ChurkLover Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
    St. Louis
    I have good news and bad news....when I returned to the chickens later in the afternoon last Friday, I found one little chick (Black Australorp) still alive and well walking around next to the big chickens just chirping away! I cannot find anything wrong with it and have since put it in my garage to protect it from any would-be predators that still linger. We went out to get some new chicks that afternoon and when we got home at 9:30, we saw a racoon on top of the chicken house, looked like getting ready to jump in the fenced area but ran off when it saw the lights (we set off the motion lights out there)-we did catch a huge racoon in a trap that night. We have set the trap by the big chickens house for the past two days and caught nothing. Last night, something killed one of my Golden Laced Wyandotte hens. None of the other 18 birds were hurt, nor was my lone turkey. It looks like it may have been a possum this time from what I read- that they eat from the back end towards the head? This hen was torn and eaten half way (just some skin and insides and then the upper half of her body was fine. Would a coon do this same thing? We have a chicken wire fence buried 12 inches underground (to keep anything from digging in) all the way around the house so nothing comes under the house as well as a double line of electric fence around the fenced area and house, we just don't have anything covering the top and I am wondering if whatever this new attacker is, might be coming in via the telephone pole supports from the top and climbing down? I noticed marks on the poles with guts dripped down, like it tried to carry the dead chicken up that way. The house sits about 2 feet away from the back wall so I am not sure if something is climbing up that wall then onto the top of the house....any ideas? The picture was taken before the electric fence was put up but gives you an idea. We have not had any problems with it being set up this way for the last year, until now.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  5. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You have a smart coon that's been zapped by electric fence and found a way around it. If the stock tank were plastic, I'd tell you to wire the roof and hook it to the fence. Sinc it's not, wire the tank. A simply 2x4 frame with wire stretched across it and laid over should stop him if the chicks aren't too tall
     
  6. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    absolutely could be coming across the roof line and climbing down those poles.
     

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