1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

What took my hens?????!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jaimedes, May 18, 2018.

  1. Hawk

    7.7%
  2. Fox

    46.2%
  3. Raccoon

    53.8%
  4. Possum

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Other

    7.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. jaimedes

    jaimedes Chirping

    54
    15
    66
    May 13, 2016
    About a week ago i found a pile of feathers and the hen they belonged to was gone. All feathers were outside of the run. None inside. I assumed she got out and dogs got her.
    We covered the run with thin netting to deter then from escaping. Its not totally secure but i was hoping it would help.
    Today, we found several piles of feathers and the hen they belong to is gone. One small pile INSIDE the run this time, a couple large piles outside in different areas. Small piece of wood holding up netting was broken near inside pile.
    I have 6 larger hens than the two that have gone missing still completely fine (and now on lockdown inside the barn!)
    Please help me guess what could be doing this!
     
  2. Cyprus

    Cyprus Free Ranging Premium Member

    I'm guessing raccoon from what I'm hearing. What time of day are you losing the birds and what is your fencing?
     
  3. JerryDwane

    JerryDwane Chirping

    62
    100
    83
    Mar 6, 2018
    Could be a fox, bobcat or a dog. I dont think it is a coon as they eat differently. Hawk? Na. My guess would be the fox.
     
  4. jaimedes

    jaimedes Chirping

    54
    15
    66
    May 13, 2016
    "Cyprus, post: 19988503, member: 501371"]I'm guessing raccoon from what I'm hearing. What time of day are you losing the birds and what is your fencing?”

    We have wire weld about 5 feet high. It definitely seems like something came in from the top and the netting was only disturbed in one area where the wood was broken and the pile of feathers was found inside the run. Also of note, it took the two smallest hens I had.
    Will raccoons climb fences, whatever it is did not dig under. We have two trail cams set up down there now. Hoping to at least see whatever it is. Also, will raccoons only take one bird and come back once a week?
    My guess is it happened between 6pm and dusk when they go into the barn, or today before I went up at 5:30
     
  5. jaimedes

    jaimedes Chirping

    54
    15
    66
    May 13, 2016

    Would a Fox take only one at a time and go into the run for it and bring it out? It looks like this one fought back and the struggle took place in a few different spots outside the run
     
  6. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Crowing

    1,188
    1,657
    312
    Mar 16, 2016
    North Central IN
    My Coop
    Can you tell how the predator got into the run? Slid under fence? Climbed under the netting? If you could describe your run (type of fencing and attachment methods) that may help.
     
  7. JerryDwane

    JerryDwane Chirping

    62
    100
    83
    Mar 6, 2018
    Yes, a fox would only take one (that's a nice meal for a fox). He would then come back about every other night, sometimes the next night... I am not positive that this is what it is. The poster above me also had some good questions about how it got in, etc.
     
    jaimedes likes this.
  8. jaimedes

    jaimedes Chirping

    54
    15
    66
    May 13, 2016
    It had to go over. There are no holes under the fencing and the netting was disturbed (along with the broken board which was a very thin and light piece only holding up netting) and one of her feathers was lodged in the netting.
    It is a timber frame with wire weld about 5 feet high attached to a barn wall where they have access to go inside the barn where the coops are. The netting is deer fencing (very light) and attached to the frame with wire ties and then attached to hooks on the barn side. More to keep them in than to keep things out. There are some open spots that we were unable to put netting over due to the layout, but most was covered and all fastened with wire ties.
    It APPEARS something went through the seem where two sections of netting met and it pulled the small board off the post with its weight creating an opening. Or, it climbed the fence and went into one of the gaps where we couldn’t cover.
     
  9. jaimedes

    jaimedes Chirping

    54
    15
    66
    May 13, 2016
    I was really hoping the manner of the kill would help shed some light. One bird at a time and they were completely gone. No traces other than feather piles. My girl today must have gotten free and run away and been attacked in multiple places around the run because there were several piles of feathers found. And one pile inside the run indicating it started inside. The one I lost a week ago I found only one pile of feathers outside the run, but the one I lost today was much faster and feistier. Also, my two smaller birds were the victims. I have 6 larger girls in there that are still intact. Now under lockdown until I get some answers and fix some problems!!
     
  10. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Crowing

    1,188
    1,657
    312
    Mar 16, 2016
    North Central IN
    My Coop
    I could see a raccoon climbing the fence and getting underneath the netting. Even if this is occurring during the day it could still be a raccoon. Fox can jump and climb. Kinda hard to say...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: