WHO KILLED MY CHICKENS?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mamagallina, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. mamagallina

    mamagallina Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Mar 15, 2009
    A PAIR OF 2 MONTHS OLD WHERE KILLED LAST NIGHT NO MARKS ON THE BODY, THE WATER WAS CLEAR, THE FEED WAS ALL GONE. THEY ARE IN A CAGE (THAT WAS CLOSED) IN THE COOP THERE ARE 10 NEWBORNS SILKIES AND THERE'S AN EGGS NEST RIGHT UNDER THE CAGE AND ALL THE EGGS ARE STILL THERE.
    WE SAW A GARDEN SNAKE YESTERDAY IN THE COOP
    WHAT COULD IT BE?
     
  2. Jeff9118

    Jeff9118 Chillin' With My Peeps

    413
    2
    131
    Feb 21, 2009
    Greenup KY
    Just curious on how you know they were killed if there is no marks on the body. All predators I know of always at least leave fatal wounds.
     
  3. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    905
    2
    148
    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    My guess would be a chicken snake (not a garden snake). If they're large enough, and we've killed several that were over 4 feet long, they'll go for a live chicken over eggs. I lost a really beautiful bird last year that way... found here dead but unmarked on the floor of the coop one morning. However, her head and neck feathers looked like they were wet.

    A rat snake is a constrictor, so it'll suffocate the bird by squeezing it, then try to swallow it whole, head first.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
    www.CountryChickens.com

    PS: You can find the link to a predator diagnosis page at www.CountryChickens.com
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...and that snake may still be in your coop. It may have killed the birds and been disturbed by your arrival before consuming them. They often enter up over your head via the eaves or a damaged vent. Be very careful they're big, and if you have one, you'll need assistance.
     
  5. therealsilkiechick

    therealsilkiechick ShowGirl Queen

    Jul 18, 2007
    Northwestern, pa
    check for bite marks on back of the neck sometimes they look like needle punctures if so it was a mink that got into them and killed em.
     
  6. lone cedar farm

    lone cedar farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    160
    0
    119
    Jan 25, 2009
    Menlo, Ga.
    I found a young pullet dead once and could'nt figure out what had killed it, however its feathers were really in a mess but no real marks. A few days latter while visiting the pen I found a huge Rat-chicken snake that had killed and swallowed another pullet and could not retreat back through the fence because of the free meal it had just stolen. Needless to say he had justy enjoyed his last meal at my exspense, he was just short of six feet an one of the largest I'd ever seen! Theres no doubt he was the killer of the other hen pullet and for whatever reason did'nt or couldnt swallow it and just left it dead on the ground.
     
  7. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I agree that it wouldn't be a snake if the two are just dead and not gone. Snakes don't kill and leave. They kill to eat. Garter (not garden) snakes are very small and eat mostly amphibians like frogs and also insects like snails. They wouldn't and couldn't even try to kill a chicken. It would take a pretty huge snake to kill a chicken.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by