who killed them

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Dan M, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Dan M

    Dan M Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 14, 2016
    ive had the chicks in with adults for a couple weeks. yesterday I caught the hens chasing one of them mercilessly. first time. this morning this morning I found pieces of one inside the coop. and a whole on by the fence with just the head gone. head seemed to be missing on the one found inside as well. there heads do fit through the fence. I don't know if the adults killed the little ones or if something got them from outside and then the adults dragged it inside and ate it. the little ones are about 9-10 weeks old and had no problems in the coop for a couple weeks. if picked on they hide under the nesting boxes where they cant be reached. really bummed out!!!
     
  2. BabyandCotton

    BabyandCotton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If a hen killed it, there would be full bodies. Do you have rats in your area? Sounds like a rats work.
     
  3. Dan M

    Dan M Out Of The Brooder

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    the one by the fence was whole minus the head, the on inside was dismembered, couldn't find the head. the others were pecking at the remains. ive never seen a rat or evidence of rats. there is a possum and several skunks in the area . I have 4 cats but they don't usualy pay any attention to the chickens. the weird thing is yesterday the adults had one of the chicks cornered against the fence with his head sticking out and they were all (9) pecking at it. that chick is not one of the ones that died
     
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Missing head could also indicate a possum.
     
  5. Dan M

    Dan M Out Of The Brooder

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    is it normal for the rest to peck at and eat the carcass even if they didn't kill it ? will this promote cannibalism in the future ? I think I will eliminate the possum first chance I get. smaller net fencing ?
     
  6. BabyandCotton

    BabyandCotton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, no and yes. Also kill the possum
     
  7. Dan M

    Dan M Out Of The Brooder

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    I found a little evidence right by the fence , a turd that looked like ground up crickets or something. I thought it was to big to be a skunk , then I caught a skunk gnawing on one of the carcasses on the compost pile, wasn't sure about him so I eliminated him. the 22 cal air rifle works well for all the animals listed as well.
     
  8. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps


    The .22 caliber airifle is a great choice, and it is quiet. Will not disturb neighbors.
     
    2 people like this.
  9. whirlwind2357

    whirlwind2357 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would say this might be a weasel, they often just eat the heads or dismember the chickens and leave them. If a chicken gets hurt enough to bleed the other chickens WILL peck at it no matter what originally caused the injury. I don't think a skunk would be the culprit, they eat eggs and already dead birds but I haven't ever seen a skunk kill a bird.
     
  10. whirlwind2357

    whirlwind2357 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Also, try adding more distractions into the pen so the older birds peck at the chicks less. I've found that a cabbage or a few apples suspended from somewhere high up keep my birds occupied for days and they don't fight as much.
     
    1 person likes this.

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