This Means War!!! (protecting chickens) : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

A critter came in the night and wreaked havoc among the chickens. We lost 4 hens and 3 roosters. Kill to eat, I understand. But when Sarah went out to feed this morning, she found dead chickens all over the yard, some without heads. The ground is too hard to do any tracking; any snow left has turned to ice.

Questions: what critter works this way, and what will keep it from attacking again? We do not have a fence up yet (still waiting for the ground to thaw), and we cannot put up anything permanent, as per landlord's instructions.

We are left with 6 hens and 2 roosters. One rooster has sore feet that are healing (he was in the garage last night) and the other rooster barely survived the attack and may yet die. He is our most fiesty rooster and probably put up quite a fight. (We actually never heard a thing in the night.) The hens are fine. Two of them gave us eggs today, so they must not have been too upset.

We plan to shut the birds we have left up in the garage at night, in the chicken tractor we have stored there, until we can make other arrangements. Whatever did this may come back.

Also, I am considering a stock guard dog; is there any such thing that will leave chickens alone?

-- Cathy N. (, March 05, 2002


Oh, that is terrible. No good advice. I would lock them in the most secure place you can, because whatever it is may be back...

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, March 05, 2002.

POSSUM!!!!!!! A possum eats their heads off--- Even with our sheltie in the yard a possum has slipped up & gotten chickens--or even 2 ducks----we shut up everything now---once they get the taste they will be back each night---- we have a 6 ft fence around out yard----they must climb over it!

I have seen them----I have shot them----but not always killed them--- the last one I shot him-----then put a hay fork throught him----the next day he was even gone!!!

But a possum is the one that kills & just eats their heads off!

-- Sonda in Ks. (, March 05, 2002.

My first guess would be an owl. I don't think there are any possums in Ontario.

-- Tracy (, March 05, 2002.

Sounds like a mink! Friends of ours were losing chickens the same way and they caught a mink in the live trap. It was getting in the hen house through a small air vent. It is always so upsetting to lose chickens this way! Hope you catch the varmint soon!

-- Jean (, March 05, 2002.

I agree with Jean. We lost 15 in one night that way. Also we started losing one a night. Put a cat in the hen house and never lost another one for a long time. Then we think a fox got a couple. MOved the dog right nest to the pen, left the pen open, didn't lose amy more.

-- Cindy (SE. IN) (, March 05, 2002.

Cindy, what kind of dog? I would like to get one, just was afraid it would also go after the chickens.

-- Cathy N. (, March 05, 2002.

In talking this over with a friend of ours, we thought of weasels. Then I remembered that last summer a fisher had been reported in the area. I do not know of many other chicken flocks around here; I think I may ask around at the few places where I have seen signs for eggs for sale.

-- Cathy N. (, March 05, 2002.

cathy last year something got 19 of my chickens the same way. But so far this year nothing has bothered them. Since we started dropping moth balls outside of the fence. If you do not have a fence at least put it outside of the place that you keep them in at night.

-- gail akins (, March 05, 2002.

Black Lab, he thinks everything and everyone should be his playmate. Where we lived before, he'd move the barrier so the chickens could get out of the pen. He still can't understand why the cats don't want to be friends.

-- Cindy (SE. IN) (, March 05, 2002.

Hello Cathy,

Sounds like an owl to me too.



-- (, March 05, 2002.

Cathy, I lost one chicken a night for six nights and I finally got the critters. Raccoons, they eat the head off and a lot of the time will eat the crop out. But, they were no match for a .357. One 'coon weighed about 14 lbs. and the other about 9. Hope this helps. Gary in AL

-- Gary in AL (, March 06, 2002.

We heard today that someone in the area has had trouble with owls attacking their pigeons, but would the owls have gone into the coop to bring them out?

Has anybody used electric fencing to keep predators out? We could wire the chicken wire if it would help.

We are going to put up fencing in a week or so when the ground thaws; I'll try the mothballs then. For now we shut them in the garage at night. Last night they were fine. We also have thought of getting live traps, but I thought we'd probably just get the neighbours' cats.

-- Cathy N. (, March 06, 2002.

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