Flock of chickens and ducks destroyed

Discussion in 'Livestock' started by beericus, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. beericus

    beericus Well-Known Member

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    My father is a backyard chicken keeper. He has a farmette and for the past five years has been raising chickens and ducks, pheasants and turkeys.

    His first year he had pheasants, turkeys, and a wide range of chicken breeds.

    We had them in the horse turn out, and we built a coop with nesting boxes. W

    With in the year, they were all eaten by something.

    the next year we bolstered the turn outs defenses, adding chicken wire entirely around the exterior base,

    new set of chickens, same results.

    the following year we enclosed the entire turn out, built three a frames, and ran wire completely covering it.

    Things were looking good, we had chickens sitting on eggs in nesting boxes, the ducks were mating.

    Then suddenly within a week they were all gone.

    We inspected the entire perimeter, and found no tracks. there are no holes in the fencing.

    We have Coyote and Fox, hawks, coons in the area.

    Any ideas? I will try to post up some pictures of the coop tonight.
     
  2. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    So, is there sign of a battle, as in blood and feathers? Or are they simply gone?

    The pictures probably will help.

    Back east we had coons getting our chickens, had to wrap the entire coop in chicken wire and close it up tight at night.

    Out west here, skunks have killed chickens in our neighborhood.

    How far from the house is the chicken coop? Is it pretty isolated and far off? Do you have a dog, as in, an outdoor dog that might discourage raiding?
     

  3. beericus

    beericus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there seems to be a battle, wings and feet left, blood covered. One was just left headless.

    The coop is appox 25 feet from the house, directly behind the stables.

    No dog.
     
  4. rainygardener

    rainygardener Member

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    I'll bet you have racoons. They are sneaky little buggers and very smart. I built a chicken house that nothing can get into. Raccons are nocturnal and do their deeds at night. Sorry to hear about the loss of your flock, that's horrible.
     
  5. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Sorry for the loss ... man that sucks:eek:

    Do you know if you have mink/weasels in your area... they can trash a hen house in no time.:gaah: and will come back ... time and time again.:club: They can get into places you wouldn't think.

    Does your father lock/latch the chickens up at night in the coop or is it more of an open run?

    Is there a trail of feathers leading away from the coop? A fox will try and take as may chickens with them as they can.

    Does your dad live in any area where he can put out traps or even the hav-a-heart live trap?
     
  6. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Is there a "roof" on the chicken-coop? Could it be birds-of-prey taking the chickens? If there is a roof, you may wish to lay-out chicken-fencing on the ground and tie it together with the walls.

    Check (and double-check) every seam to make sure that nothing larger than mouse would be able to wiggle-through. If you can get your hand through any point in a seam (between corners, roof-line, etc) a predator will try to get through there as well.
     
  7. beericus

    beericus Well-Known Member

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    yeah there is a chicken wire roof,

    so, your suggesting covering the ground from end to end in chicken wire? hmmmm
     
  8. ttruscott

    ttruscott white belt

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    A coon will kill everybird it can and leave them there. So will mink and dogs. Actually leaving the area with the dead bird smells like a raptor or a human or a fox to me.
     
  9. beericus

    beericus Well-Known Member

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    what we find is, wings, feet and feathers.
     
  10. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Basically - yes.

    Without seeing pictures of the setup and how it is all done, that would be my next course of action.

    The other thing that I am thinking of isn't as cost-effective. Dig a trench 2' deep, build concrete-forms. Lay out rebar across the entire floor in 6" centers cross-hatch style and run up and into the forms. Pour concrete into the forms leaving the center rebar just as it is. Remove forms, fill the inside with sand / mulch / etc. Build-up the walls using basic framing techniques and then string the chicken-wire from the ground to the top (remember - you still have a trench around the outside).

    Back-fill the trench around the chicken-wire and pack it in hard. Make a roof (chicken-wire or shingles - your choice) and call 'er done.

    The rebar "floor" will not let in any large predators from under. The dirt-packed bottom-edge of the chicken-wire will not let predators dig through. The roof will not let climbers in, or flyers in. Full protection on 4 sides.
     
  11. beericus

    beericus Well-Known Member

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    WOW.........

    Good advice, i will get the pictures up, just dont have them on my phone at the moment.
     
  12. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I do realize that it might be overkill on the protection-factor and that there are other ways of building that might be just as protective of the birds. After seeing someone else's design like this, I thought that it was just awesome. It allows for drainage of water, allows bugs that the birds like to be found in the ground, gives full protection, etc.

    Now, you may want to "add-in" a laying-zone. My friend did theirs using a wooden shed set on concrete sidewalk-blocks. Predators would not be able to come up from under the shed and there was still some level of moisture drainage to limit the amount of rotting that could happen to the bottom of the shed. Inside she setup "shelves" for the birds to roost on.
     
  13. beericus

    beericus Well-Known Member

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    I get what your saying. I need to get over there and get some pics so you guys can see what im talking about.

    hows the poutine up there?
     
  14. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I love KFC's poutine - their gravy is the BEST! But, normally I don't eat poutine, I don't need the 3000 calories per order. :sssh:
     
  15. Riverdale

    Riverdale Well-Known Member

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    Probably a coon.

    Marshmellows are the best 'coon bait around, with the added bonus on not attracting skunks and cats.
     
  16. Aemilia

    Aemilia Zookeeper

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    I basically have a double layer of protection. My chicken coop is inside my fenced yard, where my dogs are. (I think having the dog oder around might help.)

    The pen itself has chicken wire on the bottom, buried ~1 foot. Then from the ground up (about 6`) is 2x4 welded wire. I've always read with chickens do not build to keep the chickens in, build to keep the predators OUT.

    BTW, chicken wire is easy to climb, when I was a kid we had a dog (~50#ish lab-x) who could climb out on the chicken wire. That could also explain the no-holes.

    If you want a decent chicken forum, check out Backyard Chickens.
     
  17. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    I joined BYC back in early "08" not long after we got our first chickens. There is a ton of info there but the conversations move so fast I couldn't keep up with it. Last I knew, there were about 16,000 members. I stopped visiting after about 8 months. But if you need to know ANYTHING about chickens that's the place to go.
     
  18. Sourdough

    Sourdough ExCommunicated

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    Try killer, attack Geese. Even the grizzlies will not engage the attack geese. I have grizzlies and wolves in the yard regularly and have never lost a goose in four years. Really they are ferocious guard animals. They nailed one friend in the privates, and while he was jumping around in pain, his wife was laughing.
     
  19. beericus

    beericus Well-Known Member

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    yeah were on back yard chickens too, get the magazine and all.
     
  20. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Are you "beericus" there also?