Very sad to lose your pet and her unborn babies. We went around to the other side and in the field found the hen! If it’s not mating season, you will be sure that they are after your chickens. No traces of anything. They leave bodies, feathers and their devastation behind. Hi there, and welcome to session 13 of What the Cluck? What Killed My Chicken - How to Know - Abundant Permaculture Your best bet if a hawk attacks your flock is to create a covered run instead of trying to capture it or kill it. To prevent these attacks make sure you have solid fencing around your coop and your dog can’t get into it. I just don’t know what to do. Oversee your household pets when they are outside to roam. Tell her they are your chickens, not hers and she doesn't have the right to tell you what to do with them. LIKE THIS PODCAST? only one out of 4 chickens and 2 ducks was killed, the latch on the chicken coop was undone but the doors were closed. I just lost 5 last night and I couldn’t imagine what could get all 5? I just found out that it was a weasel that killed my chickens. What we can’t figure out is… there was no blood…at all?? Euthanising or killing a chicken is one of the less attractive aspects of keeping chickens and of course, a vet can do this for you but it is sometimes necessary for us to kill a chicken at home.. We have a duty of care for every chicken in our flock and must prevent unnecessary suffering. I found her in the morning with an odd posture and not wanting to move. Bears . after all the stories etc.. why is no one using elec wire around their coops and pens? Your best bet is to consult with your state’s department of wildlife or conservation, and in the case of domestic dogs, consult an attorney familiar with animal law in your state. You can join Thrive Market at, and that is an affiliate link, so thank you if you decide to use it. You should check with your local department of conservation about your state’s laws regarding relocating chicken predators. Even the doors or sides of the coop will have been forcefully removed. I couldn’t figure out what was doing it until I called Murray McMurray, now I plan on putting a trap out with meat from the fresh kill….hopefully we’ll get the darn thing!!!! We live in bear country, but till this year, never had problem with them feasting on our birds. Anyone who has a wheat allergy and can’t eat store bought eggs will understand what I mean. Hello! it took a few weeks for me to find out what was killing my chickens. Seems like raccoons like to go back to the scene of the crime a few times. Click here , or on the picture, to go to a page where you'll be able to read some chicken 'In Memoriams' and, if you'd like, to write one yourself . The chicken that died was the bravest in the flock . On rare occasions a cat will kill a mature duck or chicken, eating the meatier parts and leaving the skin and feathers, and sometimes other parts, scattered around. So know your local laws and have a plan to deal with chicken predators within the confines of these laws so you stay out of trouble. Often, the condition in which you find your flock is an indicator of which predator is involved. FrugalChicken, LLC is not a licensed veterinary service. There is no body. I learned accidentally the best way to train a cat to leave chickens alone when my new kitten followed me to the chicken yard. How they gained access could be a clue. Something killed the female first, left her in tact, and then came back the next night to eat her from stomach to spine (head left in tact). Now, remember that hawks are protected by the Migratory Birds Treaty Act, and capturing and killing them might get you into trouble. Published by at December 2, 2020. Natural Armor Animal & Rodent Repellent Spray. So, that right there is proof that your hen’s diet does effect the quality of her eggs, and studies have shown the exact same thing. Nothing is left but the bones and the skeleton is intact. If you keep chickens for their eggs, and want to learn about how to best feed them so lay the most nourishing eggs possible, then you’ll want to check out my new course, Feeding Your Hens Right, which you can see at There are certainly breeds like livestock guardian dogs, that are more protective of a flock of chickens. Dogs maul over their pray but don’t eat the chicken. If you keep chickens for their eggs, and want to learn about how to best feed them so lay the most nourishing eggs possible, then you’ll want to check out my new course, Common Chicken Predators and How to Identify Them: 'What The Cluck?!' 9 Years. Being able to defend your flock from chicken predators can make or break your success keeping chickens. I never would have thought my dog would have ever killed a chicken, but one day, his hunting instincts set in, and he killed half our flock. Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. How can I protect my ducks from raccoons? Hi, it might be skunks, the bites sound like skunks or possums, but not eating them is not usual. Oct 22, 2010 169 6 93. The back two acres are wooded and separated by a stream. I live on the outskirts of Nashville and I am trying to figure out what might be getting my chickens. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here. We live by the Rocky Mountains in Canada. They are in a dog kennel wrapped with chicken wire all around and dog wire on the top and it’s lined on the bottom. I went out to feed my free range flock today (2 roosters, 7 hens), but the Alpha Rooster was missing. Mink and smaller weasels. I literally find my chick bitten at the back and open and some cuts on the neck what could it be? He started chasing my chickens. What Killed My Chickens? A chicken with gnawed head and little else is a sign of a skunk at work. I recently had one of my backyard chickens fall ill and die. Your dog should be educated and trained not to chase, attack or kill the chickens. Is it their head, eggs, the abdomen, or nothing at all? What can you do to stop them? My neighbor tells me that on the night of my favorite hen’s death last year, the dachshund chased my hen causing her to fly up into a tree. They easily kill young chickens and broody hens. My chickens were free for the day and one was killed. My next encounter with a weasel occurred 10 years later and didn’t involve actually seeing one — dead or alive, but waking up to find half my chickens dead. we discuss 5 common chicken predators. Weasels leave devastation and will kill until the they are tired or nothings left moving. Both attacks were during the day and both times the entire chicken disappeared. The main thing our family wants to stress is to stay alert to what’s going on around your chicken coop. Also, if she kills your chickens, you could probably sue her or report her to the police (I don't recommend this because she's your grandma) Maybe try to relate it to her like, "How would you feel if I killed your ___(cats? It may be hard to tell by the evidence if it was a fox or a coyote. It is hard to determine if a snake killed your chickens because they swallow the prey whole. Therese Valadez says. Mink and Weasel. We’ve had one fairly large but young rooster (no spurs yet) disappear a little bit ago and a full grown but young red hen last night. Did you ever determine what got to your chickens? Thanks for this! Chicken predators, opossums in particular, are the bane of my existence on the homestead. There are NO feathers so they eat all but the bones. It was like an animal vampire. They climb and ground kill. They can also lead to anemia, causing pale wattle and combs. A chicken found next to a fence or in a pen with its head missing was likely the victim of a raccoon that reached in, grabbed the bird, and pulled its head through the wire. Sometimes, they will bury the bodies if there is enough loose soil. December 15, 2019 at 7:18 pm. She totally missed the older girls in a separate house. Based on what you’re describing, it sounds like a domesticated dog is killing them. In this podcast, you'll learn how to identify what's killing your chickens based on some tell-tale signs, and how to protect your flock. My wife (and me too really) can't abide crowing. Any thoughts? Reply. If a black bear comes around the great Pyrenees dogs will make quick work of the bear up to 600 lbs, believe me. To tell if a chicken is sick, monitor it for common signs of illness, like inactivity, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, a dull-looking coat, and cloudy or runny eyes. So, if your chickens disappear from your pen or chicken coop, it may be a fox. You’ll know a coyote has killed your chickens if you hear their barks and/or see signs of struggle, as well as coyote tracks. Next on our list of chicken predators, we’ll talk about opossums, and this is the biggest predator we have to contend with on our homestead right now. Coyotes typically hunt at night but I’ve seen them and lost chickens to them during the day, so I think if they see an opportunity to get an easy meal, they will. Coyotes would have had to climb high in the tree. Sep 2, 2013 #5 Kev Crowing. My video, plus many other videos from homesteading experts around the world (on a wide range of topics) will be available for FREE inside the Marjoy Wildcraft / Mother Earth News Homesteading Summit (Starting October 31, 2016). Rat snakes mostly eat freshly hatched chicks or eggs. Any Ideas as to what might have been the culprit ? Opossums are marsupials that are found in the Eastern, central and west coast states of North America and some parts of Canada. It may seem obvious, but if you make this mistake, anything can happen to your flock. A lot of states have regulations surrounding shooting and relocating raccoon, so talk to your local wildlife authority before taking either of those actions. For a couple days there I couldn’t breathe or swallow, so recording this podcast was out of the question. The photo to the right shows a duck that was killed and part buried. etc.) The best way to deal with rats is to treat the problem with a multi pronged attack long before it becomes an infestation. These are meat birds that we’re pasture raising organically, so they’re not kept in a run consistently like our laying hens, but instead allowed to roam a 3 acre pasture and then cooped at night. Something keeps getting our eggs. !, a podcast devoted to keeping chickens for fun and self-sufficiency. Skunk Wiped out my whole flock once never ate any just killed and left them . Another option are minks and weasels, although it depends on your location. Now, I went out yesterday and found Fluff ripped apart, foot missing feathers everywhere. A kinder kill. While opossums will eat chickens where they’ve killed them, raccoon will sometimes eat them there, but they’ll also strew the bodies yards away from the kill site, so if you come across a number of dead chickens, and they’re all over the place, it’s more likely a raccoon than a opossum. I’ve never seen our house rooster jump the fence. Jersey Giant is a large chicken breed and they can reach about 10 pounds or even more. If digging underground to get into the coop becomes an issue, then letting your chicken wire go 4 inches below the surface of the soil will deter the digging. Raccoons will attempt to drag the chicken through the fence surrounding your coop. A friend recently told me that if she feeds her chickens a wheat based diet, her son, who is wheat intolerant, will get sick. It’s so frustrating, they not only get the eggs but all of our hard work in the garden, eating plants at every stage of growth. Question: Will a German Shepherd/Collie mix kill or chase my chickens? They even sometimes play with their prey before eating it. In my area, I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t be any legal consequences if a dog that attacked a chicken flock was shot, but in other areas of the country, especially more urban areas, you might be looking at gun and animal abuse charges. Skunks have the same killing style as a raccoon, but it is not hard to tell if they are your culprit by the smell they leave behind. They used to return to their coop in the evening on their own. • Pale combs • Weight loss • Stopped laying eggs • Poop on the eggs If your chickens live outside in a coop just assume they have worms, all animals that live outside have worms and need to be wormed on a regular basis. I posted it on my Facebook page and got an excellent response. In my experience, coyotes are diggers. They can live in the human home. Their sense of smell and eyesight is keen for hunting at night or during the day. Had no idea?! Behavior: If a domestic dog has killed a bird during playtime, it may not consume any of the carcass, and instead, leave the lifeless bird alone. My 3yrold hens have so far killed on Muscovy duckling (half grown) and 2 of the chicks which were full sized. They hunt by going directly for the chicken’s head or jugular to kill them. Unlike some other predators, dogs might kill your entire flock because to them, it’s a game and they’re having a good time. If she acts too interested, tell her to calm down. You’ll know a coyote has killed your chickens if you hear their barks and/or see signs of struggle, as well as coyote tracks. I value my Thrive Market membership, and love that it’s a green company committed to sustainable practices, so their products are ethically sourced, and I feel confident buying from them that I’m doing the best I can for our environment. Bears are very messy eaters and leave parts of the chicken all around the coop and run. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your coop open at night. My culprit might be skunks then. There, you’ll find all sorts of information to help you figure out which chicken predators around your coop. If a chicken is missing or dead, it may just be a pesky rat. Feathers were left behind. Dogs usually kill for sport by gripping the chicken in the middle, then shaking the bird until it’s mortally wounded. For example killing hawks and eagles is prohibited, so I can’t shoot a hawk that steals my chickens. They will attack your chickens because it is in their nature to hunt. I have to simply better proof my coop from aerial chicken predators. (Naturally, hens and not roosters.) Last two to die were rooster (only back eaten) and one hen(only head taken). Clue Possible Predator One or two birds killed — Entire chicken eaten on site hawk Bites in breast or thigh, abdomen eaten; entire bird eaten on site opossum Deep marks on head and neck, or head and neck eaten, maybe feathers around fence post owl Entire chicken eaten or … Clue Possible Predator One or two birds killed — Entire chicken eaten on site hawk Bites in breast or thigh, abdomen eaten; entire bird eaten on site opossum Deep marks on head and neck, or head and neck eaten, maybe feathers around fence post owl Entire chicken eaten or … All property owners are seasoned in chicken keeping (including protection of the flock). I was late going out to close the door on the coop. Black vultures will kill and eat livestock and pets. If your bird has been killed but … Day – Human, bear, Max the dog, snake, Oliver the cat, sasquatch, weasel and the Bahfeemus, hawk, eagle, crow. Looking for a cat, but also concerned that a cat would see the chickens as prey too, so want to find kittens we can raise around them. Most of us only think of chickens when integrated into delicious dinner recipes and forget about the life these birds must endure before ending up on our plate. Owls will remove the head. READ NEXT:WHAT TO FEED YOUR CHICKENS FOR GREAT TASTING EGGS. It’s 5 video workshops, that you can access at any time. To keep foxes and coyotes out bury your fencing outward about two feet from the pen. Sometimes you may come across the whole side of your chicken having its side torn out, or the head decapitated from the body. Next on our list of chicken predators are hawks. I will definitely be using it for my chicken farm. Our 4 chicks are more like pets. 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