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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to our work schedules, my husband and I usually don't check our 11 "babies" (10 hens, 1 rooster) until the evening. Well, this evening I went out with the dogs to find feathers everywhere. I went around to the side of the coop to find my gray Americana hen nothing but a carcass,one of my amber links missing, and both of my Cornish hens decapitated. All others seemed untouched. The only spot in the fencing we found was on the side where the fencing wasn't attached to the bottom board. Could this be a possum?? Please help?!?!
 

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Sounds like a opossum , raccoon, or weasel family . Most likely the Americauna was originally decapitated also and the rest of the flock ate her. You'll definitely need to re-enforce the fence and coop also try to catch or kill the predator. Once they figure out where dinner is they will continue to come back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's what I'm afraid of. We have reinforced the fencing. Would the other chickens really eat the rest if her? My husband said that too, but I didn't think they would do that. He and my father in law plan on sitting out there for a while tonight. Do you think sitting a radio out there would help keep anymore away? And is it usually more than one? I just find it hard to think that one animal would kill 4 big hens. And I'm assuming it happened last night.
 

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Yes one animal can kill many, and yes chickens are cannibals. I'm not sure of the radio, the way I see it a racoon may be scared for the first two minutes until they realize its not a threat. Good luck to your men and hope they get the predator.
 

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Sorry about your girls. A skunk got into our young coop and got a few of our babies. We know it was a skunk because we set the trap knowing he would be back after that night of the kill. It wasn't that big either. We have a radio up at our big coop on 24/7, put it on Talk radio. Never had a kill up there. I swear by it.
 

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The chickens can't consume the bones, so it's not likely that the other chickens ate her if she is missing entirely. Owls like to decapitate and consume just the heads, so if your pen is open, this might have been an option...but with one total bird missing, I'd say it's four legged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The coop is totally enclosed. And yes, the one hen is just gone- no sign of her. The other two were in nesting boxes and the other by the dusting box. I'm just so upset. I agree, that whatever it it will be back tonight..
 

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I'm so sorry you had this happen aquinn425. :( How awful for you. I hope you are able to get whatever it was that did this and that this never happens again. Hugs.
 

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aquinn425 said:
The coop is totally enclosed. And yes, the one hen is just gone- no sign of her. The other two were in nesting boxes and the other by the dusting box. I'm just so upset. I agree, that whatever it it will be back tonight..
Keep an eye out for her. I have a couple of friends that had some chickens hide for a couple of days when something like that happened. Out of the blue they showed up. One friend had a mass killing by a mink. They knew itwas a mink because it was dead in the coop with all of the chickens. (Must have choked on a chicken bone) anyway, a couple of weeks later the one missing hen showed up with her chicks. She had a nest somewhere they didn't know about.
 

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I'm so sorry Aquinn. I hope your missing hen is just hiding some where. I hope you guys catch the intruder. It's very hard losing your fur babies keep us posted. ~hugs~
 

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Did the predator come back last night ? We have a family of Red foxes that have been showing up the last few night, so far no losses luckily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone. Whatever it was did come back and got my best hen last night. We still have no idea how it even gets in the coop. However, whatever is doing this didn't decapitate her but was nothing but a carcass. I got a couple of traps and my husband plans on sitting out there again tonight.
 

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Are they completely locked in their coop at night? I have a completely enclosed run & coop but we still lock everyone up inside their house at bedtime. Just trying to figure out what can be getting in and where.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They are always kept in an enclosed run and are able to get in the coop whenever but no, we don't usually lock them in the coop at night. They have roosts they like to stay on at night in the run part. And yes, the plan is to cage and shoot whatever is taking out my girls.
 

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Sounds like a **** to me I went through the exact same thing every night another hen would disappear usually if its a mink they kill everything before leaving my neighbour lost 25 hens in one night. ***** will just keep coming back till there's nothing left not sure about possums don't have them her thank god. I'm so sorry that u have gone through all that its so frustrating I now lock my hens up every night I don't take chances any more it gets to expensive to feed nature.
 

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That's terrible! Can you close the coop completely that's In the run? I've lost a hen due to raccoons once. I forgot to close the coop. i was sick with the flu. I woke up at 3 am and went out to find a mess of feathers. I really hope you can find the inlet! I'm so sorry! Hope tonight is much better then the last few. Dang wildlife!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We can close the coop completely so if things keep happening we'll just have to lock them up at night. But, last night, thankfully, we didn't lose anybody. We didn't trap anything either. I fixed a few places at the top of the fencing that something may have been able to squeeze through so hopefully that will end our problems. We do live out in the country so we have coyotes, fox, *****, possums, and skunks. Not so sure about minks, but the majority being skunks and possums, at least that I've seen around our property.
 
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