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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I have 5 ducks and I had 11 chickens, they were around 6-9 weeks old, maybe older. When they were smaller I would lock them up at night in a wooden chicken coop it was likea large wooden room. Across the front opening there was a peice of chicken wire that was about 3 feet tall and probally 8 feet long. The opening to the chicken coop was 8 ft across and probally 5 feet tall. Every night I would put my chickens in there, but for the past few days I have been leaving it open so they could go in and out at night. At first I would leave a flood light on in the chicken coop, but for the past 2-3 nights I have been turning it off. I fed them last night and they were all fine. This morning I go out there to feed them again and my ducks are fine, but 1 chicken is dead with its head ripped off and 9 of them are missing. 1 chicken is still living though and appears fine. I really dont know what to make of it. And my chicken pen has 5 1/2 feet to 6 feet tall fencing around the chicken coop with absolutely no holes anywhere in the pen. I have no clues what animal could have done this. My neighborhood is farely populated we have neighbors right up agaisnt each side of my house. Behind my house is a vineyard and a large field. I have seen hawks and vultures and owls. I have never seen a raccoon here and I have seen one possum in the past 9 years. I have also seen a fox before.
 

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Sounds like a **** to me! We hadn't seen one around here either until it happened. In one night the **** climbed right over the 4' fence into a small door opening and killed 5or6. Heads ripped of, bodies missing, wing's here or there. The one rooster he didn't get had a big bite right out of the middle of his back ( I sprayed it w/ wound kote and now you'd never know). I had talked to fish and game and he told me lock em up, sprinkle flour all over at night, sure enough the next morning there were **** tracks. Took us a few weeks (chickens were on complete! lock down at night) to kill it. We'd go out several times from dusk until we went to bed at night with a flash light looking for eyes. Sure enough on the other side of the property there he was in the tree, now his skin is on the side of the shop!!
As for hawks and vultures they aren't going to hunt at night, owls and 4 leggeds yes. We had a period of 3 owls stalking at night, everything again stayed on night lock down they finally moved on.
 

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First guess would be raccoon, the ducks will move during the night, chicken roost and don't, so they are very easy targets, but raccoons will go after ducks too, so lock them up, put the light back on and reinforce the pen, raccoons are a pain.
 

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In our experience, the chickens roost at a certain time and they're done. They don't go anywhere til morning. Same with the ducks. If we're late shutting them in, they'll wander in and set in their nests. Even if we left the door open to their pens, they'd stay inside. The only things that seem to wander at night are the predators.

We keep a light on in the barn yard and everyone gets locked in.

I'm sorry you lost almost all of your chickens :(
 

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I had that problem once and discovered it was an owl. So I make sure my chickens are locked up each night. I even have a fence cover on the top of their run way so nothing can fly in..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok so I have an update on this case. The night after this all happened I put my ducks into the chicken coop along with my one remaining chicken and turned the light on. I also left the headless on out as bait. At around midnight my dogs started barking near the chicken pen, I ran out and that is when I noticed the dead chicken was gone. Everything else was fine. That morning I got up at around 8:30 and found some poop near my chicken pen right in the main pathway where I walk to feed my chickens. The poop was light brown and had hair, blood and nuts in it. Later in the day one of my missing chickens showed up at my feet. the reason why I dont think it makes since that a raccoon didthis is because The night this all happened 9 chickens were just missing, no damage and no feathers. Then one was headless, again not a feather out of place on its body and the head no where in sight. And one alive. Ducks fine. Then the wierd thing is, just last year a simialr event occured, I had only 3 ducks at the time and 9 adult hens. Every day when I would come into the pen one would be missing, again no feathers and no damage?? I really dont know what to make of it
 

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Ugh. I am sorry! :(
Whatever it is, the surest way to protect your chickens is to lock them up in a stout chicken house. No chicken wire for night protection - predators can tear right through. Sturdy rabbit cage wire and wood are fine. If it's a weasel, there can't be any holes, even small ones!
You could try to catch/kill the varmint, but you never know when another will come. Your surest bet is just to lock your chickens up securely every single night.
 
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