Disappearing Chickens

I’ve had the chickens in the new hen house and run for a couple of months now, but there are less chickens in the run than there should be!

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I haven’t counted them in a while, but decided to today. I know there were 45 chickens in the run to begin with, but today there were only 39.

I check them every day and haven’t had any die in that time. A couple escaped in the first month, but they usually just come down to the house and wait for food. Don’t think a ground predator would have done it, as more than 6 would have disappeared, so my guess is maybe crows/buzzard. I’ll have to consider something across the top of the run.

1 Comment

  1. According to the internet, you may be dealing with human predators. This helped me identify the opossum that was guilty of killing my hens.

    1. Were the birds killed or missing?
    Dead birds visible……………………….go to 2
    One or more birds missing…………………..go to 5

    2. How may birds were killed?
    Several……………………….go to 3
    One or two killed…………………………..go to 4

    3. How were several birds killed?
    Mauled but not eaten…………………………..Dogs
    Killed by small bites on body, neatly piled, some heads eaten…….Mink or Weasel
    Heads and crops eaten on several birds………Raccoon

    4. How were one or two birds killed?
    Birds mauled, abdomen eaten……………………Opossum
    Deep marks on head and neck, some eaten…………Owl
    Chicks killed and abdomen eaten; lingering scent…………………….Skunk
    Young chicks dead on floor of coop……………..Rat

    5. How many birds are missing?
    One bird is missing but feathers remain…..Fox or Coyote
    Several birds are missing without a trace…………Human
    One or two chicks are missing without a trace……….Rat

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