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What's attacked my chicken?

(8 Posts)
whojamaflip Fri 10-Nov-17 22:19:40

Was wakened at 3 am by a kerfuffle in the chicken pen - we have Ross cobbs we are raising for the table - they are in a large run with 6 ft high chicken wire round and 2 strands of electric fence wire set 30 cms out from that.

Jumped out of bed and went to investigate with the terrier who promptly took off across the neighbouring field, all the birds were huddled along the fence line out of their shelter and there was one patch of feathers on the ground inside the pen with none to be seen outside. Birds looked ok so went back to bed.

5.30am and the same thing happens, shoot up there and there's more feathers by the fence line but no birds seem injured or dead.

Checked them this morning and one bird had been bitten deeply under each wing - deep enough to penetrate through the muscle so had to be put out of her misery.

Never seen injuries like that before - had a fox get in but it bit the heads off and caused absolute carnage - this is one bird with no other injuries apart from those under her wings.

Any ideas what I'm dealing with? Have upped the electric charge to the fence, set rat traps and our fox trap but I'm at a loss as to what it might be.

JamesDelayneysTattoos Fri 10-Nov-17 22:22:44

Exact same injury happened to one of mine. Vet said it could have been a stoat.

PurplePillowCase Fri 10-Nov-17 22:23:03

weasel or stoat?

Crumbs1 Fri 10-Nov-17 22:35:43

Rats I suspect. Where there are chickens there are always rats and some are pretty large creatures. It’s the reason we don’t keep them.

whojamaflip Fri 10-Nov-17 22:43:19

See I thought rats at first too but dh says that in his experience rats attack legs and feet not under their wings (he's kept chickens for years and even he's stumped)

Stoat or weasel may be the culprit but google tells me they usually cause problems in September when they are teaching the kits to hunt and they usually go for the back of the neck to kill.

Biggreygoose Fri 10-Nov-17 22:50:31

Most serious predators such as fox,stoat or ferret go for the head and neck and are pretty good at it.

A bite mid body makes me think cat.... Rat as PP said is another possibility.

Fitzsimmons Fri 10-Nov-17 22:53:14

My Mum's chickens were killed by buzzards shock

DullAndOld Fri 10-Nov-17 22:55:10

i think my rooster was attacked by a buzzard or kite or similar. Is the top open?

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