What is killing Chickens? That is a question we always get. Most any predators will kill a chicken but there are ways to determine what is killing chickens by what they leave behind. Possible chicken killing culprits could be foxes, dogs, raccoons, opossums, skunks, mink, weasels, birds of prey, or the wild next door neighbors kid.
The easiest way to rule out a number of culprits is to look at the chicken coop. Is it built tight and strong, can a large animal gain access or a bird swoop in from the top? If not then that rules out foxes, dogs, raccoons, opossums, skunks or birds of prey. Minks and weasels can almost fit through most any pen and are one of the more destructive chicken predators. If it looks like something reached through the wire and ripped the heads off of the chickens then this is most likely a raccoon.
In pens that are not built tight or for free range chickens then you must look at whats left behind. If nothing is left behind then what is killing chickens could be a fox, raccoon or bird of prey; as all of these animals will carry their kill off. Dogs will sometime carry their kill of but most of the time will just kill it and leave it lay once it is dead then chase another chicken, dogs kill for sport. If all of the insides (intestines) are eaten out and the chicken is left then it is most likely a skunk or opossum. If all the heads and necks of many chickens are ripped off then that is most likely a mink or weasel as that is the way they kill and they kill for sport so they will kill more than they can eat. If in fact it is your neighbors kid killing your chickens then look for a kid running around with chicken feathers on his head or something of the sort, it is pretty self-explanatory.
If you are having chickens be killed the first step you should take is to not allow your chicken to free range as this makes them easy targets. The predators will remember where your coop is so you must be proactive to keep your chickens safe. Call us to come, we can figure out what is killing chickens and know how to set traps to catch the animal before it strikes again. Jesse James Critter Gitters also has skilled technicians that will look at your coop and can perform all the necessary work to exclude your coop from outside invaders. Call before it is too late.