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Discussion Starter #1
This morning we went out to check on our 16 7 week old chicks and found dead bodies. We're assuming it was a racoon as several were headless. :hair
Not sure why we didn't hear anything through the barn baby monitor to alert us. One lonely confused and cold Rhode Island Red chick was perched up on a stick and managed to escape somehow. Not sure now what to do with one chick and 25 grown chickens. We can't keep her in the brooder box alone but not sure if she'll get picked on if we let her wander with them. It's 20 degrees tonight, so pretty cold for her to be without her snuggly chick buddies and warming light, so we have to figure something out for her and now to reinforce everything again.

Aaargh.
 

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She won't survive the cold, or the other chickens. So it would probably be best to set her up a small brooder box indoors with a heat lamp and feather duster to snuggle up with. And behind a closed door, because she will likely be cheeping constantly for a while.

Sorry to hear you lost so many birds. Raccoons are one of the worst chicken killers, right up there next to dogs.
 

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I lost 3 adults to a fox two nights ago... long story. Best to let her grow out a little in a warm place- the older chickens will peck her to death. Maybe you can find her a mate on craigslist.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Danus29 - interesting. We actually have no water features anywhere near us but without a camera, for sure we're just guessing.
Sumatra and Tango - we agree. We've ordered new chicks but it'll be weeks before the breed we want are available, so we're going to have to move her to a controlled situation with the warmer light until she's big enough to mix in. Good idea about a feather duster - never thought of that. Will look on CL to see if anyone has a young chick we can introduce to give her a friend or two.
Thanks all
 

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That just breaks my heart. I'm so sorry you lost them that way.

We've got 27 acres, mostly wooded bordered by national forest, and all sorts of creatures try to come on the property but JR, the BIG dog, makes sure nothing comes near my chickens...day or night. His scent is all over this property and he's an outside dog...barks and chases everything all night and guards the chicken coop with his life.

We are blessed to have this dog. Might want to invest in one if you can. I know not everyone wants to or is able.

Prayers you can find some, like suggested, on CL. I know they're still selling them in my area.
 

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Very sorry you had to go through that. I've had it happen more than once over the years. Last time was this spring with a skunk family, but there was the time I didn't latch the door one night and foxes got in. Then when I was a kid there was a pen in an out building that was hit by mink and there was one survivor there, too.

Really,that many dead does sound like a mink or a weasel. They just go nuts and kill everything.
 

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Really sorry to hear that, makes me glad that I have mine in a locked up coop at night that would take a chainsaw to break into. I lost 2 birds this summer due to some poisonous berries, and that really bothered me, especially after raising them from a day old. Losing that many birds at that age must really, well, suck for a lack of a better word.
 

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I am sorry that happened, but glad you have at least one tiny chick left. Definitely agree about the brooder for that little guy.

I lost nine Guineas at age 3 months to a raccoon. It tore each bird out of the sidewall of my coop, killed it, then got another and dragged it out. It was a bloody mess. It tore those poor birds to up horribly. It only took one bird away though. I hate those little rotten raccoons very much.
 

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It tore each bird out of the sidewalk of my coop, killed it, then got another and dragged it out. It was a bloody mess. It tore those poor birds to up horribly. It only took one bird away though. I hate those little rotten raccoons very much.
I had a Bobcat that did that to my quinea's. In my area a racoon will get him one and eat it. A Bobcat will kill several, take one and come back later/the next night and get some more of the ones it killed.

Now, if I have a roost close to the wire or anywhere a animal can reach in and get a hold on one of my birds---I put up a shield so they are safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to everyone - sounds like many of us have to deal with miserable losses occasionally. So the update is - we found a guy that had 8 week old white maran pullets so we added 6 of those girls to our flock.
The 6 marans and the one 'Lucky' RIR are now in the brooder box getting used to each other with a nice heat lamp available. We've got a racoon trap out but no luck for two nights. Hopefully the story will end well with grown up birds and a trapped and gone racoon. thanks!
 

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I had a Bobcat that did that to my quinea's. In my area a racoon will get him one and eat it. A Bobcat will kill several, take one and come back later/the next night and get some more of the ones it killed.

Now, if I have a roost close to the wire or anywhere a animal can reach in and get a hold on one of my birds---I put up a shield so they are safe.
I had raccoon tracks everywhere the next morning. We do have a bobcat here as well, but since my dogs/horses/donkeys are out all the time, it hasn't come around much for a couple years.

My coop is now reinforced with heavy plywood. Before, it was light weight plywood. Obviously that wasn't enough to keep the predator out:-(
 
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