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What's killing my chickens

1982 Views 16 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  fishhead
So, three times in the last three weeks something has gotten into my chicken coop and killed a chicken. A chicken, just one each time. Dead in the coop, head missing and ass end eaten out. Each time, same way. I've gone over the coop to try and make sure the loose spots were tacked down, seams closed, etc. The first time I found a hole under the backside, dug under the buried chicken wire. Plugged that up with rock and pallets good for more than a week. Then the other day, another one killed, same way. That's when I found a couple of loose seams and one top edge kinda open. stapled and nailed and tacked down everything I could, and today another dead one. They have been fine in this same coop for over a year. How and why now, and what kind of varmint kills just one at a time and takes off the head and only eats from the backside?
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It sounds like a skunk to me. A friend of mine used to raise turkeys commercially. He said that they had problems with skunks eating the anus out of their hens while they were in the nest boxes. I don't know of any other animal that targets the anus.

I would fortify the pen by securing all of the wire and then putting an electric fence wire around the bottom about 6" off the ground and a foot out from the mesh. I would also run a hot wire around the top about 3" above the mesh.
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