Lost Entire Flock except 1 in Broad Daylight
Until the recent tragedy, I had 10 chickens. I have built as close to a predator-proof coop as I can and my flock has been fine for over 2 years. We let them out during the day and they all return at night.
We have raccoons in our area and they have tried to get into the coop but NEVER succeeded.
7 days ago, only 6 of the 10 chickens returned to the coop. We never found out what happened. No bones, feathers, nothing. We have a wooded area near our house and maybe a pack of raccoons got to them and ATE them in the wooded area and that is why we didn't find any remains. Also, although we've never had hawks...I heard maybe it was hawks.
Raccoons are NOT SUPPOSED to come during the day and we've never had raccoons come out in over 2 years during the day so I thought maybe it was a hawk.
Yesterday, of the remaining 4 chickens, only 1 returned to the coop at night. From 10 down to 1 in 2 weeks. I feel like crying.
Our neighbor said she heard squaking in broad daylight and she saw a raccoon eating one of the hens in broad daylight....it left the carcass and ran when it saw her.
That solves the mystery...it was raccoons.
If raccoons do come out in BROAD DAYLIGHT, I don't think I can get any more chickens as I can't just keep them COOPED UP in the chicken coop all day.
A fence would be worthless as the raccoons will just climb over the fence.
I suppose I could do a "covered coop" but it would have to be big for 10 chickens plus the grass would die in the coop and be ugly, no? With free-ranging them (I have 2 acres), they never really KILL any area of the lawn....they just go about the entire property.
My kids are devastated as these hens were PETS. The sole survivor is a teacup rooster and he is lonely and has not crowed since the killings. We are NOT LETTING HIM OUT and keeping him cooped up 24/7 until we figure out a better solution.