Something has taken my little bantam

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Beano

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Something has taken my little bantam
« on: August 13, 2022, 22:07 »
Hello I am at my witts end as to what to do next!
Two days ago we came home after just two hours away and our two large hens (that have a large run with six foot fence but open top) were hiding in their coop and the two little bantams (that have a run within the large run) were no where to be seen. We eventually found them un harmed under some bushes in the garden. There was no sign of anything having got over or under the both fences. We netted the top of the little bantams run thinking it was a good move.
This afternoon we came home and the two large hens again in the coop petrified and one bantam hiding in the corner of their run but no sign of the other but two lots of feathers in the garden. Something has killed and taken her away which is heartbreaking because we made it more difficult for them to escape by netting the top. No signs of how and what got in. Both times were mid afternoon. Would it have been a weasel, stoat or polecat? If so, how on earth do you keep them out? I know the blighter will be back.
Sorry for the lengthy post. We have had hens for 15 years and this is our first predation. What can we do to keep our chickens safer?
El.

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steven c

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Re: Something has taken my little bantam
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2022, 22:57 »
we had weld mesh over whole of run and never lost any our run was about 12ft long i suppose it depends how practical it would be to cover over run our friend has lost all his birds with open top run with sides over 6ft high to fox
from bow like to grow

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New shoot

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Re: Something has taken my little bantam
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2022, 12:10 »
Id agree it was most likely a fox.  If they are hungry they are brazen and will be out during the day.

What kind of fence is it?  A fox might jump and pull netting down to get over it.  They can easily scale a 6 foot wood panel fence as well.

Also check for possible launch points - off the coop roof, a tree or nearby boundary fence.

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Aunty

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Re: Something has taken my little bantam
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2022, 12:27 »
Please remember everyone that an adult fox can get through a 4/10cm square hole. Which is probable smaller than most chickens can get through.  :ohmy: 

AND they can bite through chicken wire, so weld mesh is essential; they can also scale a 6 foot barrier, whatever its made of.  :mad:

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Beano

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Re: Something has taken my little bantam
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2022, 22:23 »
We put netting over the top and it was still intact. There was another hen in the same run and two more large hens in the larger run, which would have been easier to get at. There was no signs of a struggle in the run but feathers in the garden.
I'm beginning to think it was a bird of pray and it spooked them and the victim had squeezed out from under the fence somehow and killed outside the run. I have noticed the red kites are very noisy and swooping lower than normal. I wonder if hunger is driving them to predate small bantams.



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