So lets see if this scenario sounds like something that might be happening to you. “ I just bought 10 chickens and built, what I thought to be a strong cage around them to make sure they didnt escape. The first week was great. I went our there every day and was able to collect eggs from the chickens and they seemed very content to hang out in their coop. However one day I went out to the chicken house and I noticed there were only nine chickens in the coop and there was a pile of feathers in one corner of the house. The remaining chickens seemed extremely afraid and I got no eggs that day.
I had no clue what happened so I went back into the house hoping it was a one day thing. The next day I cam out I now noticed that there were only 7 chickens. There were two more piles of feathers and no eggs. I decided to investigate a little and noticed a small hole underneath the caging where it seemed an animal burrowed into the cage. This same animal was now feasting on my chickens every night. I patched up the hole with dirt and figured Id solved the problem. However I came back out the next morning and there was another hole in a different spot underneath the wiring. It seemed there was nothing I could to do stop this animal that was eating all my chickens. Please help me get rid of the animal killing my chickens.” This is an email I got from a friend and I reckon many of you may be facing the same trouble. So here is my guide to keeping your chickens safe and trapping or killing the animal that keeps eating your chickens.
Unless your willing to stay up all night with a gun hiding out in the chicken coop your best bet to catching this unknown predator is to set a trap that will be able to catch the mystery animal. Now the size of the trap is going to depend on of course the size of the animal. Therefore take a look at the size of the whole that was dug into your chicken house, this will give you a pretty good idea that the size of animal you are dealing with. Most commonly you will be getting foxes or coyotes however other animals such as opossums have been known to eat chickens.
The type of cage you are going to be looking to buy is going to be made out of metal wiring. It will be a basic box shape with one side drawn open and the other shut tight. In the middle of the box there will be a small place raised above the ground. When something applies downward pressure on this place the open side of the box will close shut, trapping whatever animal is inside. Of course in order for this trap to work properly you are going to have to put some bait in the trap. Fortunately for you you know what this mystery animals likes, chicken. So what I would do is simply go to the store and buy a couple of chicken breasts. Throw these in the back of the cage behind the pressure plate, to make sure the animal has to walk over it and activate it.
Now make sure you fill in all the hole around the chicken coop so the mystery predator has to make choice either go through all the work of burrowing another whole or simply walk into the trap and take some chicken, which wont be trying to run away either. This is a very effective way to help keep your chickens safe from predators and stop your chickens from dying from wild animals. You may have to continually do this as more predators come into the area, drawn to the sound and smells of fresh chickens. However trapping the animals killing your chickens is a great way to keep your chickens alive and producing eggs.