My first year with chickens ends… sadly

Right when you’re feeling good about the progress you’re making on the homestead…

Something kills your chickens. All of them.

I went down to a silent coop this morning. The chickens weren’t waiting for me. And they didn’t start their gentle clucking when I called out to them.

Instead, I was greeted by dead silence. And four dead birds. Their necks were broken and the Ameraucana was decapitated. Feathers everywhere, almost no blood.

The working theory: a weasel or marten got in. There were no holes dug under the fence and no footprints in the snow.

But the gates are in need of repair to close completely; there are gaps between gate and post.

And something small tunneled in between the sill of the coop and the cinder block foundation, through a gap already there. It tunneled through the snow, around the coop, until it found this entry point.

I have been worried about fox and raccoon and dogs. I never once gave a thought to something like a weasel.

What a sad way to end my first year with chickens.

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Categories: chickens | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “My first year with chickens ends… sadly

  1. Candice

    sorry Matt :(

  2. Sorry to hear your sad news.

  3. Geez, what a disaster. Learn from your mistakes friend and don’t beat yourself up, we’ve all been there. It makes us better chicken keepers, start over and share your hard earned wisdom.

  4. So sorry to hear this… We keep a couple of different sized live traps down by our coops. So far we’ve caught a skunk and a raccoon… It’s awful to have to keep on guard all the time, but there are so many different predators out there, even microscopic ones…

  5. These things are sent to test us… I lost 20 chickens one night on the farm,,, all just killed not eaten,, lots of heads off, and to this day I have know idea what did it, how it got in or out as there was not a sign left behind…

  6. Pingback: Chickens and Predators, the Battleground | amy elizabeth's Good Chicken Keeping

  7. Michelle Mulley

    Have you been investigating what killed the chickens? Wondering if you had any updates?

  8. So sorry to hear about your ladies, goodluck for the new coop and chicks “chicken hug”

  9. Great article. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well..

    • Yup, these are the realities of caring for livestock. But the new chickens and coop are doing well. You have known predators?

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