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Dee J

What's killing our chooks?

Couple of weeks ago found one hen dead in the field, bite to neck and dragged to the edge of the field. Local pest control said "mink - it'll be long gone by now". Tonight putting the animals away... found the remaining three hens and the cockerel all dead. The hens all left where they were killed, the cockerel dragged to the side of the field. The three geese are ok as are the ducks and goslings in a sub pen.... well for the moment.

Just a basic fox or something else? Can't see a fox sized route out of the field anywhere near the area the carcases are dragged to. Just an old rabbit warren in a Devon hedge bank.

Dee Crying or Very sad

We had a number killed by a fox and taken under the stock netting fence - most found as feathers by chance weeks later. Filled in all the holes and the next time fox came past the killed birds were left in the field, one by the fence - assume the fox couldn't jump with one in mouth. Seven killed in one week - two sessions.
The one dropped at the base of the fence turned out to be not dead just pretending - had bloody holes on both sides of body where canine teeth had sunk in. Picked her up, brought her in, kept her warm, antiseptic on holes and she lived for years after. The bodies were not ripped apart - feather storm where hit happened but not ripped up.
Recently have had one hen and one cockerel bitten. Hen died, cockerel lived. The hen had her face chewed off while in a nest box. We thought stoat/weasel as the wounds were small area.
Not knowingly seen mink attack.

Sad Poor you. Always sad when one gone. Horrible to lose so many.
The verminator

dead chook's

Sorry for your losses,i have trap's if you need them i am in Tavistock

It could be a young fox, I suppose - they get through quite small holes. But if your local pest chap has said mink, I'd go with that. Have you got access to a trap?
Nicky Colour it green


I'd expect the fox to eat at least one of them, not just kill and leave. Dogs though, are usually well fed but will kill for fun.

I'd take Verminator up on his generous offer and see if he'd come and have a look see.

polecats - we have had local friends who have fallen prey to these ...

Are you on the edge of Exmoor, Dee? I'm on the other edge; my local gamekeeper says Polecats are everywhere at the moment.

traps never sleep

and a well set foxtrap will also get smaller vermin which can be identified and targeted specially if needs be

Could be polecat, but bite to the back of the neck is classic mink. They tend to kill everything they can get within range of, though not necessarily to remove/eat. If you can pluck the back of the neck and then see the double bite mark you can confirm if it is mink and rule out dog or fox.
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