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hens in the garden

34 comments


hi every one .
to those who have hens or thinking of getting some. a WARNING .
every one thinks only foxes attack hens , as we did . but we have discovered that this is not so. we lost some hens a couple of weeks ago . we did not know wot on earth cud get in , we checked every thing . some of the hens had been chewed but none eaten. then on sat while i was out at work .i got a phone call from oh.saying that another 3 hens were dead and chewed again, so i googled it and found that it can be stotes . they are small and get though tiny holes and rat runs. in fact they live in rat holes after turfing them out.
a friend who knows but such stuff came and looked and confirmed it . so we are now laying traps to catch them . i have talked to a few people and minks polecats as well as even……….your friendly hedgehog will kill hens. hedgehogs bite the necks and suck the blood . the others bit the necks and paralyze them and chew them alive so dont pity the states.
they killed
7 of my hens in a week so remember not just foxs kill.
an up date , the 1st 0ct. hens attact againe fri bt 3 ish. o.h rang me to say he herd comotion and ran out to find 3 hens killed again.
the animal that was attacking was jumping 4ft high in the attemt to jump on the hens, oh was in the pen with it trying to catch it . traped it and had to kill it. we now need to identify it . its size of a large ferett and black bt 12 " long body bt 3" diamerty. we are now wondering if its a mink . hoping its an only 1 but we are still traping as it has had 10 hens now.

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Comments

 

Thank you, Cristina, for the information...
I didn't realise that hedgehogs attack hens...

13 Sep, 2010

 

had to google cos have lost all mine due to stoete and it mentioned hedgehogs did this as well , just shows ur doent it .every 1 thinks just fox,s

13 Sep, 2010

 

I guess stoats are more numerous in some parts of the country than in others ...

13 Sep, 2010

 

never even thort they were here till this happened , am so paranoids now keep going out to count them

13 Sep, 2010

 

I found this ...

Stoats and Weasels are quite different in their reproductive habits, this is probably due to the short life that weasels lead, forcing them to produce offspring as quickly as possible.
The Weasel will raise two litters a year of between 3 and 6 kits in Spring and Summer with the young able to fend for themselves after only 5 weeks, by which time they are already able hunters.

Stoats on the other hand only have one litter per year in Spring but the breeding takes place in early summer of the previous year, with the females able to keep the fertilised egg implanted until it is allowed to gestate. A typical litter size is between 6 and 12 kits.

Neither the stoat or weasel is in any real danger of extinction in the UK, they are however threatened by hunting, habitat loss, poisoning and both often get run over on the country lanes. They do tend to live around farms as the hedgerow habitat and plentiful food supply suits them. This often leads them into conflict with farmers, especially problematic are stoats who are very able at snatching chickens, eggs as well as game birds.

13 Sep, 2010

 

at the moment further up than where we live they are building on wild grasslands which is prob well suited to them. so we think they are disturb habitats and this has forced them to our end 4 easy prey , they have taken 7 hens in 3 weeks .cut there throats and even chewed the head of 1. have bin told they paralyze the bird after biting there trouts and they are still alive wen they are chewing at them . a trained gamekeeper came to look and this is wot he said also googled it it .but u give me more info now as well. i think peeps dont know abt this and that's why i put it on. interesting yes . but horrid as well.
my hens were all over the place thanks 4 looking up 4 me x

13 Sep, 2010

 

My mother lost all of ours many years ago to a white pet ferret that had escaped from it's cage. It was like a blood bath in the hen house. My dad killed it when it came back later that morning.

13 Sep, 2010

 

omg thats wot it was like . putting trap out to moz

13 Sep, 2010

 

Sorry Cristina, I forgot to say how sorry I was to hear about your hens. Hope you catch the b.........r.

13 Sep, 2010

 

thats ok hun trap out 2 moz . gona tuk em up in a min lol.

13 Sep, 2010

 

So upsetting for you, Cristina ...
Are your chickens a long way from the house ?

Here's a bit more I found about how to recognise the stoat tracks ...

Footprint Description:

Tiny prints, only usually found in extremely soft ground such as silt. Forefoot track has 5 digital pads, with distinct claws which give the toes a pointed appearance. Interdigital or heel pad has 3 distinct lobes.
Footprint Size:

Fore foot - 2x2.2cm, hind foot - 4x2.5cm.

13 Sep, 2010

 

thanks terra, they are bottom of garden in veg patch. keep going out . its gonna get get my size 6 up its backside wen i get hold of it. we think they cud b under the summer house as there is evidence there.

13 Sep, 2010

 

Thanks for the information....I will pass it along to my daughter as she as 3 chickens. She's been troubled with a fox in recent weeks but so far he hasn't managed to actually get to the chickens.

Sorry you've had such an upset, Cristina. Hope the traps work for you.

13 Sep, 2010

 

thanks no 1 ever thinks anything else will get them

13 Sep, 2010

 

poor hens cristina, guess its nature however sad it is, feel sorry for all concerned really being an animal lover ;o(((

13 Sep, 2010

 

thanks sandra it was horrid to come home to that

13 Sep, 2010

 

im sure it is cristina, i would be in tears, hope you get things sorted, can you get humane traps and release them away from your area, hate the thought of anything being killed

13 Sep, 2010

 

am afraid not seni felt as u ,until i saw wot they do . it really is the worst thing ever. i think there habitat has bin disturbed. and we were told in no way shud we touch them as they carry disease sorry hun . carnt risk it.got ten more hens to think of now.

13 Sep, 2010

 

I must admit since a family of stoats have moved in the rabbit population has gone down no end!

13 Sep, 2010

 

i understand that cristina,x

13 Sep, 2010

 

I had a rabbit when I was little that was killed by a ferret, dug under the run.

13 Sep, 2010

 

Hope you get the little blighters Cristina, it must have been awful to find your hens like that.

13 Sep, 2010

 

thanks every one

13 Sep, 2010

 

So sorry, Cristina to here about your chickens. I can only imagine how upset you are. Hope you get it sorted out soon.

13 Sep, 2010

 

Hope you manage to catch them soon Cristina :-))

14 Sep, 2010

 

So sorry Cristina to hear about your chicks, hope you get it sorted out soon, not nice for you is it? Tuck them up tightly at night Cristina, hope the shock hasn't stopped them laying!

15 Sep, 2010

 

thanks every one just a waiting game now ,but i tuck them up every nite now.

15 Sep, 2010

 

I'm sorry to hear your bad news, I hope you manage to catch the culprit very soon. It's aweful what nature can do ...........

16 Sep, 2010

 

Ooooh 'eck!
Thanks for the warning, so sorry you have had to go through such a ghastly experience.
My parents used to keep chickens when my brother and I were small, back in the fifties but don't remember them ever being attacked.
My daughter has just moved into a cottage in a rural spot not far from here. She and her boyfriend have turned a run down property into a very comfortable first home. Once they have reclaimed the garden they plan to restore it to its former glory complete with veg patch and chickens at the far end. They will be very interested in your blog.

25 Sep, 2010

 

i hope they dont get attackt but she shud b carefull. i have up dated blog as we coaught a black animal and not sure wot it is now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cud b a mink

1 Oct, 2010

 

Its not your neighbours black cat is it Cristina!! ....lol ;-)

3 Oct, 2010

 

lol richard noooooooooo its a mink DEAD now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4 Oct, 2010

 

Hope that is the end of your problems now Cristina....I suppose the mink was a pet that got loose? or do they live in the wild?

4 Oct, 2010

 

so do ihub ........... no not pets .they live in the wild ,released by so called doguders uni thought they they were right also but not now. after seeing wot they do. have googled and spoken to several people in it. themink ,polecats. states etc are killing all our wild life .peticually mink.which are not native to britain . they just kill but not eat them ,just a waste. it was a blood bath. oh was in the pen with it and cud not believe wot he saw. they have no predertaires here they live along waters edge can swim and clime

4 Oct, 2010

 

Yes, now I do remember hearing about activists releasing mink into the wild after invading mink farms. It's awful that they kill but don't even eat their prey....must have been an shock for you to see the critter in amongst your precious chickens. Let's hope the dead mink is the only one in your neck of the woods so your chickens can be safe once again.

4 Oct, 2010

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