Bad week to be a chicken farmer...or a chicken
by Pete on September 24th, 2013

This has been, quite bluntly, a horrible week to be chicken.  Yesterday we discovered a major predator attack on our meat chickens.  Approximately fifty (50!) of our five week old Freedom Ranger chickens were attacked and killed by what we believe to be a weasel.  On Monday morning while carrying out our normal chores - we discovered that all the birds in one of our "hoop coops" were killed.  Strewn about inside and outside the coop were approximately fifity perfectly still little chickens.  They were not eaten.  Instead, they had small puncture wounds on their necks - this is where they were attacked, and had their blood sucked.  Nice, right?   This is the sign of a weasel.  No holes dug under the coop either.  Weasels are sneaky and can get through the smallest of openings.  Despite our fences and coops they are still able to get inside .  This is the first major attack we've ever had by a weasel and it is devastating. 

To add insult to injury, the day before I found a hawk eating one of our meat birds that had escaped the coop the day before.  The hawk swooped down and had just begun having breakfast when I happened upon him/her. 

We had hoped to have many extra birds available for sale at our next harvest in a month but with this loss we will have many fewer for sale.  We will be strengthening our coops and may even move the birds back to our home farm to ensure their safety.  Stay tuned.

Photos below.

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