Huge Predator Problem

I moved the hens about a month ago and have lost about a dozen.  Shortly after moving them I had several hens that would not stay inside the area surrounded by the electric fence.  I believe ground based predators got them one by one.  For example I found a trail of feathers leading off into the bushes.  However the last couple of days I lost some that were inside the fence.  Somehow the electric fence got disconnected and there was a hen that had its head ripped off and the body was about 10 feet away.  What does that?

Another problem is now that the fenced area has some honeysuckle bushes in it and the hens are no longer going to the coop at night.  Two nights ago I found my 3 white leghorns roosting high in a bush and then next day one of them was missing (it’s easy to tell as they are my only white birds).  Under the bush they were roosting in there were a lot of white feathers, but I couldn’t find a body.  I’m not sure what would have got her from a perch 6′ off the ground inside an electric fence and then carry her away.

I’ve lost about half my flock in the last two months or so.  I did get rid of my rooster shortly before this move so maybe he was doing more then I saw to protect the flock.

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  • patrick evans

    a good rooster only wants 2 things. First he wants to fill your backyard with his offspring. Second he wants to protect your flock with his life if needed so that he can fill your backyard with his offspring.

    • patrick evans

      i’ll also add that i like to have 10 to 12 hens per rooster. if you can get a couple that were raised together all the better. one will be the alpha & do most of the breeding but more eyes on the lookout for things with big teeth is a good thing.
      we went with buff orpingtons because they are good DP birds but not the small hatchery orpingtons, ours are much larger. good luck, great blog