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Any ideas what's snatching our chickens? - Page 2

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by candemaye View Post

It's lovely, just this one minor downside! I knew Eagles were strong but dang. Suppose I'll be looking into a bit more secure for covering the run too
PVC pipe and any kind of netting, orange construction fencing, even nylon cord zig-zag across the top of fence....are Quick, Easy, and Cheap fixes....just so ya know.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by candemaye View Post

Well shoot then.

Can I maybe take this in a slightly different direction then? I have the three cockerels and honestly they all do pretty well at alerting and standing guard surprisingly. I was going to get rid of two leaving one rooster to (at the time) 14 hens. Should I still go down to one rooster to 11 hens or should I try to add more chicks (hens) and have two roosters and 17 hens in the end? More watchful eyes, perhaps a safer flock?
Well, there is one thing about a predator....unless it isn't available....it will continue its success and continue to return.....by adding more to your flock....you will only be increasing the 'Odds' in their favor....a sure sign the 'Dinner Bell' has sounded....so, you have to factor 'Losses' to your flock in your planning....deterrence is much less costly in the long run.....especially an area of an acre or less.....just trying to relate my personal experience....I certainly am no expert....just a country boy.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CntryBoy777 View Post

Well, there is one thing about a predator....unless it isn't available....it will continue its success and continue to return.....by adding more to your flock....you will only be increasing the 'Odds' in their favor....a sure sign the 'Dinner Bell' has sounded....so, you have to factor 'Losses' to your flock in your planning....deterrence is much less costly in the long run.....especially an area of an acre or less.....just trying to relate my personal experience....I certainly am no expert....just a country boy.

We are moving towards a more supervised ranging situation. Long story short, they're currently living in my garage with no run. We are in the process of building a proper coop and run. Until then though they have no choice but to range. However, even once we get the run up, when they are out ranging they'll have several acres, wooded areas, and old run over meadows to scrounge through. So I'm leaning towards more hens/two roosters...


Edited to add-the coop is on its way here, run material is here and waiting for coop. So the new setup will be completed long before any newcomers are ready to come out. Right now I'm sorting out managing the ones I have now and working up a temporary pen.
Edited by candemaye - 5/15/16 at 6:37pm
post #14 of 17

http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/eagle/eagle3.html

" A bald eagle's lifting power is about 4 pounds. They do not generally feed on chickens or other domestic livestock, but they will make use of available food sources. Bald eagles will take advantage of carrion (dead and decaying flesh), giving it a scavenger image, which causes some people to dislike eagles. Other people do not care for powerful and aggressive birds; while some object merely on the grounds that it is a bird of prey which kills other animals for food."

 

I'm still betting on coyote or raccoon. A few years ago, we were on vacation, my mom was taking care of the chickens, letting them out in the morning to free range, and shutting the coop at night. One day she was over in the afternoon for something, and when she came back a few hours later, several of my hens and my rooster were gone. The only thing left was one of my rooster's tail feathers. We had a corn field right next  to the outbuildings. That fall, when DH was harvesting, he chased 3 coyotes out of the field. Several years before that, when we had corn in that same spot, all my barn cats disappeared in a matter of a few weeks. Again, coyotes in the field when harvesting. 

 

And raccoons - had a mama raccoon go into my coop right in the middle of the day and kill my favorite broody. Fortunately, the dog alerted DH, and he got the coon before she could kill the chicks. The mother raccoon and her babies were no longer a threat to my flock after DH found them...


Edited by bobbi-j - 5/15/16 at 7:03pm

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CntryBoy777 View Post

When I was a truck driver....I have seen bald eagles from Shoals, southern Indiana, all the way up to Gary in the north....so, it would not be surprising if that is what it may be....could have babies to feed in the wooded area you have mentioned....or a great horned owl....though they are mainly night hunters....they can be active during daylight hours with nestlings to provide for....if it is a ground attack there would be some sort of scuffle, tracks, or evidence....at least that has been my experience...best of luck with your quest.[/quote
I have had the same thing just one black sex link. Not a trace of that bird and another but I'm not sure who but I went from 13 to 11.... We recently got a new neighbor a bald eagle. BINGO for me. Thanks Cntruboy777

Edited by scrambled please - 5/15/16 at 7:10pm
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbi-j View Post

http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/eagle/eagle3.html
" A bald eagle's lifting power is about 4 pounds. They do not generally feed on chickens or other domestic livestock, but they will make use of available food sources. Bald eagles will take advantage of carrion (dead and decaying flesh), giving it a scavenger image, which causes some people to dislike eagles. Other people do not care for powerful and aggressive birds; while some object merely on the grounds that it is a bird of prey which kills other animals for food."

I'm still betting on coyote or raccoon. A few years ago, we were on vacation, my mom was taking care of the chickens, letting them out in the morning to free range, and shutting the coop at night. One day she was over in the afternoon for something, and when she came back a few hours later, several of my hens and my rooster were gone. The only thing left was one of my rooster's tail feathers. We had a corn field right next  to the outbuildings. That fall, when DH was harvesting, he chased 3 coyotes out of the field. Several years before that, when we had corn in that same spot, all my barn cats disappeared in a matter of a few weeks. Again, coyotes in the field when harvesting. 

And raccoons - had a mama raccoon go into my coop right in the middle of the day and kill my favorite broody. Fortunately, the dog alerted DH, and he got the coon before she could kill the chicks. The mother raccoon and her babies were no longer a threat to my flock after DH found them...
I totaly understand those critters too....and certainly agree with ya bobbi-j.....we have them here too, along with weasel, bobcat, skunk, and possums.....not to mention the egg eating snakes....but it is rather difficult for them to grab one on a run with its jaws without pushing it to the ground first....unless, as you spoke of, there is a pack....where one runs the prey to the 'Trap'.....with the lack of there being any signs....was the cause for the focus on an 'Air Attack'......in fact, I got a grey fox yesterday evening....thank goodness!!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
We've settled on coyote most likely, perhaps an eagle, perhaps a raccoon. I talked to the neighbor and he told me that the people who lived here before had a huge raccoon problem last year in their garden so he and neighbor spent several weeks on a raccoon shoot out. Took out twelve supposedly. So I don't know if they'd be back soon after that kind of take down. Regardless, something is making a quick and clean meal of my birds.


I forgot to mention too that our 150 lb mastiff has been out too during this. I've seen her take down many a raccoon, chase after coyotes, but she tends to not bark unless it's bigger than her-which means she usually barks her fool head off at deer. So whatever it was was staying out of her sight.
Edited by candemaye - 5/15/16 at 8:07pm
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