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What kills a chicken in the daytime and leaves only feathers behind? - Page 2

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 

We were thinking fox as we know we have some around. 

All the other chickens were farther away than usual when I brought up their evening "snack" when I came to close up the coop.  They came running/jumping/flying but milled around on the far side of the coop for a few minutes before coming over to the door.  I thought they were being unusually skittish.  Made sense when we found the feathers so close.

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 

We also have red-tailed hawks, but I'm betting on the fox, I think.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by newchickenmommy 

Hawks. They will fly off with their catch, and leave very little behind. Maybe a few feathers in the struggle.

I would be so upset. I worry about them all the time.

Sorry for your loss :-(

Sally


Hawk cannot carry a whole adult chicken.  Suspect canine (fox, coyote, dog).  If you search further, you may find one or two more piles of feathers - kill is usually accompanied by downier feathers, catch by longer ones.  If you find headless, ripped-up birds, suspect owls/hawks.  They eat what they can on the ground and then carry off parts to dine on later.

post #14 of 24

For me, it was fox, several times, one chicken at a time.  And when I caught one in the act and scared him off, he returned within an hour to recover the carcass, which I have since learned is their way.  They are fast; I watched it happen twice; took about 5 seconds; I would have had to have gun in hand and cocked to do anything.

Dogs usually kill for sport and leave parts, or even whole chickens, uneaten.  They usually kill several, if not the whole flock.  I haven't yet dealt with coyote; they are around but do not come close.  Yet.

Read here: 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=18670

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply
post #15 of 24

Just a pile of feathers means a hawk most likely. A hawk can most certainly carry an adult chicken off - when we have hawks here we feed them live chickens and they do fly with them.

Usually a fox will leave a trail of feathers. Dogs usually get feathers scattered everywhere.

'When she starts to twist, be more like Chris...pull your hat down tight and just LeDOUX IT - Good Ride Cowboy, Good Ride'          COWGIRL TOUGH     

I have the Need for Speed, so be fast or eat my dust!
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'When she starts to twist, be more like Chris...pull your hat down tight and just LeDOUX IT - Good Ride Cowboy, Good Ride'          COWGIRL TOUGH     

I have the Need for Speed, so be fast or eat my dust!
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post #16 of 24

I'm sorry for your los. sad

I lost a hen this week with the same evidence left behind:  just a pile of feathers... no blood or other remains.  We know for sure it was a coyote though, DH saw it.

post #17 of 24

I lost my entire flock last week to a stray dog, and all that was left was a few dead chicks and piles of feathers.

A very understanding husband, 1 little boy, 1 lab 1 chihuahua and a mix of 25 free loading bantams !
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A very understanding husband, 1 little boy, 1 lab 1 chihuahua and a mix of 25 free loading bantams !
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post #18 of 24

When a ground animal kills a chicken. There will be the kill pile. Where the animal was pounced on/grabbed/killed. If you walk around far enough and look close enough you will find a feather....then walk a little more (and you may have to do circles) and another feather..and so on. You can eventually find the spot where the animal ate/buried the prey. A hawk will fly off to a tree and you will find another pile of feathers under the tree.

'When she starts to twist, be more like Chris...pull your hat down tight and just LeDOUX IT - Good Ride Cowboy, Good Ride'          COWGIRL TOUGH     

I have the Need for Speed, so be fast or eat my dust!
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'When she starts to twist, be more like Chris...pull your hat down tight and just LeDOUX IT - Good Ride Cowboy, Good Ride'          COWGIRL TOUGH     

I have the Need for Speed, so be fast or eat my dust!
Reply
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'll have to walk circles tomorrow and see what I find.

The pile of feathers was both downy feathers and long ones.  More downy ones tho. 

The flock stayed inside today as we were gone all day.  We are trying to decide what kind of fencing to use.  We were going to let them free range, but with the coop being so far from the house and already losing one we are thinking of putting up a fence.  I think we will do two separate areas so we can rotate.

post #20 of 24

hawk 1st guess then fox. both will take one at a time. Dogs,coons,mink, will kill more than just one.

DOGS sometime just kill for fun, leave lots of dead birds.

"THE COUNT"



"Live Like You Were Dying"

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"THE COUNT"



"Live Like You Were Dying"

Memorial Thread


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