I acquired 4 bantam chickens (2 silkie hens, a cochin roo, and a frizzle roo of some sort). They are used to being free so they just fly out of the run every morning and fly back in to roost every evening. A few days ago the frizzle disappeared. There was no feather laying around or anything. He just vanished. These birds never wonder far from the run and hang out under our trailor much of the day. They also have access to the always open barn. Last night one of the silkies disappeared. Again, no sign of it anywhere! I went out to give all the birds treats around 4PM and when I went out to water and shut everybody up for the night, she was gone. What could be taking the birds? My dogs don't pay attention to the birds and there aren't any other dogs around. We don't live by any woods, just fields. Closet neighbor is about 1/2 mile away. Any ideas?
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- Flock Mistress
Could be anything- fox, coyote, hawk, bobcat... Any one of these will do a snatch and grab, leaving little evidence behind. Sorry for your losses. I'd be locking the remainder of the birds up until you figure out what's going on. Predators don't usually stop until the food supply is gone when they find easy pickings.
- RT Poultry n Things
First let me say I am sooo sorry for your losses...
I know how heartbreaking that is.
Most predators are opportunists...if it is there, and they can reach it (by whatever means) they will take it.
Most will continue until there is no more, then they just continue the hunt.
I would suggest confinment for your babies until you figure what is happening to them or taking them.....then take steps to correct the problem.
Sorry guys......free-range is not all that. Its good if it works out but all I can see from my front door is that wildlife is going completely out of control here. If you don't have a Fort Knox you in for it. I have one and still I have a nightly chore of making sure they all locked up tight for the night. My coop and run is only about 1500 square feet, and that is for 60+ chickens, so I let them out to roam 9,000 sq ft day time run, but that is not as safe as the coop. So many people on here complaining about raccoons, and I just know they are here too, even though they can't get in. But still all I have to do is forget one night and I'll be sorry. I think I need to set up some traps and fill my freezer.
Sorry, I know it SUCKS! We have had the same thing happen. We have lost 11 and all but two of them left no evidence. We know that a hawk took at least one of them. One guinea was in the pen and all there was left of her was one wing. That had to be a coon. Came down the tree? Dont really know, it was a mystery