We just lost one of our backyard hens (blue-copper Marans) to a predator. We heard the commotion around 5am and the alarm calls of the other girls but didn't see a thing when we went outside to investigate as it was still pretty dark. I later found 2 piles of feathers but that was all, no blood or body parts. It "looks" as if she was attacked in the open area of our yard and hauled to the back of the 5" wood fence (another pile of feathers) and that's were the trail goes dead. Our hen house which is all fenced in and topped with heavy-duty poultry netting was not disturbed. We WILL be buying an automatic door opener/closer for the house so the girls can't let themselves out too early if we forget to lock them in.
My question is: what type of predator did this? We HAVE seen raccoons in our area as well as coyotes. We have eagles, osprey and various other hawks and owls too. I'm betting raccoon just by the trail and piles of feathers, but wouldn't that have to be a BIG coon to take an 8-9 pound hen over the fence? Can coyotes climb wood fences?
Thanks for any help! ~Lisa