13 dead and found 2 hiding

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by camaro10, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. camaro10

    camaro10 Out Of The Brooder

    30
    0
    32
    May 1, 2010
    Bucksport, Maine
    Friday- just before leaving for the holiday weekend we had to deal with the heartbreaking loss of 13 BR's just about 10 weeks old. I had just started letting them out only when we were home. My husband found 4 dead and 9 totally gone and found 2 hiding still alive. We are so devastated. Wonder what got to them during the day. I thought they were safe from predators during the day. The guy we bought chics from had his free range and said it was fine. Now the 2 I have left will not even come out of their coop. I think they are tramatized. I am wondering if I should buy some more BR's around the same age???
     
  2. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    probably a hawk...we have tons of hawks and eagles around here and I have mne in a large enclosed run with a top made out of heavy construction mesh. Sorry for your loss!! you shouldn't give up, get yourself some more the other chikens will come around and just be sure that you give them an enclosed pen with a top, too many predators can get at them in a blink of an eye. I wish I could let mine free range but I have way too many large and small predators where I live.
     
  3. kla37

    kla37 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,162
    12
    173
    Apr 18, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC USA
    A neighbor or mine here told me that a lot of raptors are feeding babies right now so hunting overtime. She even saw a barred owl in the middle of the day! I was going to let my chicks wander the yard a bit, but I think I'll wait now. Sorry about your loss! Hope you can get your 2 remaining birds some new buddies!
     
  4. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    4,251
    283
    291
    May 18, 2009
    Brooksville
    We have barred owls here all the time, but they don't bother the chickens. Our main problem is hawks, and we lost three chickens last week to them. I just wonder, though, to have that many dead at one time, maybe it's a 4-legged predator?
     
  5. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    During the day could also mean a "cute little puppy dog" got your birds as well.
     
  6. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    17,867
    4,549
    481
    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I know how upsetting it can be to have put that much time and effort into raising birds, only to have them wiped out when your back is turned for what seems like only a moment!

    That kind of massacre sounds like either a dog or fox. Winged predators usually only take one at a time. While foxes are mostly active at night, a vixen with a litter might be hunting during the day as well. I have had foxes go on a killing spree in one of my pens; they will kill all they can catch and them cache whatever they can't eat immediately (a useful hunting strategy, but it goes wastefully awry when the amount of "prey" available is a flock of chickens or ducks). One time, I got up to find that the only thing alive in a pen of 19 silkies, was a half-grown chick that was hiding under its mother's body.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  7. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    Hello, I agree it has to be a Hawk! I watched a redtail here in Connecicut swoop down and grab a full grown Golden Comet Hen. I learned the hard way that you really need to only let adults out with a Rooster. After this happened I went and got a Rooster from a fellow on Backyard Chickens and "Knock on wood" I haven't had any problems since. The Rooster's keep the hens in check and watch the sky while the hens scratch etc. I've seen him scoot them out of harms way. I'm soo sorry to hear about this and my heart goes out to you! Don't give up and keep your flock going. They are so wonderful to have around. Take Care, Beth
     
  8. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

    703
    1
    131
    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    If they were "out", I wouldn't overlook the possibility of a fox. Most people believe they're nocturnal, but they are often seen and hunt in the daylight. I don't believe a hawk would take that many in a presumably short period of time, but a fox, or two, could. I'm so sorry for your loss.
     
  9. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    129
    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's particularly difficult to lose so many at once, especially when you don't know what happened. We've lost a few to hawks, but never more than one at a time. I think a massacre has to be a neighborhood dog or some other predator we think of a nocturnal.

    They are more vulnerable when they are young and I agree that a rooster is a benefit. Our rooster watches and when he see a hawk, or other danger, he gives a warning call and all the hens hide. We've put up some bobble head owls that have been a great deterant to hawks. We paid $30.00 each for 3, but I see they are on sale now for $19.95 each. http://www.yardlover.com/rotating-head-owl-decoy
     
  10. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    I agree most times when you lose a bunch at once it's usually not Hawks however, I have seen a family of hawks pick off several in one day. I could be a fox or even a neighborhood dog. In plain english it just sux to lose that many. If you lived closer I would give you some of mine.... [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by