14 gone and I don't know where

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chookens4eva, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. Chookens4eva

    Chookens4eva New Egg

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    Oct 4, 2015
    Today we checked our flock of 17 chickens to find 14 of them gone. Vanished! On further inspection we found two areas of feathers of different colors. The feathers continued on a trail outside of the coop. We had 5 full grown hens and 12 younger chicks about 3 months old. All 12 younger chicks are gone along with two of the hens. The fence surrounding the coop is about 5 feet high with an additional 6 inches below ground. We suspect the most likely culprit is a fox. However, a fox would not take 14 chickens in one night. I suspect the fox only took 2 and the rest escaped. I searched around the yard, woods etc. but did not find any stray chickens. Does anyone have any ideas of what could have happened and where my chickens might be, how I can find them, or how far they might have gone? Any help would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    A Fox or coyote, either will continue to come back and take chickens until they are interrupted, but most likely a Fox who will bury and stash food if it finds more than it can eat.
     
  3. jasoncl1989

    jasoncl1989 New Egg

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    Oldhenlikesdogs, do you think a fox/coyote would take 14 chickens in one night?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
  4. Chookens4eva

    Chookens4eva New Egg

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    Thanks oldhenlikesdogs, I agree it was most likely a fox (we don't have coyotes here). What I really need help with is how to get my escapees back. How far will they go? Where do escapee chickens usually go? To the woods? Really appreciate any help.
     
  5. finnfur

    finnfur Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No coyotes ? Wow . You must not be in continental USA then - feel fortunate - Well maybe not if you lost 14 to something else.
    Yes - a fox will keep killing and saving for winter as long as it can get to them. Good luck.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    if they don't come back within a day, I don't think anyone will, they don't usually run too far from the coop before hunkering down, it's more likely most were killed and taken, a Fox will grab as many as he can in one mouthful, than return. Sorry.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    it is an unusually high number, though winter is approaching and a Fox will cache food by burying it. If it was easy to get to them I could see an industrious Fox doing so.
     
  8. crazychick52

    crazychick52 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have had the same problem just recently when my chickens were free ranging. nothing except a few feathers. I have been trying to trap/kill the predator for weeks. I just caught an image of a bobcat on my webcam. It could be that. It came right into my garden broad daylight while I was home and obviously took them without me hearing a thing. 6 huge hens and my silkie rooster :(
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I had not thought about bobcat as we don't see them too often.
     
  10. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Void where prohibited.
    Aliens.
     

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