2 Chicks Killed Yesterday - Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AlpineSpringsRanch, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. AlpineSpringsRanch

    AlpineSpringsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometime yesterday 2 of my 2 month old chicks (out of 21 chicks) were killed by something. Whatever it was took the heads and left the bodies. I didn't even notice when I put them away last night because it was already dark and they were all already asleep. I found the bodies outside this morning when I went to let the babies out of the coop.

    I've had my older 4 month old chickens free ranging on my three acres for about a month now with no issues whatsoever. I haven't ever seen any animals on the property except my 2 australian shepherds who have been fine with all the animals since they were one day old. The baby chicks started on freeranging during the day about a week and a half ago and this is the first time I have had an issue.

    I noticed the chicks this AM b/c the crows were chewing on them. From what I have read I shouldn't be concerned at all with the crows.

    I have never seen any cats but I suppose that could be an option (my dogs are very cat social). The birds were beheaded so I am not sure what other animal would have done it. They were well within my property which is chain link fenced and being in the desert the largest predator we have is coyote which would not have gotten on the property with the dogs.

    Any ideas what I may be looking at? I have the babies locked up again for now.

    Also, was thinking about picking up a pair of goslings from a local breeder for flock protection...something that will chase off predators...but would geese protect the whole flock?

    I know with horses you can throw a donkey or mule out with the girls and not worry about dogs, am wondering if a pair of geese would do the same b/c otherwise I was not really looking to get any waterfowl. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. tiny529

    tiny529 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    I think I read somewhere that raccoons like to take the head and leave the rest of the body. And a friend of mine lost her whole flock to raccoons. They are supposed to be particularly crafty.

    I'm sorry for your loss! [​IMG]
     
  3. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't know about water fowl protection but I do know that racoons take off the heads and leave the body. Your dogs are there 24/7? Could it have happened when they were eating?
     
  4. AlpineSpringsRanch

    AlpineSpringsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2011
    My dogs are on property 24 / 7 but sleep in the front of the house during the day usually..we haven't had any other losses at all so the only thing I can think is that the kills were quick enough not to make any noise to alert the dogs to an issue or if their was noise the dogs simply didn't hear it. The dogs are pretty good about breaking up fights between the bigger roos if they see them going at it. Since I wasn't home I can't be sure why the dogs didn't do their job.
     

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