2 missing hens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Shane17, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Shane17

    Shane17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been turning my hens out pretty much everyday for a year. On Tuesday one of my hens did not make it back to The coop and yesterday another. I live in a rural area with plenty of natural predators around. I have never had a problem in the past year. My neighbor across the field bout 200 yards came over once with a concern that her dog would kill my hens if they came over there. The had been venturing across the field lately. I assumed her dog got the first one. The second however was yesterday and i was outside with them pretty much the time they were out. I came home last night after dark and went to close the pen and there was a random cat in the pen but no evidence of a chicken body. Can a regular cat kill a chicken?[​IMG]
     
  2. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it's determined enough, sure a cat can kill a chicken. I had a friend with a cat that would regularly kill full-grown jackrabbits. He was a regular old tabby, but he'd come home fairly frequently dragging an entire jackrabbit, bigger than he was!
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, I big feral cat can kill a chicken. I think you'd see it hanging around in the daytime as well. I'm also not sure a cat would take it too far. Are you seeing evidence other than missing birds? Foxes and coyotes will hit and run with the bird. But it sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of the cat...live trap?
     
  4. stonemeadowgirl

    stonemeadowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Highly doubtful that your cat killed the chicken. You would see feathers everywhere. And leftovers as we have all found when our cat brings home prey. We have ten farm cats (all spayed/neutered) that are skilled predators and they sleep with our chickens... even chase hawks away. My guess is another predator. Usually you will see feathers in the spot that a predator downed the chicken. But a fox, coyote, or goshawk can carry one away. If they wander to the neighbor it is possible that the dog got it. I have had to train any new dogs to leave the chickens alone. Can you politely and without accusation ask the neighbor?
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Domestic cat could do it but I think time interval between kills would be longer. Look around where birds range. Odds are feather sign will be found where attack occured. Cat attack will likely be messing wth reguards to feathers. Hawk will also leave a lot of feathers and likely most of carcass if only one day with it. Fox or coyote will usually leave only a small number of feathers and they usually form a straight indicating direction predator took chicken. Also when fox attacks, chickens do not always make much of a ruckus so you could have be present but simply not aware. Fox will tend to be very consistent about timing of attacks and where they occur. If you pen birds up, then fox will likely come in to look for them at its usual visiting time.

    All this assumes one predator only and no scavenging.
     
  6. Shane17

    Shane17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I intend to speak with my neighbor the next time I see her out. Also I took a walk around the general area they range no signs. I did not go across the field to my neighbors. I'm thinking hawk maybe a coyote or fox. Both are plentiful here. Foxes are more of a night predator in my experiences however. I don't know at this point I would just like to know what it was. I went out today to gather eggs and everyone was hanging around the gate looking at me like hey let me out of here. Kinda sucks having to leave the girls penned up all day[​IMG]
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Lack of sign most typical of coyote or fox. My foxes hunt around the clock although they come closer to yard at night.
     
  8. Shane17

    Shane17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i think your right. i am going to check around again today and talk to some neighbors. Think i might turn them out and supervise with my shotgun to see if what ever is snatching them tries again. but its unlikely the culprit will venture out with me and my dog out with the hens! i will keep u posted after speaking with neighbors.
     
  9. Shane17

    Shane17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My bro-in law told me that last Sunday evening when he left my house he saw a bald Eagle perched up in a dead tree on a old hunting road less then 100 yards from my house. Now there are a good population of eagles around the county but I have never see one flying in close proximity to my place. This time of year with no leaves on the trees it would be hard to miss a eagle. I did turn them out for the last 45mins of light this evening. they all made it back.
     

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