3 of 4 chickens dead (GRAPHIC PICTURES) need help identifying the predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MikaylaSD, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. MikaylaSD

    MikaylaSD Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey guys, I am in need of some help. I live in a city and have four chickens in my backyard, which is surrounded on three sides by a 6ft privacy fence and the other side is 4ft chain link (so completely inclosed). We let our chickens free range from time to time, more often lately because one of our hens was getting picked on and it seemed to help when they were occupied with pecking and scratching in the yard. The last few nights I left them out when we left for work at 4:30pm and locked the door when we got home around midnight, they were always roosting when we got home. My husband and I left for work at 4:30pm tonight like usual and got a call from my neighbor at 6:30pm saying one of our hens was in our front yard, which has never happened. We thought it was weird but just asked her to toss her back over the fence. She said she fought going back over and tried getting back out once she was in there. When we got home at 9:00pm we found three of our chickens dead spread around the backyard. They all have been bit in the neck and two had bites under the wing. One was still alive and looking at us but she was so far gone we had to put her out of her misery. None of them were eaten but one was drug from the coop to near our house. The hen that somehow got out of the backyard survived. So between 4:30pm and 6:00pm during daylight it happened. I have attached pictures showing their wounds. Like I said we live in town and have never had any issue in the past, though this is our first year raising chickens, they just began laying a month ago. We are heartbroken about it and would greatly appreciate any help identifying what could have done this. Thank you.
     
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm subscribing because I want to know what others think happened. I'm not sure, but if your yard is fenced, something either came over or from the sky or dug under. Does the bottom of your fence look intact? Your neighbor didn't see anything? Could a hawk have been sitting in a tree and your chickens were too big to carry?
     
  3. MikaylaSD

    MikaylaSD Out Of The Brooder

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    The bottom of our fence is completely intact and there are no holes dug. Our neighbor had just pulled into her driveway when she saw our hen in our front yard. By then it was already done and she couldn't see the bodies through the fence. I don't think it could be a hawk because the chickens have plucked feathers and all got bit in the neck. Not sure how hawks kill though
     
  4. chickens usa

    chickens usa Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know for sure but looks like a dog attack. My hens were killed by dogs and they just left them laying there. Dogs just want to kill/
     
  5. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    So very sorry for your losses...it's never easy...

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    1 person likes this.
  6. MikaylaSD

    MikaylaSD Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2014
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    Thank you very much for the sympathy, it has been rough. Our chickens were like pets, not at all afraid of humans or our dogs...which probably didn't help when the predator came around. Update: we think it was a weasel. It sucked the chickens blood and just killed for fun. Very surprised one would be in the middle of the city but you really never know anymore. We are going to buy live traps and try to trap whatever it is. Lesson learned. [​IMG]
     
  7. Fly Right

    Fly Right Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2014
    I'm so sorry for your losses. I'm not sure but the chicken in the first picture looks like a dog attack. I have had dog attacks and my chicken looked like it was all wet where the dog continuously chased and bit her. A dog could have easily climbed the chain link fence but I don't think the dog would have climbed out. Unless, maybe a human let the dog in and/ or let the dog out. Might ask your neighbors if they saw or heard anything or anyone around your house during that time. Good luck. I know cities have coons but unfortunately when coons kill its very clean. The head and neck are usually missing. That's been my experience.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Sorry for your loss, a devastation I have not yet experienced.

    I was going to suggest maybe a weasel....no animal kills for fun (that's a human thing), tho they do often kill in multiples and come back later to eat/carry off the rest.
    All a weasel usually eats is the blood.

    What is your location? You can put it in your profile as it can help folks give more viable suggestions.
    There are lots of predators in cities that you don't know about.... until you have chickens.

    A 4' chain link fence is not much protection, many predators can get thru or over one of those and even the 6' privacy fence.

    Best bet is to lock the chickens in the coop by sundown, hard when you work afternoons, but you might need to close them up before leaving for work, get an automatic door or have someone else do it for you.
     
  9. Beginner2015

    Beginner2015 Out Of The Brooder

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    Put this bodies in a live catch and rela ease trap it might bait back in whatever killed them then you can do what you want with the culprit
     
  10. MikaylaSD

    MikaylaSD Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2014
    Central South Dakota
    Update again....

    Got home from buying three new chickens this morning so our surviving hen isn't alone and two live traps, and within an hour we heard our left over chicken freaking out in the coop and ran back into our backyard and there was the neighbors dog fighting with my dog and going after my chicken in the coop. I can't believe it but sure enough it showed us where it got through the neighbors crappy chain link. Animal control came but can't prove the dog did it since she didn't have blood or feathers on her. So now they just get an at large $95 fine and they wouldn't come to the door so a fine to bail it out of the pound. We have to try to work with them to get reimbursed for our chickens and expenses. Unfortunately no amount of money will bring my birds back or erase the horrific things we saw last night but I would like them to pay for what their dog did. Thanks for all the help guys. Dog it is.
     

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