4 chickens GONE!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Leeloo11400, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Leeloo11400

    Leeloo11400 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2014
    Happy C's Farm, Texas
    Over the last week we have lost four full grown chickens three different ways. The first completely disappeared, the second we found feathers and one leg (nothing else), the third and fourth (in the last two days) have been found headless. Everything I read suggests I have three different predators. Any ideas on what this is and how I can protect my feathered loves? I'm so sad and have no idea what to do for them.

    Thanks,
    Leah
     
  2. dawgfan01

    dawgfan01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2015
    Young Harris,GA
    First 2 sound like bobcats last 2 coon or possum
     
  3. Leeloo11400

    Leeloo11400 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2014
    Happy C's Farm, Texas
    Our neighbor saw two hawks flying about. Could this be it? I have literal backyard chickens; a fenced backyard, in a neighborhood, next to a major highway. There isn't really a place for a bobcat to hide. I wouldn't think anyway (Not that I know much about bobcats). Raccoons and possums we have for sure, but could a hawk do this too? We coop our girls and guys at night, but during the day they are roaming about the backyard. Unfortunately we had to go out of town for a night and used an automatic door. I do know for sure that the last one killed refused to coop with the others. It was a subordinate male and our dominate roo didn't like him in the coop much. When my MIL tried to get him in the coop for safety (after finding one of our ladies headless) he refused to go in. He was killed at some point after that. Mama, though, the chick that my MIL found, usually never left the side of our roo and I would be hard-pressed to say she got left out of the coop at night. The same with our Silkie that we found the foot of AND the red that disappeared completely...so I'm wondering if these are daytime killings as opposed to nighttime killings...which leads me to hawk? Do you (or anyone) have any thoughts on this?

    Thank you for your time..

    Leah
     
  4. Honey B

    Honey B Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 1, 2015
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    This doesn't sound like hawks, but I wouldn't rule them out completely. Typically hawks will only take one bird at a time. They only hunt when hungry. They like to eat in seclusion and might drag prey into the bushes but they would be unable to carry a full grown chicken very far. They pluck their prey, so you would find a lot of feathers and more than likely a portion of uneaten chicken.
    I am sorry you are loosing birds. Good luck finding the culprit. If it does turn out to be a hawk remember they are protectected animals and can not be harmed, you will have to take defensive measures to protect your chickens. If it is a raccoon, possum, etc. might be best to dispose of it before it can do further damage.
     
  5. Leeloo11400

    Leeloo11400 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2014
    Happy C's Farm, Texas
    Thank you for your insight! I am starting to think raccoon. [​IMG] We are setting a live trap and making plans for protection. I really hope I can do a better job at protecting my lovelies.

    Leah
     
  6. Honey B

    Honey B Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck. Post if you catch something.
     
  7. Math

    Math Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2013

    I'm sorry you lost four chickens. Maybe my recent experience can help you figure out what happened.

    In the last week I lost two hens and a week before that I lost another hen. About two months before that I lost another hen. That is four hens I lost also. That is all sad. :( But during the last attack my trap caught a bobcat. My chicken pen is open on the top. I think there were two bobcats because the two hens were left dead inside the pen with their heads ate off. One hen was eaten down to its breast. The bobcat that was caught in the trap was outside the pen beside the fence. That is why I think there was two bobcats.
    I also had some more signs the night after the attack. I reset my trap with a piece of the dead chicken inside the trap but I forgot to release the safety on the trap. That night something went into the trap and got the piece of chicken. Of course the trap did not catch it because the safety latch was set on the trap. There were deep scratch marks in the ground beside the trap. I think it was a bobcat because of the size of the scratch marks on the ground. I hope I can catch him. I have reset the trap and another smaller trap. Wish me luck.
     
  8. Math

    Math Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Did you catch anything yet? Anymore problems?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  9. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. Leeloo11400

    Leeloo11400 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2014
    Happy C's Farm, Texas
    A bobcat is something I had never thought of. Beyond my former high school's mascot, I didn't think there are any bobcats around, but after hearing from several people, that could be it. In the meantime though, we got so distracted by building a better coop that I forgot to set a trap. So far we haven't lost anymore feathered-ones, but now I'm just curious and would also like to double up on the protection. I'll set a trap and let you know what I find. I'm sorry for your losses as well!
    I know for a fact that we have an owl couple living in our HUGE Oak Tree in the backyard. I hear them every night. By then though, our ladies and gent are up. You could be right about hunting in the day. I have seen an owl out in the day from time to time and they were not frightened off by me. I just hope I never have to see one taken in front of me. That would be terrible and I'm sorry you had to see that. Since we were out of town, these four chicks could have been left out accidently by the automatic door ([​IMG] That the part that makes me so sad.) so it could have happened either time. I'm planning to set that trap and see what happens. I know owls and hawks are both protected so if it were one of either of those, I guess I'd just have to let it go anyway.

    Thank you both for the feedback,

    Leah
     

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