5 chicks disappear-No sign of anything, mostly

Auntbeast

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
88
2
29
Rabun County, GA
I let my chicks in to their run the other morning. It was a grey and overcast day. Through out the day I would look down to see them, but I never did, they will stay in the coop when it rains so I thought nothing about it.

I had 2 pygmy goats, a large Light Brahma rooster and about a 10 week old Australop running free in the yard all day also. As well as dogs running about.

When it was time to put everyone away, there was one live chicken standing on a dead one and all the others were missing. My rooster and australop live in a different pen and they were fine. I looked around for bodies, feathers, blood, anything and there was nothing. The dead chicken had no sign of any trauma, was just dead.

They are just gone. They were about 6 weeks old and were getting quite big. I don't understand something getting 5 of them without making a sound, leaving a feather or anything.

What happened? I do live in an area with darn near everything, coyotes, bobcats, bears, raccoons and who knows what else. I'm just wondering what creature is capable of this sort of disappearance?
 
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Mom2Cool

Songster
May 8, 2008
856
1
202
Auntbeast I'm so sorry & I'm not sure what else to say. I would have been inclined to say perhaps it was a dog if 1 chicken was dead & then others just missing but I would think if you have dogs in the yard an outside dog coming in would cause conflict with your own dogs too. For that matter any wild animal coming in I would imagine would end up entangled with your other animals too. If it were your own dogs that did this then there would be bodies around if they'd killed them all. Perhaps it was one of your dogs that killed the chicken you can see & the others ran for cover & where too afraid to come out when you went looking for them? After the bear attack here in our yard 1 of the 2 pullets left didn't come out of the tree it was hiding in for 7 hours. We'd thought he must have been killed too & especially since the other pullet came out to us almost right away. Of course during the attack I was very aware because my dogs (who thank heavens had been inside the house at the time) went nuts & I can't imagine anything coming into a dogs yard & them not reacting because they're territorial animals.

I know none of this helps & so again I'm so sorry I know how this feels.
 

Auntbeast

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
88
2
29
Rabun County, GA
Yes, it is open. I haven't found any other bodies or signs of death. My husband has been out of town and my dog has been on high alert, so it is odd that I didn't hear anything. If it was one chicken missing, I might have suspected a hawk carting it off, but what carries off 5 chickens?
 

mmtillman

Songster
11 Years
Jan 6, 2009
969
10
151
Southwest MO near the ARK line
Could it be that a hawk might have swooped down and quickly scooped up the birds one at a time without attracting the dogs attention? That would explain the lack of blood, feathers or bodies. So sorry for your loss....
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Been in your shoes before, but we knew the predator that got our first flock....a gang of vicious raccoons.
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farrier!

Songster
10 Years
Feb 28, 2009
1,498
6
171
Southern Illinois
I think most birds of prey have babies they are feeding right now. So it is possible that a pair or even one could have gone after that many.

So sorry.....
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