A mystery in North Florida

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jennyb, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. jennyb

    jennyb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2013
    We HAD 15 young hens, just about ready to lay. They were (we thought) in a very tight hardware cloth coop that opened at the top and closed with a sheet of plywood anchored with the weight of a large 4x4 timber. Today (after a very hard rain) the plywood was found collapsed into the open area (one corner) and the timber had fallen in with it.

    There was evidence of a few black feathers and other than that, no chickens at all. There is tall grass nearby and also woods. We have raised chickens in the past and been bothered by virtually every predator you can name, but they always leave a calling card of some kind, either piles of feathers, headless birds, etc.

    Nearby, next to the goose pen we found some scat that was somewhat dissolved by the rain. It was small and it looked like it had nut shells in it. We have never seen a bear this far north, although they are down at the coast. We have lost small goats to coyotes.

    I just can't figure out what could successfully get every single one of them. Of course, they could still be hiding but they are very attuned to feeding time and the noises we make with the Gator which has a loud motor.

    Over the years I have gotten used to sharing a bird here and there, but the mystery here is driving me nuts. Back to the poultry catalog. WE WILL PREVAIL!

    This is my first post here.

  2. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!! Thanks for your first post, that is a mystery indeed... I'm suspicious that your girls were so terrified of the coop after the accident that they refused to go back inside it and slept in the trees, where they may have been picked off be a predator in one night away from your eyes and ears. Hard to say, of course. But you have a great attitude about it! On to more chickens.
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    They could be hiding. I would suspect maybe a raccoon. Those little buggers are strong and have been known to tear apart plywood. I've always found a bit more evidence with a coon though. Depending on how big the hole was, it could have been a coyote.

    Sorry for the loss. [​IMG]

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