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all 10 chickens dead~ any ideas?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sixxchixx, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. sixxchixx

    sixxchixx Songster

    Aug 10, 2010
    Escondido, CA
    this morning we found all 10 hens dead. 1 silkie and 1 polish were eaten (heads left) and the other 8 larger hens had broken necks and were "hidden" all over the run. they were put in shallow holes and partially covered with dirt.

    We live in a neighborhood that doesn't butt up to a canyon or field. I am in North County San Diego. There is a 5ft fence surrounding the run. The only wildlife i have seen in our part of town was a possum (one time about a year ago) and a raccoon about 5 years ago. Would a raccoon "save" the other birds for later? Or possibly a coyote? someone said maybe a weasel...I don't think I have ever seen a weasel before in my life. They must have been dragged out of the coop and placed throughout the yard. What I don't understand is why wouldn't something just eat them all?

    any ideas would help, I feel lost and angry. Thanks

  2. math ace

    math ace Crowing

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    Dogs will kill them just to PLAY with them. Do you see any paw prints leading away from the coop? Follow the feathers...

    Whatever it is, it will be back. We recently had our first ever predator attack and it was a PAIR of dogs. They attacked Three times before we caught them in the act. We knew it was a dog from the first attack, we followed the prints and occasional feather. We didn't know there were TWO dogs until the third attack. They attacked 3 times in a 2 week period. Every time they could escape from their owners, we were the new playground!
  3. sixxchixx

    sixxchixx Songster

    Aug 10, 2010
    Escondido, CA
    Unfortunately, we have nothing left for them to attack. We buried them a short distance away and raked out the dirt to see if there will be any disturbances tomorrow morning.

    any one hear of anything other than a dog "hiding" their kill?
  4. Ntsees

    Ntsees Songster

    Jul 27, 2012
    The "all 10 dead" brings back memories from about 2 years ago. During that time, I had 10 quail. Then one night, I lost all 10 birds. Didn't find out until later that a gray fox took them out. I can't say it was a fox for you, but in my case, the fox did bury some of the birds around the yard. My yard was also fenced (about 6 feet). Because they were small birds, I didn't see anything (no heads). Just lots of feather laying around.
  5. lalaura

    lalaura In the Brooder

    Aug 14, 2012
    Sounds like a fox. We had a fox attack last night. Luckily we heard our dog barking and interrupted the fox before he killed all of our flock. We lost 2, found one and the other just a pile of feathers. Foxes can jump and climb fences no problem. Or dig under them

    Did you look at the hens before you buried them? Foxes will pull feathers our at neck first and break the chickens necks
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  6. sixxchixx

    sixxchixx Songster

    Aug 10, 2010
    Escondido, CA
    Their neck feathers were a little mangled. Were just so mad/sad right now, It was weird going outside this morning and they weren't squawking and begging for treats.

    Thanks for your ideas. The general consensus is that it wasn't a raccoon, because they would have made a bigger mess and it wasn't coyotes because I think I would have heard them calling. The eggs were left untouched so i don't think it was a possum either. Were going with a fox or dog. Either way it sucks.
  7. Gofygure

    Gofygure Songster

    Mar 4, 2012
    My Coop
    Foxes cache their food for later use because they have relatively small stomachs. Burying carcasses after an attack is common, although your fox must have been in something of a hurry if it buried them on site.

    The question, of course, is how the fox got to them. Have you found the entry point in your run, or was it left open? It'll need to be remedied before you add new chickens.

    No matter what, it must be devastating to lose all of your birds. I had to end mine's free ranging privileges after fox attacks took out some of my favorite pullets. I'm sorry for your loss and I hope you're able to move past it in time. [​IMG]

  8. applecore5

    applecore5 In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2012
    Elizabeth, CO
    sorry for your loss! we had a fox attack a few months back. Horrible!!! i swear the fox had been casing area because the first night i forgot to close the door to the run the fox went in and took 2 of my orpingtons.
  9. daoustaj

    daoustaj Chirping

    Aug 22, 2012
    fox :(. live trap!
  10. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Songster

    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    Fox and coyote will cache their kills. I know this first-hand (sadly.)

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