Buzzards?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by beltonhunter, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. beltonhunter

    beltonhunter Just Hatched

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    We were watching tv and heard our big roo having a fit and found all but 2 of our hens/pullets hiding. The other 2 pullets are just gone. No trace no tracks only suspect we could see was a buzzard circling. So my question is has anyone had a problem with buzzards? Ive never heard of them taking live pray but if it was easy im guessing the might. One of the missing pullets was a 3 week easter egger and my only one. The other was about 12 weeks old brown sex link.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I've heard of vultures taking a chicken by people that swear they saw it but it may be they were eating the carrion.
    I have them circling here all the time and never lost a chicken to one.
    They are a little clumsy to catch 2 young birds.
    Perhaps something else killed them and they're looking for the aftermath.

    Sometimes birds hide for quite a while so they may still show up if there is no trace of conflict.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  3. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, "buzzards" are the same as "vultures". Which are carrion eaters. They wait until Whatever-It-Is is safely dead, THEN they eat it. That's why they have no feathers on the head and neck: so they can eat dead carrion without too much blood/yikes sticking to them and that keeps them cleaner.

    We have a lot of them here and I've spent years observing them because I just freaking love birds - any birds. What I have observed is they are terrified of anything that can still move, and they are incredibly cautious even with things freshly dead.

    Remember this little ditty: Correlation does not equal Causation. Seeing a coyote right after you see a full moon does not mean that coyotes cause full moons. Just because you see vultures, that does not mean that vultures carried off your chickens. The most likely suspect, actually, is a domestic dog. Or a fox. Flying off with two pullets is really pretty tricky: Turkey Vultures weigh, at the most, 4.5 pounds. How much did your two pullets weigh? Now imagine weighting a commercial airplane with MORE than it weighs. You think it will be able to get off the ground? In actual fact, in order for that plane, or that bird, to get off the ground and fly, they can't be carrying even their own weight in freight. Turkey Vultures and other raptors generally eat on the ground. That's because it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to fly off with their prey.

    Check the ground and surrounding area for tracks. That is more likely to identify the culprit.
     
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  4. beltonhunter

    beltonhunter Just Hatched

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    After crossing the fence to the neighboring woods i found the remains of the biggest missing pullet. This pullets would have easily weight almost 2 pounds. All that i found was a pile of feathers no meat or bones or remains just feathers. Roughly 15 yards into the woods. No sign at all of the smaller easter egger. The culprit wasnt a dog or coyote because i hove big dogs that run through the chickens all the time and my fence is dog proof.(mine are escape artist) i did see a fox 6 months ago about 2 blocks away but not lately. And i uave photos of racoons the other side of my house about 40 yards away. But racoons are night time predators and this happened in broad daylight around 10:00. We dont have bears or badgers or mink or weasels here wild. So im leaning towards 3 possibilities racoon, opossum, fox.
     
  5. beltonhunter

    beltonhunter Just Hatched

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    After examing the other chicks i founs the easter eggers best friend they are always together and she appears to have been stung by something we have a large number of wasp and yellow jackets as well as fire ants so im honestly not sure what happened but she doeant seen to be in pain and is moving around amd eating like normal
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  7. beltonhunter

    beltonhunter Just Hatched

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    I can only reply with the fact that texas is a huge state and locally i havent seen or heard of anyone seeing a mink, weasel or stole or any small animal like that even badgers. But bobcats are not all that uncommon although i javent seen one i know some people have. I do believe the most likely suspects include the three i listed above and and maybe a domestic cat but i dont see that packing off 2 pullets. Especially one as big as my brown sex link. But not fonding and body parts has me stumped
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree it isn't likely in the weasel family because of the evidence.
    If you look at the list of predators I gave you. You'll see that the range of many are in your area even though you haven't seen them.

    A family of ringtails perhaps or coyote, fox, dog, hawk. A big hawk can carry off a 2 lb. bird. Everything else, just eats on the spot including raccoon.

    In 150+ years of my family raising chickens around here without ever seeing one, mink killed $4,000 of my birds in a week a couple years ago after Walmart cut down 80 acres of woods along the creek at the bottom of the hill from my house to build a store.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  9. beltonhunter

    beltonhunter Just Hatched

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    I really dont think it was a raptor but i dont see what ever did it pack off 2 birds at the same time. The pile feathers was roughly 30 feet from the fence but wjat leaves all the feathers and takes the carcass
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Maybe a fox? Carried them that far and ate them? Don't write coons of as nighttime only predators. We had one kill a chicken in the coop at noon while DH was working nearby. He didn't know anything was happening until the dog put up a fuss.
     

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