Chicken distress call - unlike anything I've ever heard

Beck1989

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 10, 2014
3
0
7
Eugene, OR
Hi all!

A few nights ago, we lost a chicken to a raccoon :( Our fault, as we didn't get home at a reasonable hour and forgot to close them in ... well since then, I've been very paranoid about our ladies.

Last night I woke up and heard strange noises. In my dream-state, it sounded like babies crying. When I woke up it sounded closer to a peacock call, except started higher then went lower.

We ran outside and made loud noises to get anything that was harassing our birds to leave! I didn't see anything run out, but it was dark. The chickens were closed in their pen, my only thought is that it could have been a small opossum or rat trying to get eggs?

Has anyone heard this kind of call before?

Thx!
 

JackE

Crowing
Apr 26, 2010
2,327
756
281
North Eastern Md.
I know a rabbit sounds exactly like a human infant, when a predator gets a hold of it. That's probably what you heard, an unlucky rabbit caught by a fox, or some other pred.
 

Beck1989

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 10, 2014
3
0
7
Eugene, OR
Thanks for your response! We don't have any rabbits, though. I did fail to mention that our birds were definitely disturbed - up off their roost, in the coop, moving around. An egg had been crushed, too. I believe something was trying to get in or actually did get in the coop. My question is, has anyone heard chickens make this kind of distress call before? Thanks!
 

Fix14wd

In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 7, 2014
18
8
26
Woodland Park, CO
Bobcat? I heard one scream like a little kid/baby once while hunting. Gave me goosebumps. Wasn't sure what it was, then it stepped out from the bushes. Any way/where to look for footprints? You won't see claw marks as they're retractable if it's a cat.
 

NEChickenNoob

Chirping
5 Years
May 13, 2014
239
38
83
SE Connecticut
Vixen fox make a pretty harrowing sound as well. If you think something got in, you should be immediately investigating how and how to prevent it. If something was trying to get it, that could have easily disturbed your chickens. Additionally, consider a game cam. I have a good friend who was losing guineas during the day and he thought it was coyotes...turns out it was a bobcat. It had also gotten a hold of his dog a month earlier and we didn't know it was a bobcat and were concerned a pack may have been around. You really must know your predator to get rid of it.
 

chkn

Songster
9 Years
Jun 27, 2010
1,662
15
131
I've gone out looking for a chicken in distress at night. I eventually figured out it was an owl. It wasn't your usual hooty hoot sound. It's another sound completely different. I believe it is something they do to stir up game.
 
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theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
May 11, 2010
31,385
15,074
827
I've got a screech owl that will scare the starch out of your panties that likes to visit the coop when the weather turns cool.
 

Beck1989

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 10, 2014
3
0
7
Eugene, OR
Thanks for all the replies so far. I live in city-limits, so the chances of a bobcat or fox or other large predators are pretty much ruled out. Never seen or heard an owl before, either. I'm almost certain it was my birds making these noises. Maybe I need to just move on, but their cooing cries of distress were slightly haunting.
 

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