chickens disappeared

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lovinlife, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. lovinlife

    lovinlife Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've lost three hens during the day while they were free-ranging. Two disappeared two days ago and one today. Both times I found some feathers in the grass but nothing else.

    I live in the country on 10 acres. I know there are coyotes out there, but they've never come up to the barn area - too much animal traffic with the horses and dogs.

    There are coons out there, but they hunt at night and usually leave a trail and the carcass.

    Hawks tend to rip out the innards and leave the body.

    My guess is it's a bobcat. They'll take them to a remote location to eat. I haven't searched the fields around us, but my guess is I'd find them if I looked.

    Until I sic my husband on the bobcat with his rifle, my chickens are staying in the pen. Makes me so mad.
  2. KCchickens

    KCchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2010
    Fayette county, IL
    I'm sorry for your loss:(
    couldve been a fox or an owl maybe even a bobcat even. Have you seen any weasels in your area?
    Maybe you could set a live trap, put some eggs or wet catfood in there? Good luck with everything.
  3. SummerChick

    SummerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2010
    Somerset, Texas
    If you have a large trap you could try and catch the predator...i hope you find out what had been getting your chickens...i hate that!
  4. verlaj

    verlaj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2009
    Micanopy, Florida
    I lost several this spring - same pattern, same little pile of feathers and nothing else. One came very close to the house to get a chicken. Definitely was coyotes. We saw them - morning, noon and night. My beloved staked out every evening with his rifle - took a shot at one. Haven't seen coyotes since, and the losses stopped. I think somebody else hunted them - we stopped hearing them yipping at night, too.
  5. WillieBoy

    WillieBoy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2010
    Sorry for you loss, it's a dangerous world for ranging chickens..But keeping them locked up all the time, all their life, makes for unhealthy chickens in my opinion...
    Your right though, while a predator is rampaging your flock, you gotta keep them lock-up until you get the offender..Good luck gettng rid of it...!
  6. marytoast

    marytoast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 31, 2008
    Carthage, NC
    I lost 2 hens today and a turkey last week. We have seen some coyotes. I am sorry for your loss... I'm right there with ya'. [​IMG]
  7. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

    Jan 24, 2010
    Englewood, TN
    I'm sorry... I agree... fox or bobcat... most everything else leaves more evidence than a couple feathers.

    I lost one... one meanie rooster... that way. I figured fox since I seen them around. Who really knows unless you see it, though?

    I agree that leaving them penned up their whole lives makes for less healthy birds compared to free-ranging. It's hard losing one, but I think of it as this: I would (personally) rather die tommarrow and live free today than live for 100 years trapped in a house. I know some would disagree, but it's my philosophy... thought it might help. Just think... those chickens were happy as a lark and, honestly, wild things are so good at taking prey that the chickens don't know what it 'em. It's over fast. They get to the point... think that might help you too.

    Have you got a "stealth cam" or something of the like? I set one out after my meanie rooster was taken. I never did catch anything but a rabbit (and the rabbit didn't eat the chicken!) on film. I also never lost another chicken... it's been a few months now. I started to walk the dogs in that area and let them "go" there... like I said.. not another problem since.
  8. lovinlife

    lovinlife Chillin' With My Peeps

    My husband is an avid hunter and has set up his camera by the coop before. We had coons causing trouble at night and he sat by the coop with his rifle and shot one. We caught two more in a live trap. One was shot and one was rehomed. He definitely could set the camera up on the back side of the barn. We'd probably see a lot of pics of the horses, though. And the cats and the farm poodle. [​IMG]

    DH went out to the most recent site and said he saw large "dog" tracks which we assume is a coyote. It very well could be. He was in the woods last night and heard a coyote nearby. We know they're there, they just haven't been up to the barn in ages.

    I kept the chickens in the pen today. It's 300 sq ft and since I'm down to 17 chickens (had 27 a week and a half ago), that's plenty of room for them.

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