1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Chickens Disappearing

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RMBGKY, Oct 22, 2013.


    RMBGKY In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    I have lost 20 chickens in the last couple of months. There had been no signs until today. I found a dead chicken in the paddock and his only injury was the skin was broken about middle way in his back. No large number of feathers were missing. There was not much sign of a struggle, not like I used to see from raccoons with pieces and parts all over the place. Can a hawk or some other flying predator carry off a full grown chicken? I don't believe we have eagles, I have never seen one. The chickens free range in an area enclosed with 2X4 wire over cattle panels. The chickens are in a closed coop at night so it must be happening during the day. You would think that with that many attacks and me going to the barn once or twice a day I would have seen something. I have closed the chickens in the run until I can figure something out. I have also lost a couple of guineas, but I am used to that.

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    A buteo type hawk can easily carry off a chicken. Most acipiters are smaller and can't and usually eat what they can there.
    A fox could easily be your culprit.

    No matter where you live in the US, you'll have hawks, coons, possums, foxes, coyotes, weasels, et. al..
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    If they are just vanishing during the day, I'd suspect a Fox.
    Most hawks won't try to carry off the prey unless something spooks them, and almost always start plucking and eating as soon as they attack, even if the prey is still alive

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by