Chicks Disappear Without a Trace

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kima Kiolena, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. Kima Kiolena

    Kima Kiolena Hatching

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    Oct 29, 2017
    Hello everybody,(I'm new)
    I have(had) 13 Black Australorp chicks, 1 rooster and 12 hens, all around 11 weeks old. I went out this morning to feed them and I only counted 11...2 were missing! I looked around their coop to see if there were any tracks or drag marks or feathers...NOTHING. I mean there were a few feathers around the yard, but there always are.(I let them free range and put them away at night)Earlier last week I had an opossum attack on of my chicks but I handled that problem(the opossum is no longer with us if you get me).I know there are probably more and opossums are our only predator where I live. Does anybody have any ideas about what could've happened? All replies are much appreciated.
     
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  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

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    :welcome

    Sad circumstances but glad to have you.

    I am wondering if there are any holes near the edges of the run they could have slipped through.
    Hawks are daytime predators. Were they in a run with a lid on it? Even bird netting counts as it would, if secure, keep hawks out.
     
    rjohns39 likes this.
  3. Kima Kiolena

    Kima Kiolena Hatching

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    I have all holes or possible ground escapes blocked off with rocks but there is no lid as they just free range in my backyard with my two goats. I used to worry about hawks and even crows as predators but I've had them since mid-August and have been staying outside since September with no problems at all until this past week. BTW I live in southern California.
     
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  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

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    I will guess hawk myself.
    They are fast and can carry off 11 week old chicks.
    We are heavy with them migrating in August and September. I do believe they head south.
     
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  5. Kima Kiolena

    Kima Kiolena Hatching

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    Oct 29, 2017
    Thank you so much 21hens-incharge! I'm just going to have to build them a run...with a lid until we get their permanent enclosure built .:)
     
    rjohns39 likes this.
  6. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Crowing

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    check behind any lay pens in your coop, they some times squeeze behind and get stuck.
     
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  7. Kima Kiolena

    Kima Kiolena Hatching

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    Oct 29, 2017
    There are no lay pens in our coop, its just temporary for them to sleep in until we finish their permanent one.
     
    rjohns39 likes this.
  8. Mary's Backyard Chickens

    Mary's Backyard Chickens Songster

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    It could be an owl or hawk....
     
    rjohns39 likes this.
  9. Molpet

    Molpet Free Ranging

    I had a type of hawk I don't normally have attach a 7 wk chick a week ago... Hawks are migrating now.
     
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  10. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Addict

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    Could also be fox, coyote, etc. There are four legged predators that grab and run. Then they eat their meal where they feel safe. very little evidence left behind. Problem is that everyone likes chicken.:hit
     
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