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Could it be Owls?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jolenesdad, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Songster Premium Member

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Montgomery, TX
    We had a late afternoon storm roll through today, heavy rain but no wind or thunder. It came through about 5:30, with sunset at 7:30, so I figured the girls would sit under the roof eaves and come back out again after so I left them all out.

    When I went out at 7:10, I found one chicken missing tail feathers, one chicken with blood on her neck in the coop and am missing two girls, my very favorites.

    I searched everywhere and found feathers. Lots from my barred rock. :( they’re all in one spot. Then I found feathers from the one that was slightly injured, but none from the other missing chicken. (I’m holding out hope the other missing chicken got scared and is missing for the night but I’m sure that’s not the case.) there are zero feathers over a three or so acre area that I searched other than the main pile at the attack spot. It was dark and I could t tell if I also saw Cuckoo marans feathers in the mix but for sure saw Barred Rock.

    I’ve seen owls in pairs near my pond in the daytime during rain so thats why I feel like it could be them. Would it be highly unlikely to have two taken and one injured at once by an owl or owls? The lack of feathers anywhere else makes me think an aerial predator.

    I’ve been free ranging for three years and this is my first issue. :-( I think they were trapped by an anti climb horse fence from getting away so likely were easy pickings, I’ll need to rethink where the heavier breeds that can’t fly over fences are allowed to get to.
     
    Ducksandchickens likes this.
  2. FarmerGirl101

    FarmerGirl101 Songster

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    I am thinking like a fox/coyote or bobcat. I feel like a hawk might have taken the other bird that doesn't any feathers or could just be missing. Owls don't usually eat chickens.
     
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  3. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land Premium Member

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    Probably fox/coyote or racoon if your not there lock them in
     
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  4. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Songster Premium Member

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    I was outside with all of them a half hour before so I’m sure it had to be at the same time, maybe raccoon(s).
     
    Ducksandchickens likes this.
  5. A pile of feathers , then no body of a bird, sounds like fox or coyote.
    A raccoon maybe, but they dont take full grown chickens far away in my experience.
    An owl can not fly away with your birds unless they are small, usually an owl only wants the head.
    are these full grown birds or younger?
    Sorry for your loss.
    I have a trail cam pointed at my coop now as i have had something nosing around my coop at night.
     
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  6. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma Premium Member

    Sound like a Fox to me..I had a Fox problem.
     
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  7. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Songster Premium Member

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    Apr 12, 2015
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    I’m thinking stray dog or fox or coyote I guess. It soft rained a lot last night and I went searching again because all the feathers on the ground are slightly wet and stuck in place. I’ve covered the entire 6.5 acres near the coop area and found absolutely zero feathers except for one birds feathers at the attack spot. Not a ton there either, a couple handfuls. I think it had to be big to carry them off with zero evidence left behind.

    I’ve got a buff Orpington that is missing some tail and rump feathers and has a scab on her face. Her head is a little crooked but she is socializing normal with the flock and moving around eating and drinking.
     
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma Premium Member

    A Coyote grabs one and runs. Fox get frenzied and kill or attack multiple birds. Sometimes stashes them close by. Takes the others home to the den..
     
    jolenesdad and Ducksandchickens like this.
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

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    My Coop
    I had an owl kill several of my birds. I couldn't figure out what it was and how it was getting in until I put a game camera up. Now I have heavy duty netting covering all of my pens. I have a video of it killing a bird.
    PRMS0004 01.jpg PRMS0001 07.jpg
    I had a bird in a cage where I knew the owl couldn't get it.
    PRMS0003 10.jpg PRMS0003 06.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    Aceoky likes this.
  10. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Songster Premium Member

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Montgomery, TX
    Thanks @cmom, I’m gonna get a game camfir the coop area so if anything’s happening at night I can be aware before it happens.

    Pretty sure my original assumptions were right and it’s gotta be an aerial predator. This survivor looks like something tried to grab her from above. She has blood on her face and an injured neck and soreness and feather loss at her rump. In addition, the remaining hens have been unbelievably aerial-skittish the last two days....

    B4DEB66A-9C6C-433B-B042-2FCC92BA6A52.jpeg
     
    Aceoky and chickens really like this.

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