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Daytime Predator

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by christyfaye, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. christyfaye

    christyfaye New Egg

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    Mar 2, 2012
    All my hens were fine this morning when let them out of the coop to free range (8am), then I found a pile of feathers and quite a bit of the carcass of my sweet Barred Rock pullet under the trees early this afternoon. Any ideas what would do this in broad daylight? My yard is completely fenced, so no dogs should be able to get in and out. I assume a hawk would fly off with her and not leave so much of the body behind?? Is there anything do be done to prevent this from happening again?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Any predator if hungry enough will adapt it's feeding time; therefore, almost any of the normal predators are a possibility. My gut says that it was a hawk. If the prey is large enough and the hawk small enough, they will eat close to the kill site. For the next several days, until you solve the problem, only allow supervised free ranging. Sadly enough, the predator will be back.
     
  3. jkulp00

    jkulp00 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am not sure where you live but we lost a girl to a fox sometime between the hours of 10-2:30 - broad daylight, a few weeks ago. Now that it is winter where we live there is less game in the woods for the predators so they are more likely to come looking for whatever they can find and whenever they can find it. Sorry about your chicken. I cried for mine, she was my favorite :(
     
  4. maransfan16

    maransfan16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if it was a younger chickens it might even be that you have a cat problem i had 6 doves and now i'm down to one and i had one of my silkies and a few young ones the same way as yours one day i saw the neighbors cat that lives a few hundred yards down the road packing off one of my bantams so i scared it off luckily the chicken was just stunned but after talking to the neighbor about it i found the cat in my coop again and he went...... "missing"[​IMG] but i had good reason i was out about 150 dollars of dead chicken and they weren't that attached to the cat anyway
     
  5. maransfan16

    maransfan16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they didn't mind to bad it was just an outside cat they had to keep mice population down and where i live cats are free anyway
     
  6. christyfaye

    christyfaye New Egg

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    Mar 2, 2012
    Thank you so much for your thoughts (and sympathies ... we sure do get attached to this sweet little birds, don't we!) I hadn't even thought of winter bringing on more predator problems. I'm pretty set on letting my girls free range as much as possible ... so is this just something I'm going to have to deal with occasionally? Or would you guys recommend keeping them in their run for just the winter months? Also, is there anything I can do to discourage predators (fake owls propped on the roof, etc)??
     
  7. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It kinda sounds like a hawk attack. A lot of times, they will just eat at the site where they caught their victim. As far as foxes go, they are a 24hr a day threat. I've had two daylight fox attacks. I had my chickens for almost a full year before the first one. The birds freeranged all around my property. I'd let them out first thing in the morning. At around 10:00, my wife seen them out and about, and everything was fine when she left. At 2:30, my daughter got home from school and saw piles of different colored feathers all through the yard. We lost 7 out of 9 in that attack. We got a bunch of new chicks and changed the way we did things as far as the unwatched freeranging went. When they were out, somebody was watching them. But, you can't keep that up, things happen. We had the 2nd daytime attack, during a 2hr window when nobody was home. Same scene as the first, but we lost 9. What I ending up doing was buying 400' of electrified poultry netting and surrounding the coop. That has been the answer for us. Now the birds get out first thing in the morning and can run around in their area and be safe.
    I know how it feels, to lose chickens, they can grow on you a bit, and if you have kids it's even a bit worse. As it seems it's ALWAYS one of your, or one of the kid's favorites that gets taken.
    Jack
     
  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry to hear about your barred rock! I hate losing chickens chickens any time! But to predators it really makes my blood boil. I had a coyote swipe a duck and a cochin pullet last year. He won't do it again I'm here to tell you. Anyway, I can empathize with your loss.
     
  9. christyfaye

    christyfaye New Egg

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    Thank you so much - your story helps a lot! I appreciate it.
     
  10. christyfaye

    christyfaye New Egg

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    Mar 2, 2012
    Thank you! Yes, I am an incredibly non-violent person, yet I'm finding myself thinking about how I'd smash the hawk with a rock if I saw it after my sweet hens.
     

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