Dead birds around property.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by The ChickenKing, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. The ChickenKing

    The ChickenKing Songster

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    My 18 week old girls have been finding remains of small birds around my yard(wings,bodies,etc), any ideas on what it could be and if it's a danger to the chickens?
     
  2. dominique man

    dominique man In the Brooder

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    There might be some stray cats or dogs around, usually when the bodies are really torn up it would be the result of a dog shaking the bird by the head. Keep an eye out for any stray dogs or cats or other preadators, you could try to get a live trap and see what you can trap. If they are eating wild birds your chickens are very much in danger. You might consider shutting them up in the coop for a while.
     
  3. The ChickenKing

    The ChickenKing Songster

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    Thanks, I'll definitely keep that in mind, I might put up some trail cams and see what I can find.
     
  4. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Songster

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    I'd be leaning towards an expert bird hunting cat...or an opportunistic one...perhaps one that lurks around bird feeders.
     
  5. The ChickenKing

    The ChickenKing Songster

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    I've got at least four stray cats by me so that could definitely be a factor.
     
  6. dominique man

    dominique man In the Brooder

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    Go get some live traps off the internet and catch the strays then take them to the animal shelter or a farm near you that will take the cats for controlling pests. You would be surprised how many farms have serious pest problems and need a few cats
     
  7. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Songster

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    Agreed, but check with a local rescue...with stray or feral cats they often have catch and release programs where they'll spay/neuter before turning them loose again or finding people who are interested in taking in barn cats.
     
  8. chkn

    chkn Songster

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    You know, I had that kind of thing going on, I'd walk out underneath a tree and it would be raining feathers. A pile of feathers here, a pile of feathers there, and sometimes just raining feathers. I thought, my God, what is doing that? A raccoon? One day the answer came, I saw a sparrow hawk fly into our hedges, practically swimming in there trying to catch a small bird. He went in and out of there several times taking small breaks on the tailgate of our old truck. He eventually got his prey.

    I saw it happen once again in a rose of Sharon bush. A smallish bush at the time but it was like an Indy 500 chase throughout that bush to catch a small bird and he did. Bushes and trees are his specialty. A little bird goes in there thinking he is saved but no!

    I noticed one other rather sneaky tactic of the sparrow hawk. He likes to do his hunting right at dusk when the birds are going to roost. These things are amazing hunters and have even made my chickens squeamish. I think they could be a small worry for them. However, now I have some smaller breed chickens in addition to some larger ones. I suppose even he could be a problem. However, he is very adept at catching small wild birds so I don't think they'd ever get hungry enough for my chickens. I won't get any of them a chance though!
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Sparrow hawk seems very plausible if you have a lot of juvenile / young-of-year song birds roosting in your area which I have seen before. Such flocks usually made up of starlings and common grackles (appear gray usually), American robins, and European house sparrows. If not depredation, you may have a disease issue. Occasionally you will see diseases spread by mosquitoes like West Nile Virus and the avian form of what I think is either malaria or yellow fever. Another health issue I associate with outbreaks of a Mareks like disease so stay on your toes for that.
     

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