Dead chicken near my coops, but it isn't mine!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by minnehaha, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Boy did this freak me out!

    My husband calls me outside to ask if I am missing any chickens with black wings. As I am walking to him I am counting chickens...
    3 speckled sussex, 6 red stars, 2 black orps, 4 cream legbars, 1 black star....etc etc

    By the time I got him him I said "nope, no missing chickens" and he says, weird, because just over the fence there is dead chicken parts.

    I went with him and took a look and confirmed it was not our chicken. We are all on large acreage in my area, this bird would have had to come from 1/2 mile away!! Whatever took this chicken traveled a good distance before eating it.

    I guess, it's time to drive around and find out who lost a chicken....


    All the predator left behind was one wing and some feathers.

    [​IMG]

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  2. andreanar

    andreanar Overrun With Chickens

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    Very odd. It does seem some predator (maybe fox?) carried it your way and decided that was a good spot to stop for its meal.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    TO things pop to mind. Neighbors with chickens? Did you loos a bird like one shown a month or so ago. Think fox cache sites being accessed now.
     
  4. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow...good point!!! I had not thought about a cache before.

    No, I have actually never lost a chicken (knock on wood), but a neighbor who lives over the ridge and down near the creek lost 4 black stars a month ago. In fact, I thought it looked like the wing of a black star but ruled out that it might be hers based on how long ago the attack was. The predator dug hole under her fence, came in and removed the 4 young birds, she thought it was coyotes.

    She was so distraught over the loss of those 4 birds that I was compelled to give her 4 of my White Leghorns of the same age. This made her feel better, and I had to many of them anyway (I bought 16 meat birds who turned out to be Leghorn pullets, feed store error). I think she might actually cry if I tell her about the remains, so I will spare her. But a cache makes sense. I felt the wing and the feathers were soft and young feeling like a pullets would be and I actually said to my husband "it looks like a 4-6 month old black star wing and feels like one too"

    Otherwise, what other theory could it be?
     
  5. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never seen a fox around here, but that does not mean they are not here. If the predator didn't carry it away and then eat it, then maybe it cached it like centrarchid said, is there any other predators who cache their food?

    I do know that a coyote will put distance between where he stole a pet and where he eats it. A few months ago I saw a coyote hauling butt across a wheat field with a cat in his mouth, He was zipping away from a farm and was already a good 3/4's of a mile from it and still running. However, why would a predator run from one house with a chicken and eat it right outside the fence of my house?

    Maybe it's a warning.......LOL....mobster coyotes and fox!

    We do have a lot of predators though. I have a hunting cam pointed into the woods outside my fence. I've seen many predators on it over time. This past week though, I saw a HUGE black bear, and a Bob Cat on it, not to mention a bull moose, rabbits, and a ton of deer.

    Recently at my gate I saw a badger, hawks and owls are always present as well as coyotes.

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Big cats will cache kills to, I think.
     
  7. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HHHMM....and that Bobcat was on the camera the day before we found the chicken remains. You can see the date and time on the bottom of the picture. We found the remains on Halloween, just 100 feet from where this Bobcat is coming through the day before.

    We also have cougars, I've seen them on my cameras as well.

    That bear and bobcat are about 300 feet from my coops! Just over the fence and in the woods.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Wow! Who needs to watch Wild Kingdom? You have it all right in your backyard! Nice pics from the camera! While I kind of envy you your diverse wildlife, I really don't, either.... [​IMG] Since I'm not accustomed to most of your wildlife, I'm not going to speculate on which critter it could have been.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  10. minnehaha

    minnehaha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And I've never lost a chicken (yet), but one of my cats went missing a month ago.

    I worry that with the amount of predators i have, I'll lose the whole flock in one day eventually I've been lucky, the badger was a close call, and the hawk last week was also a close call. I feed the crows to help me keep the hawks away. I see hawks every single day, but I also hear and see the crows who are territorial.

    I had a nightmare that a big bear climbed the fence and rolled the chicken coop end over end until it broke apart (I had jumped into the chicken coop for safety). I woke up when the coop fell apart. I've had no nightmares about the cougar that was in the hunting cam last fall, I think I would pee the bed if I did. The cougar is the one that frightens me, followed by the bear, everything else only makes me worry about the chickens and the cats.

    Bears are not stealthy, you can hear them coming, however, you cannot outrun them or out climb them. They can climb a tree super fast and can run at a fast clip. But they sound like a herd of elephants in the woods. The cougar is the scary one. They have the nickname of "The ghost of the forest" You will not hear them or see them, they will get you if they want too. They like to sit up in trees or up high above trails on hillsides and rocks and pounce down on you. You will never see it coming.....that is a scary scary scary predator!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014

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