1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Didn't lose a chicken but . . . ?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by N&MSchroeder, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. N&MSchroeder

    N&MSchroeder Songster

    Feb 4, 2011
    SE Idaho
    This morning, when my husband went to let the girls out, he found a decapitated rabbit INSIDE of the fenced run. The fence is 6 feet tall and both gates were closed and locked. We can't figure this out. We have not had a predator attack before but have seen coyotes in the area, but not recently. No skunks, raccoons, etc. Our land does open up in back to a mountain range and there have been cougars sighted in the past. We moved the cattle home to winter two days ago from the range, so that may have brought something in. This was a wild rabbit and quite large. We have two cats who were not inside of the run with the rabbit, but were at their usual post next to the back door waiting to be fed when my husband went out. It was our coldest night yet (about 17 degrees) but something had to jump/climb our fence (it isn't covered) and kill a rabbit. We have the girls locked up at night inside of two barns and nothing seems amiss here. I need to leave for work within the hour and am worried about the possible return of this animal. The girls are free ranging (my husband hadn't found the rabbit until after he had let them out and was giving them scratch). Will it return during the day? [​IMG]

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    It could be different things, but my first thought was an owl. What do others think?
  3. N&MSchroeder

    N&MSchroeder Songster

    Feb 4, 2011
    SE Idaho
    We do have owls around but I hadn't considered them! I worry about the hawks but not the owls, but I believe you are right and admit to being somewhat relieved since the chickens are locked up at night. Thanks for your response.
  4. OldChurchEggery1

    OldChurchEggery1 Songster

    Sep 27, 2011
    I second the owl. They've got wicked talons and beaks, so imagining one with a large rabbit is no stretch. We have Great Horned Owls here and they've been accused of carrying off cats.
  5. gpwelding1

    gpwelding1 Chirping

    Oct 10, 2011
    upstate south carolina

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by