Dont ignore strage behavior

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by americanchicks, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. americanchicks

    americanchicks Songster

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    Jun 26, 2012
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    Hi all,
    So yesterday evening the family was having dinner. I noticed 5 of my 11 hens on the back porch. Well I shooed them away telling them "We have 5 acers why not explore" Well they kept coming back. Shooed them away again. After about 3 min or so of chasing them off they started acting strange. Pecking on the slider door and climbing over each other desperately trying to get in. Which is strange because they never want to come in the house (except for Phoebe) I stated picking them up and putting them out the front door. By night fall they all where gone and I went to close the pen. I decided to do a beak count and noticed more than half the flock was missing. I found 3 of them hiding in the shed.

    Well this morning I went searching. I am still missing 3 and only evidence I found where some clumps of feathers in the pen. Later today I am going to do a grid search and see what I can find. Was thinking hawk but thought they only took one at a time.
    Lesson learned. When your chickens are acting strange don't ignore them, something might be wrong.
     
  2. Aceoky

    Aceoky Songster

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    Hawks don't "follow directions" (do what you'd expect sometimes) I had one get two young pullets, eat the head off one(Dominique) and start to get to the insides, the EE pullet the hawk just killed dropped it in order to escape "my wrath" . "Usually " owls eat the heads but this was early AM and I witnessed this so "usually" depends from what I just witnessed myself FWIW
     
  3. americanchicks

    americanchicks Songster

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    Update: Went searching the property. Found two feather piles from one hen. Still thinking hawk because there is not feather trail. Not a trace of the other 2. The rest where acting stressed all morning. Either hiding in the coop or under it. They seem to calm down after I spent some time outside.
     
    Aceoky likes this.
  4. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

    I'm thinking fox or raccoon.
    They don't always leave a trail but they will take multiple and terrorize your flock.
     
    chickens really likes this.
  5. BGcoop

    BGcoop Songster

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    :hitSorry for your loss! But thanks for the lesson.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Sounds like a Fox. They kill multiple birds and come back for the dead ones they couldn't carry the first time. They stash food.
     
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    Keep them all in their safe coop until you either can trap and kill this critter (I'd guess fox too) , or you have electric fencing set up, or something. Otherwise you are likely to loose everyone!
    Mary
     
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  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    A hawk will move on if there's no chance to catch another chicken, in ten to fourteen days usually.
    Mary
     
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  9. americanchicks

    americanchicks Songster

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    Buckley, Wa
    Another Update! Thank you all for your kind words. You are right hawk is counted out. Looking around today I found what was left of Lucky, one of the missing 3. This time there was a feather trail. Following it I found a gut pile. The critter ate all but the intrails, gizzard, and crop but it was empty. Right next to that I found a leg and a foot. Re investigated the first feather pile from yesterday, found more feathers. Along with both feet, poor Rooster. (that was her name) Also found a large raccoon print in the dirt. Pretty sure that is what Im dealing with. I did have a bobcat a month ago killing ducks but took it out. Also the cat didn't eat the ducks close to the house. This predator is only taking them about 50 ft away, I have read that is a coon thing. Still do sign of Flower :(

    I did have a hot wire that was given to me but it stopped working a few months ago. Looks like I need to replace it ASAP.
     
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  10. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

    Coons are nasty things.
    Indiscriminate mass killers.
    I'm so sorry :hugs
    Be prepared, they will be back with buddies.
     

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