Found a pile of feathers, 2 chickens missing!

SanCarlos6127

In the Brooder
6 Years
Oct 12, 2013
62
8
33
Brooks, Maine
So, while closing up my coop last night, I did my nightly headcount and kept coming up 2 birds short. My SLW and one of my Turkens were missing. I searched the area and did find a large pile of black and white feathers, but no blood or other body parts. I'm assuming this was my Wyandotte... No sign of my Turken at all. The feather pile was on the woodline but maybe only 50 feet from the coop and my house.

This must have happened in broad daylight as the chickens are only out during the day. The pile of feathers almost looked like the bird was on the ground and the feathers were plucked out. Again, no blood or body parts.

My question is what would do this in broad daylight so close to the coop and house and literally within feet of where one of my dog run ends?? My oblivious wife of course never hears anything that happens outside. Even tree crews cutting down my trees when I'm at work, but that's another story...
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
18,108
24,345
906
southern Michigan
Keep your birds in a very secure coop for a week or two, until your visitor is gone. Set live traps, and don't relocate! Could be a fox, or a dog... Good luck! Mary
 

thomasboyle

Songster
6 Years
Feb 28, 2013
933
297
176
Northwest Hills of CT
Very sorry for your loss. It could be a fox or coyote or bobcat. Foxes frequently attack during the day, and I have seen coyotes and bobcat around my coop during the day too. Some of them missed the day in predator school that said they hunt at night. I have a daytime picture of a bobcat that is 15 feet from the coop and about 30 feet from the house.
 

longswamp farm

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 7, 2013
26
0
22
In the past I've had dogs do this, it is so frustrating just trying to figure out what is doing the damage. But hawks and dogs have been our only problems during the day.
 

heartsizedfarm

Songster
5 Years
Feb 24, 2014
1,634
182
168
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
This could be a hawk. They typically hold the hen down and start plucking. So when all is said and done all you see is the pile of feathers. Whereas fox and coyote will try to drag the prey off to eat in privacy. I lost a hen this past fall to a hawk. She was rolling about in her dust bath area. Since then I've put large tree branches in that space so the hens are not dust bathing in an exposed area.
 

malley

Hatching
5 Years
Jul 26, 2014
4
0
7
I also have two Bantys missing. Just gone. Every morning the rooster would be at the backdoor wanting some food, the hen with him. This morning .....they weren't there. I cant find them anywhere, no feathers.. . They are around 10 months old. There is no sign of struggle.....help....what could have happened. They never go far from the house or barn. ...and we have a dog that sits with them. I'm so upset.
the only new thing is we had a crane at the pond for two mornings. The first time it has been at our house. And the last. I have not seen it since the chickens are gone. What could get both at one time and not make a mess.....confused
 

malley

Hatching
5 Years
Jul 26, 2014
4
0
7
I also have two Bantys missing. Just gone. Every morning the rooster would be at the backdoor wanting some food, the hen with him. This morning .....they weren't there. I cant find them anywhere, no feathers.. . They are around 10 months old. There is no sign of struggle.....help....what could have happened. They never go far from the house or barn. ...and we have a dog that sits with them. I'm so upset.
the only new thing is we had a crane at the pond for two mornings. The first time it has been at our house. And the last. I have not seen it since the chickens are gone. What could get both at one time and not make a mess.....confused
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
18,108
24,345
906
southern Michigan
I started with bantams that roosted in the barn. MANY MANY dead or missing birds later, I wised up and locked them in a predator proof coop at night. Everyone has a better, longer life, and very few predator events during the day. Chickens are helpless while roosting at night! Mary
 

Vtown

Hatching
6 Years
Feb 24, 2013
5
0
6
I just had 8 taken with only piles of feathers left behind. 2 roosters gone too. What happened? I found two clumps over in my neighbors yard.
 
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