Four birds missing, no prints in the snow?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BroosterSpringsteen, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. BroosterSpringsteen

    BroosterSpringsteen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My birds free range during the day, and I close up the coop at night....but sometimes I forget to latch the door. I won't forget again. We've not had a single predator in 3 years, until last night. This morning I went out and my 4 largest birds are missing. Nothing left but a very few feathers, no trace of blood. We have snow outside the coop, and a dusting on the coop floor, and there are no prints, not even chicken prints. I can still see my footprints from last evening though. They must have been snatched from their roosts? What could so easily take 4 very large chickens?

    I've been sketching plans for a run. It was going o be a tall fence, but now I'm thinking enclosure.
     
  2. BroosterSpringsteen

    BroosterSpringsteen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NW North Carolina
    It occurred to me that it is pretty windy. It's not impossible that tracks could have been blown over. Still, what would take 4 large birds? Would it have to be a pack of something? Or are there predators that would return 4 times in one night? I'm traumatized.
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Coyotes are packed up this time of year. I bet you had a raid on your place from a family unit.

    Sorry for your losses.
     
  4. BroosterSpringsteen

    BroosterSpringsteen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
    NW North Carolina
    Coyotes are a possibility. We have lots of them.

    After some hiking and investigation, I did find 2 of the birds a good distance from the coop on my neighbors property. One was simply missing feathers and not eaten. One is missing the head and neck. Feathers are scattered in a pile nearby. So what what do this? Racoon? I have seen a weasel down by the river near the coop, but that was months ago. An owl? Would an owl kill 4 birds? I'm still baffled by the lack of tracks, even with the wind. The snow is pretty crunchy.
     
  5. Snowygirl

    Snowygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, that's terrible!! So sorry for your losses!
     

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