Four missing chickens... Lots of feathers....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Eggcellent, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Eggcellent

    Eggcellent Songster

    Aug 30, 2009
    Michigan's Thumb
    Well our 4 banty opringtons were missing after a post free-range headcount. We walked all around and could not find them and then on the far side of the house... Feathers EVERYWHERE.

    That was one sinking feeling [​IMG]

    We followed the feather trail and found all 4 chickens under the front porch ALIVE and without noticeable INJURY!!! [​IMG]

    I don't know what got after them but it must have been large enough that it couldn't get under my front porch. My 40 pound dog can get under there so this must have been a big animal of some sort. I found paw prints in the sand and they looked like a very large dog. I have heard rumors of wolves around here, but during the daytime I think a stray dog is more probable. I was in and out of the house the whole time the chickens were free ranging and I never heard or saw anything.

    Thank god they had enough brains to get under the porch. They were so scared when we tried to get them out. The roo lost most of his tail feathers but the hens are unscathed. I checked them over thoroughly and other than the rooster being a little plucked they all look and act fine.

    I have some photos of the paw prints but they basically look just like a large dog... About 4" long prints.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009

  2. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Songster

    Sep 19, 2008
    You are lucky they are alive!! I'd keep them in the run for a while instead of free ranging just to be safe!! [​IMG]
  3. Eggcellent

    Eggcellent Songster

    Aug 30, 2009
    Michigan's Thumb
    Extremely lucky they are alive... I usually don't let them out unsupervised due to coyotes and hawks, but the hawks haven't been around and I didn't think a coyote would attack during the day. They are all locked up tight in the coop and I won't let them out of the runs unless I can be right there.
  4. neverbdone

    neverbdone Songster

    Dec 9, 2008
    Lake Isabella, CA
    Coyotes will attack during the day and will do it right in front of you and/or your dogs. I had one attack while I and my three goldens were on the front porch and luckly only got a mouth full of tail feathers. The good news is they are not too good at catching while on the run. However, the bobcat I have right now will catch on the run in front of anyone and has done so twice now. All are on lockdown for the time being. A very bad time of year. [​IMG]
  5. mikeksfarmer

    mikeksfarmer Songster

    Sep 16, 2008
    Bonner springs KS
    I bet it was a small hawk and they just got away. A dog would show evidence of digging around the pourch. A Coopers hawk would have trouble with a banty but they are bird hawks. They dont have the tallons to hold a chicken well. Thank God feathers shed like a lizards tail.

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