Fox, Coyote, Racoon, or Hawk?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AGRowles, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. AGRowles

    AGRowles Just Hatched

    Nov 19, 2016
    Schoharie, NY
    I've been free ranging about 19 standard sized chickens for the better part of a year in my upstate NY farm, but only in the last week I've lost 3 hens. 2 of my losses occurred back to back days this weekend.

    There's been no evidence, not even blood in the snow. We have hawks like you wouldn't believe and there's been one flying low lately but I haven't had issues before now with them. The other day I drove into my driveway and there was a red tail sitting on a downed tree that's lying over my creek and my big Saxony ducks were in the creek 3 feet below it. That hawk is/was my prime suspect until I read that they can carry about 25% of their body weight and they weigh about 4 pounds. If it was a hawk, I would expect to find the corpse.

    We have coyotes and coons and foxes I'm sure but out here they stay far away for fear of being shot, they won't even raid my trash if left out (food is abundant out here and coyotes will take down full sized deer etc.). The chickens have been extra vigilant and the roosters have been running convoys with the hens back and forth from the coop to the corn crib where they hangout. Somethings definitely been picking them off while I'm not home.

    Missing 1 Wyandotte, 1 RIR, and 1 Salmon Faverolle
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I am no expert but I think if you are finding no evidence it is likely a fox or more likely a coyote - they will dash in and grab a bird and carry it to what they consider a safe distance to consume it...and then come back daily if they think they can do it again. Sorry for your losses. [​IMG]
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Yup, that said above. Larger predator to kill and carry in near instant. Otherwise you'd see kill spot, feathers...etc. It's a push pull scenario when free ranging of what is (another member said this and is great statement) acceptable losses. In your case you've a predator or family honed in on flock. If your coop is large enough coop them for few days...the predator must move on for food. Let them out in few days to week to range again. It will be gone...or if it's kit season will have taken refuge as your giving it a free meal....
  4. AGRowles

    AGRowles Just Hatched

    Nov 19, 2016
    Schoharie, NY
    Yeah I wanted to ask before stringing fishing line and CD's for hawk prevention. I have a trail cam set up so I will check tonight and see if anything was lurking. Fingers crossed that the predator was sniffing around the coop last night so I can narrow it down and shoot it.
  5. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    Yeah, I would suspect either coyote or dog. Definitely not a hawk. Good luck with your game cam! Hope you catch it, whatever it is.

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