From 20 to 16

Yeppers

Chirping
Apr 27, 2019
35
149
59
NW Illinois
Went out around dusk to close up the coop yesterday and was doing my daily count and could only count 16 out of 20. My astrolorp rooster, a Buff Orpington, and two young Silkies were gone. There was one spot with a cluster of Silkie feathers next to the woods. One of the young Silkies we suspected was a rooster also.

I predict a coyote or coyotes. The older Astrolorp rooster was alpha to the older 16 and the Silkie rooster alpha to there group of four Silkies. Probably coyotes in pairs. Roosters probably went on the aggressive which gave the others a chance to run. Really hate coyotes. Such a savage thief. Some of our chickens meander out in the woods. I think it caught up with them. Sad when you lose some with the investment in time and all.

Probably should build a tall fence as a buffer at the timberline. Chickens won’t be going out for a wile I’m afraid. Too bad, they LOVE being out.
 

MROO

Enabler
Feb 26, 2018
7,556
39,089
1,087
The North-Eastern Corner of Maryland
Went out around dusk to close up the coop yesterday and was doing my daily count and could only count 16 out of 20. My astrolorp rooster, a Buff Orpington, and two young Silkies were gone. There was one spot with a cluster of Silkie feathers next to the woods. One of the young Silkies we suspected was a rooster also.

I predict a coyote or coyotes. The older Astrolorp rooster was alpha to the older 16 and the Silkie rooster alpha to there group of four Silkies. Probably coyotes in pairs. Roosters probably went on the aggressive which gave the others a chance to run. Really hate coyotes. Such a savage thief. Some of our chickens meander out in the woods. I think it caught up with them. Sad when you lose some with the investment in time and all.

Probably should build a tall fence as a buffer at the timberline. Chickens won’t be going out for a wile I’m afraid. Too bad, they LOVE being out.
So sad! I'm so sorry. We've had foxes forever, but sightings are getting fewer and farther in between. I'm told that's a sign of the coyotes moving in ... and sure enough, a couple of our local farmers have shot or trapped a few. I'm in a small. semi-rural town, but we're sandwiched in between dairy farms and a large State Forest. I am SO not looking forward to Winter, this year ...!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
33,235
270,382
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
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Sorry for your losses. Sounds like either coyote or fox. Could you run a few strands of electric fence around the area your chickens forage in? May be easier and cheaper (and more effective) than a tall wooden fence.
I agree with this approach.
Below is an aerial view of my chicken's area. It is roughly 1/3 acre. The yellow line is the 48" high fence, the red are 1/2" hardware cloth gates, the white is the 8'x16' coop and the blue is the 12'x28' solid roofed run. I have a gamut of predators to contend with including Fisher cats, black bear, fox, coyote, racoons, opossums, and dogs.
Aerial map.jpg

My flock used to free range but they were getting into entirely too much trouble and I lost a pullet to the neighbors GSD. It took about a month for them to stop challenging the fence and flying out over the gates (I had to clip wings) but they are now very happy and content inside their electro-netted pen. It is powered with a 10,000 volt/1.2 Joule output charger than very much gets your attention. The very same GSD that killed my EE peed on the fence one fine morning and got a jolt to his man parts. I was tickled pink when I learned of this wonder bit of justice.
Nothing has ever taken a chicken while they've been confined to the pen.
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,436
1,287
Washington State
My neighbor free ranges his chickens, and they also wander into the woods. He loses all of them every year to predators, mostly coyotes, and has to start over with a new flock. I have never figured out why he continues to do it this way. They coyotes know where to come for chicken dinner.
 

DiYMama540

Crossing the Road
Jun 25, 2019
3,943
22,984
822
SW VA
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Yikes...I am sorry to hear this! I agree with the others that say to try electric fencing. Your girls will be frustrated about staying in for a while, but they will get over it. Give them plenty to scratch around in and they'll learn to enjoy it! Too bad you can't explain...it's for your safety!
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,436
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Washington State
@ValerieJ which also keeps them snooping around your yard I guess? Crazy...if he wants chickens for food, at least make sure he's the one getting to enjoy it, not the coyotes :idunno
I have not seen the coyotes in my yard, but that doesn't mean they don't come through. My chickens free range within a fenced area, so they are a harder target. We don't actually have coyotes living close by, but they pass through from time to time. It's apparent when they are here. They are not quiet.
 

Trish1974

Araucana enthusiast
5 Years
Mar 16, 2016
3,092
6,914
592
North Central IN
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My neighbor free ranges his chickens, and they also wander into the woods. He loses all of them every year to predators, mostly coyotes, and has to start over with a new flock. I have never figured out why he continues to do it this way. They coyotes know where to come for chicken dinner.
I have a neighbor just like this!!! Couldn't you just smack him?! :gig
This is the first summer he hasn't gotten a new flock... thank God. But for 3 years in a row he would buy a flock in the spring, they would get decimated all summer long, then he would start over the following spring.
 

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