Hawk, fox or coyote? Whodunit?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by looptloop, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. looptloop

    looptloop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2010
    Pilot Hill, CA
    I've lost 2 gals in as many weeks. The first was 2 weeks ago (Thursday), kids playing out back, lots of noise and commotion. We let our (10) 14/15 week old girls out to freerange with the big (1 yr old) girls. Kids came inside for lunch, and when I went out to put the girls away, 1 was missing. I did later find a small pile of big/straight feathers down in the wooded area behind the house.

    The 2nd was last week (Thursday again), broad daylight. The big girls (1 yr olds) were out freeranging, husband thought he heard the egg song, but didn't go look. Kids and I discover that Pearl, a FBC Maran is gone. We also see a large amount of feathers, a trail to another large amount of downy feathers, with trail off through the playset, under the trampoline and into the wooded area beyond the yard. Never did find any other feathers out there though.

    We do have all kinds of critters out here; raccoons, skunks, coyote, fox, bobcat, hawks - but never have had a daytime encounter. I've got all the girls in the completely enclosed run for now, figuring who ever/what ever will be back until I have no more chickens. Do the attacks sound like they are from the same animal? I lost a bantam cochin to an evening hawk attack earlier this year, but it was witnessed so we knew what happened there.

    Would love some input!
     
  2. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like a fox or coyote. They grab and run then stop and pull the feathers to eat. Suggest you set up a electric fence or lock them in a secure run asap cause they won't stop till you run out of birds. Be sure your run is skirted as a fox will dig or wiggle under fencing fast. If it was a hawk, you probably won't find anything but a few feathers at the kill site cause they carry them off to the roost or nest to eat
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  3. mrpekinduck

    mrpekinduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Ducky Land!
    I'd sat a fix they grab and run if you look in the woods there might be some bones.
     
  4. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    That's a fox.. we had a problem with one just last week
     
  5. looptloop

    looptloop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2010
    Pilot Hill, CA
    So does a fox sit out in the forest watching for a moment to pounce? My husband wants to work in the yard on the tractor, figured that would be deterrant enough to let the gals out for while we are out there. I will definately look into electric fence, ASAP!

    Thanks!
     
  6. kareninthesun

    kareninthesun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2011
    maybe it depends on the type of hawk. The hawks in my neck of the woods are very brazen. been known to do behind human flybys and swoop down on small dogs (had a friend who was taking their dog out for her morning constitutional happen this way). They grab, fly high then drop their meal to kill first them pick it up to take it to the nest. Luckily when one grabbed the dog, she dropped it too early, on grass. She was only stunned. If a chicken was dropped and tried to get away, that might explain the extra feathers. I dunno.
     
  7. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:The fox that attacked my guinea did it right outside my bedroom window.. shown a flashlight at it and yelled.. grabbed the gun and headed out after it.. missed the fox.. but she came back a few hours later and did the exact same thing right outside my window again.. So yeah.. I would say they do watch and wait til they think it's safe. I've also seen them out in the yard during the day while I was out there working.. some are more brazen than others.. just depends on the individual and how hungry they and their kits are.
     

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