Hawk, mass chicken killing??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by milleryardchx, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. milleryardchx

    milleryardchx Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    Washington State
    ok so my chickens have a 1/2 acre fenced for them so the coyotes don't get them. Have had no issues then this morning I go out their was a killing spree last night or this morning! white feathers everywhere 5, 5 week old delaware roos gone and two of my cornish cross dead in the field. The cornish cross one was 50% eaten with small maybe 1/2 inch to inch sizes chunks off no teeth marks the one right next to it dead not touched except for its eyes.. baby roos no where to be seen except for a few of their barred feathers. no feathers or any sign of struggle in the coop all the pullets and 7 left roos are just fine happy go lucky. What was it!? Hawk, owl, raccoon? I live in SW Washington... Never had a preditor issue except domestic dogs a few years back but fixed that with the fence and hotwire and no more free ranging except for their 1/2 acre. what can I do for birds of pray? I'm not buying a 1/2 acre worth of bird netting for a roof... just have to tractor everyone??
  2. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    Sorry for your loss. Have you see live traps to see if you catch any coons? I caught over 40 coons and possums in less than a year,and I never knew I had any. Do you have the option of a game cam? Very useful. I grow clumps of ornamental grasses all over so they have cover to run under.I also ran some fishing line from one fence side to the other and added some red mylar.

    I did not think a hawk would kill mroe than one,but I suppose it could happen.Hate hawks and owls.Beautiful birds,but so annoying you can not dispatch them.I would rather deal with 100 coons than one hawk.Coons and dogs like to kill a lot at once.

    For a time I would roam the fenced yard WITH the birds to protect them from hawk attack.Got tired of that and planted more cover,lol.Some loud noises might help deter a hawk from staying around.Bottle rockets I have heard some use.Pot and a hammer would work just as well.

    Whatever killed them will be back,so prep for them.

    Wishing you well!
  3. starkiller8

    starkiller8 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 30, 2012
    Elko, Nevada
    what you can do is get smaller fence in case of some kind of rodent and have a small area where the chickens can easily go in case of danger. maybe put a couple semi large wood boxes around so the chickens can run to them and hide quickly.
  4. Scott H

    Scott H Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2012
    Twin Lakes, ID
    My Coop
    Doesn't sound like a bird of prey to me. Not mass killing type of predator like a coyote, coon of even weasel. Get a live trap, raccoon sized and keep your birds in until you catch them.
  5. Donna Raybon

    Donna Raybon Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2012
    Predator kills multiple times as a result of prey animal not being able to get away. By that I mean they (prey) are penned so that they can't escape. The predator has a hardwired 'it's prey, it's moving, it's dinner when it's NOT moving' reflex. So, as long as SOMETHING is moving- predator can NOT stop killing. In the wild, a flock of birds would have one member succumb to the predator and rest would evacuate the area!! That doesn't really help with feeling of loss (I just lost five ducklings to owl!) but, it does help to understand that multiple killings are not a result of 'meanness' or of wastefullness on part of predator. Your loss doesn't sound like hawk/owl though. More like four footed...maybe weasel?? Know anyone who hunts and has a critter cam you could set up for a few night nearby to see what you have prowling? Looking for 'scat' will tell you a lot about what's cruising the neighborhood, too.

    Fencing doesn't even slow racoon and coyotes down. The electric can deter them if it's really, really hot. Most folks though don't have a hot enough fencer box and/or enough ground rod in the ground to make it hot enough. We use the boxes that are meant for cattle fencing, etc... as we have cattle too. Also, electric fencing can become useless if the ground gets dry enough. In times of extreme drought we have had fence just barely hot enough to 'tickle.'

    It is the time of year for both hawks and owls. We had an owl take the ducklings over several nights until I could get them penned securely at night. And, yesterday one of our BC Maran roosters fought off a hawk who was going for one of our hens. Having places for birds to take cover certainly works, we use bales of old hay with pallet on to when natural cover is sparse. So sorry for your loss. Donna in Dandridge, TN
  6. milleryardchx

    milleryardchx Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    Washington State
    We think we found the problem a mama cat just had a litter of kittens and I found her last night walking around the chicken tractor, I trapped her but don't know where the kittens would be hidden. thinking about releasing her track down the kittens to take to the shelter
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Do you lock your chickens up at night for their protection? or did this happen in broad daylight, so sorry for your loss.
  8. milleryardchx

    milleryardchx Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    Washington State
    they get cooped at night it happened during the day. But now Everyone is in 2, 8 by 8 tractors.
  9. t8562005

    t8562005 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 14, 2012
    Were any of the chickens decapitated?
  10. milleryardchx

    milleryardchx Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    Washington State
    no the two cornish i did find had their heads. Why?

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