Hello, I am new


8 Years
May 30, 2011
Hi. I could probably find an answer to this if I looked around, but I am in a hurry. We have a flock born at the end of Feb. that look pretty darn big to me, but we have lost 5 chickens with no trace. No feathers, no wandering off- we have searched. There are no tracks, no noise, and no sign the chickens were attacked at all. we can't figure it out. The first disappeared about 2 weeks ago. The others were all lost in the last 3 days. We only had 21, so we need to find out what it happening right away. They are let out anywhere from 10am to 2pm and stay until late afternoon. I go round them up and put them up just a bit earlier than they would like to go. Thanks in advance. BTW, we live in West TN and have hawks, coyotes, RARE bobcats, raccoons, oppossums, snakes, etc. I have never see a lynx in 7 yrs but people say they are around here. The coop is secure, so we know it's not during the night. Thanks again.
If its during the day, you can eliminate the nocturnal predators. I'd go with a hawk from your list. 2 months old is a smaller size, which means there are more things that can eat them, such as cats.
I should mention they are Araucanas, one Plymouth Barred Rock, 5 Leghorns, a crested buff laced polish, two Rhode Island Reds, and one Buff Orpington. We have lost one of the barred rocks, one buff orpington, and three araucanas, including our biggest and best rooster. They are on lockdown in the coop today. What will stop a hawk?
I'm sorry to hears about the shrinking flock. I would agree that the hawk is the most likely culprit. What ever the predator, it sure sounds like he keeps coming back for more. But it could be raccoon, too. Hawks are tough to stop because they are a protected species. I have been thinking of building a portable daytime run for my chickens because we have had hawk attacks too, so I don't let them out or the run unsupervised. What I have been considering is a light weight, hoop style run made out of PVC pipe and cattle panel arched over it. I am thinking I could easily move it around to fresh ground. I'm still researching it--I found info when i searched "hoop coop"

By the way
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Ms.Frizzle :

If its during the day, you can eliminate the nocturnal predators. I'd go with a hawk from your list. 2 months old is a smaller size, which means there are more things that can eat them, such as cats.

yep, I agree -- it could also be a coyote. They are VERY bold and brazen around here (western Kentucky) and will snatch the chickens or other poultry in broad daylight. I lost 5 chickens and a beautiful solid white guinea a couple of summers ago. I was outside at about 11:30 a.m., mowing grass on the riding mower and the guinea was going over the part I'd mowed, getting the bugs & eating grass clippings. As I finished one strip and made the turn to go back for the next pass, I saw a pile of white feathers where Powder had been.
The coyote had snatched her while I was out there ON A RIDING LAWN MOWER, for Pete's sake!! I was never fast enough to see them until a couple of weeks later. I happened to be outside and one of my cats was running for dear life across the back yard, with a coyote in hot pursuit. I snatched up a shovel and ran toward them, screaming my lungs out. The coyote turned & ran back in the field. We saw a pair of them early this spring; I yelled for DH and he came out with the 9mm and fired at them. I haven't seen them since, and hope I never see them again.​
If it were a hawk you should see feathers and some sign of a kill. Snatch and run predators that come to mind are fox, coyote, bobcat or lynx. They can strike and carry off in seconds.
We definitely have a fox- saw it less than a week ago, but it was crossing our road at night. Thank you for all the replies. I REALLY don't want to resort to a covered run- I love watching them "free" to roam about. They really stay in a small area. We have a fairly large horse barn, and the chickens love to take dust baths and scratch up the hay to see what they can find. They stay in there, and in the back paddock, where our four dairy goats live. The goats have the back part of the barn and it opens into a fenced paddock, and this is the outdoor area the chickens stay in. It's wire fencing. But the woods come right up to the paddock edges. Perfect for hawks, foxes, or whatever. I looked at "dummy" predator birds online. Anyone have any luck with this? Seems hawks are too smart to fall for that.
Ooh, a fox you say? They can carry away adult birds, and eat them away from the kill spot, which could be why you find no feathers. Any tracks?

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