Help!! 7 Chickens Gone! Feathers only...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Patsy's Chicks, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Patsy's Chicks

    Patsy's Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2009
    I am just sick over this, seven of my 29 chickens are gone. There are 4 spots in the yard with different colored feathers but no bodies. They were freeranging in our acre backyard (all fenced) during the daytime and the coop looks undisturbed. We didn't shut the coop until late last night since both my husband and I were out.

    Do you think that a fox or coyote did this? From all the reading I've done it seems as though these two particular animals carry birds away with little evidence that they were there.

    Why would 7 birds be gone?! We've seen a solitary fox in our backyard in the past but never a coyote. Would these animals kill that many birds when there are only one of them?

    I am heartbroken over this.....the poor dears, I shudder to think what they endured. To say the least, their free ranging daytimes are at an end, I don't want to lose anymore!
     
  2. lil'chickies

    lil'chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2009
    West Texas
    Depending on where you live is what did it. It sounds like it was a pack of something to take several birds. Coyotes and stray dogs travel in groups. I can't really tell you, but maybe someone else can. Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     
  3. Patsy's Chicks

    Patsy's Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2009
    I live in IL in a suburban environment. I know we have a ton of predators around, but the sheer joy of seeing the chickens run the yard is what kept me letting them free range outside.
     
  4. lil'chickies

    lil'chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2009
    West Texas
    I would suggest just making sure they are in their coop before dark. Most predators are nocturnal. Even if you have to put them up early so you can be out later, you could enjoy yourself more instead of spending the whole time worrying about their safety! Just an idea.
     
  5. Patsy's Chicks

    Patsy's Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2009
    Thank you for the advice, I usually am home right after work to watch the chickens go to bed and shut their door behind them. The past two nights I have gotten home a little late and a head count the day before last I had all 29. I am beating myself up pretty hard about it right now. I feel as though if I had just gotten home early and shut them up all would be well.

    Such a hard lesson!!! They are just about to start laying too, of course. But I count my blessings that I still have 22 healthy happy chickens and am not starting over completely.
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just so you know- foxes, which are raising young at this time, will return until the flock is gone. You need a way to exclude the predators that is 100%- they dig, they climb...and they like to stash bodies to ripen along a trail that eventually leads to their den. Even if you shot or killed one, it is likely is is one of several...so this is a serious threat. Very sorry you're going through this...
     

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