HELP!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RyleeandMax, Jun 24, 2019.

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  1. RyleeandMax

    RyleeandMax In the Brooder

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    :( Hello all! I have some sad news... last night I came home and 7 of my hens were gone and 1 of my female ducks was gone. I had been away for the weekend and was having my neighbor do chores(he has done them multiple times) I am 100% positive that the night before they had all gotten locked up. So... my neighbor locked them all up Saturday night and then at about 5pm on Sunday, he called me and told me that one of my Wyandotte’s(who was a VERY large bird)was dead and it was laying on his front porch. He said that she didn’t have any cuts or wounds, but she did have blood coming from her mouth/beak. He then called me about an hour later and proceeded to tell me that 7 of my laying hens were gone, and one of my female ducks was also gone. My chickens and ducks are EXTREMELY good about going into their coop at night, so this was alarming. I arrived home probably 20 minutes and began to look for the missing birds. We did manage to find my blue Copper Maran that wasn’t hurt at all but was pretty traumatized, and also a light Brahma that was not in good shape. She had a small wound and was laying on her side. We also found a few small wounds on the hens that were in the coop when we got home. Later that night we found 1 of my buff orpingtons that was sadly dead... very dead. Her head was gone but her body wasn’t touched, and she was left pretty close to my house in my lawn. I did find plenty of feathers scattered around my property but not the other 4 hens and 1 Duck that I was missing:( sorry for the long story but this is finally the part that I need your guys’ help with. What predator could do this? I think maybe a fox, but I don’t know how. It was in the daylight and there were people and dogs home. I have horses that didn’t make any noise, and my neighbors say that they didn’t even hear squawking. Why would the missing hens be scattered everywhere... first 3 were found near my neighbors house across the field from me, and then the other half eaten one was found close to my house. I have seen a fox in my field for probably a week know, but I just don’t know how this could be a Fox. Why would it hunt in the daylight and why would it come that close to my house? Any ideas? Thank you(again sorry for this long story:idunno
     
  2. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crowing

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    I think it was a bird of prey. I am having trouble with this right now too. It's the bird without the head that clues me in. A couple years ago I had a hen that would fly up to the top of the apple tree and then give a speech. One day an eagle tried to pluck her off the tree by lifting her by the head. This is gruesome but what happens when they do that is the body is too heavy and the head pops off and the eagle is left with just a head in his claws. I found my girl shortly after this happened; she was still warm. I deprived the eagle of his prey by bagging her up and disposing of her. This last week I lost a chicken to another eagle and I have an injured girl in sick bay. If your chickens can fly out of the run, they may have flown to safety and that's why you found them elsewhere. I don't know where you are, but where I am the salmon aren't running like normal and the eagles depend on them. They are desperate to feed their own young, so they are going after our chickens. I have now set up obstacles so my girls will be safe. I hope. I can't close the top of my chicken run because it's my little orchard, so I set up tomato cages upside down, spikes up everywhere. The chickens can still range wherever they want but the eagles don't have a landing spot. Remember they have to swoop and grab. They cannot outrun a chicken on the ground. I feel your pain. The one I lost this week was one of my original hens. So sweet and lovable. The one in sick bay was also one of my originals. She is not doing well atm. Heart breaking.
     
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  3. Fluffnut

    Fluffnut Songster

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    Do they free range during the day?
     
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  4. Fluffnut

    Fluffnut Songster

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    If it were a raptor, do they scatter bodies? I don’t think an eagle could kill all of the others by small bites, though. Maybe weasel or mink?
     
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  5. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Free Ranging

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    I think it was a weasel. They are vicious little things, and go after anything that moves, and won’t stop until everyone is dead. A weasel got 2 of my feather babies a while back. They looked perfectly fine except for a little blood on their heads and faces. The next night it returned and got our little bantam polish. Body was untouched on the ground, but without a head. We found the head in the chicken feeder.
     
  6. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crowing

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    Well, like I said I had two attacked this week. My chicken run is divided into three sections (for easy separation and integration when needed). The chicken they killed was in one section and the injured chicken was in another. In both places there were feathers everywhere. I would say in this case it was one eagle going after one and then another chicken. There are other signs. Not sure anyone wants the details here. There is no worse feeling than going out to see I haven't properly protected my lovely hens.
     
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  7. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crowing

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    I didn't think about that. If they are free ranged with no fence line to check for land predators, then it could be anything.
     
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  8. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Songster

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    Sounds more like a Fox or Mink.I just couldn't see a Raptor killing so many birds all at once.Set up some trail camera's and bait the trail cam area with one of the dead chickens. I had a fox take three ducks a few years ago one completely missing the other two were in the far back of my property with there heads completely gone
     
  9. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Free Ranging

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    :hugsI’m sorry about your chickens.
     
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  10. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Fox definitely hunt during the day. It probably has babies to feed.
     
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