I lost 7 chickens today... but who dunnit????

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Don B, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. Don B

    Don B In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2007
    I found 3 dead in the drive this afternoon, necks broken, a few feathers missing from the sides of the breast, but no broken skin or teethmarks at all. The only other thing I noticed was the area around the missing feathers was damp.
    At bedtime, the survivors numbered 7 less than last night. I saw some dog poo near the corner of the yard outside the fence. Our Great Pyrenees was still in the fence (the dead birds were all on the outside of the fence). I can't imagine that our dog would allow a strange dog (or any animal for that matter) to approach the house and kill our flock without her going ballistic enough to come through the fence and take matters into her own paws . I have seen her destroy a chain-link kennel just so she could get out to go to the bathroom.
    It is possible that she was on the other side of the house, and did not hear the incident.
    What would kill chickens without leaving teeth or claw marks, and leave them (well, three of the 7 missing ones were left)?

    Anybody got any ideas???
  2. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    i am really sorry and have no idea what it could've been. but i must say - i am house sitting for a great pyrenese and i absolutely love those dogs now.
  3. nairba57

    nairba57 Hatching

    Aug 18, 2007
    I woudnt know of any animal to kill them for fun except ...... Humans. Any kids in the neighborhood who may have been being jerks. Dogs would eat least mess them up alot even though they dont eat them.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I say it was dogs. They are known for "playing" with the chickens and killing them all by just shaking and then leaving them for dead. Domesticated dogs kill for fun too.

    It would explain the dampness, no teeth marks, and lots of dead birds left uneaten.
  5. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    I agree with silkie chicken. I'm really sorry about your birds and I hope you get to the bottom of it!

  6. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I am so sorry for you loss. Do you have weasel...or mink in your area? What about stray cats!? Either one WILL kill more than they can carry off.
    I had 8 ducks in a pen.....15x15....1x2 inch welded wire fencing....with chicken wire on top. Pretty secure, or I thought.
    I went out one morning...4 dead a bite to the neck...2 injured...one was missing.
    Whatever it was....BROKE the welded wire fencing...and squirmed through a 2x2 hole. This critter killed for the thrill of killing...and took only one. It came back a few days later, and killed all but one. So, I know it was NOT a dog...hole was too small for it to fit into...a cat could not have tore the fencing....so I am thinking...weasel, or mink.
  7. Don B

    Don B In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2007
    Thanks for the posts, folks! I thought about mink and weasels, but don't they hunt at night? This was in the middle of the day. There are some stupid mutt dogs that live across the street, about 500 feet from where the chickens were found. I am suspecting the mutts. I think a cat or weasels would have left some marks on the birds. I could see the dogs just shaking them to death.
    I have the birds secure in the enclosed pen now. No more free ranging until I come up with a better answer. Thank you all!
  8. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Sounds like a dog to me.
  9. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    Sorry about your chickens. I'm voting for the mutts. Dogs that have never hunted prbably wouldn't eat the birds, just maul them to death in a doggy fun game of chase.
  10. BarbK

    BarbK Songster

    Aug 6, 2007
    Justusnack I dont think what killed you chickens would not have been a weasle. If a cat couldn't have tore the fence open then a weasle or a mink probebly couldnt have neither. They can also fit through a very small holes so they wouldn't have needed to rip the fence. Whatever their head fits through their body can. However if it was a critter like that was one of your neighbors missing a ferret. Both of these sound like an animal that doesnt know what to do with its prey once its killed.

    Don B I agree with the dog or human statement. A dog can kill withouth leaving teeth marks. (That is why I used to prize my old coonhound grump. She would go in for the kill and never damage the carcass.) I may also explain the wet areas. Dog grabs and shakes killing the bird and spraying saliva everywhere.

    The weasle or mink I don't think would have been your culprit. I have ferrets and they get dead prey once a week. They can be VERY messy. Plus the weasle and mink will only kill what they need. It sounds like you have a domesticated animal that doesn't know what to do with the prey once it is dead.

    Do you have problems with feral dogs, strays or neighbor dogs running?
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007

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