Injured Chicken totally vanished from Cage

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LibbyinTx, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. LibbyinTx

    LibbyinTx New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2008
    I have had chickens as pets for 10 years. We don't eat them, just the eggs. I've witnessed hawks swooping down and I've seen piles of feathers in our yard and actually followed the feathers to the 'carcas'.... Hawks have succeeded and I think an occasional bobcat.

    Our chickens are free range. Its always been that way and I can't imagine changing it... well I couldn't...until now. We have large dogs who protect the chickens, chase things away... we've had casualties and its been really sad but for the most part, they stay very safe.

    One of my chickens became injured. I'm not sure how. She had a broken wing and her leg was hurt so I put her inside the chicken coop which is actually like a huge storage building and the garage door part is partially down. I have old stacking cribs I use for nesting or injured chickens. I've never ever ever ever had anything come into my coop. Yesterday morning I went and checked on my nesting chicken and my injured chicken. Injured chicken had a bowl of clean water next to her and food. I kept it right next to her so she didn't have to move.

    2 hours later I went back out to give horses water and such, wandered into the coop and my chicken was GONE. Since she was in a stacking crib, I had her in a top one and the top part was open. I knew she couldn't fly out of it and I've never had anything come in so I was not worried at all. But she was just gone. She couldn't get out and if she did by some miracle fly out, I would of seen her because she was injured. What on earth would go into my coop, perch and pluck her out without jumping in or disturbing her water bowl (still full) or food? And the coop, the garage door thing..its down a bit so its not easy to just swoop in.... we don't have owls. and this was in the morning. Absolutely no feathers left behind.... usually I will find a pile of feathers..something...but nothing.
    What would go in and do that? Would a hawk? And why... we have tons of fat bunnies hopping everywhere and my other free range chickens...why would something risk getting into the coop and taking out a chicken in a cage??? It doesn't make sense to me at all.
     
  2. Double-T-Family-Farm

    Double-T-Family-Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2008
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    it was most likely a raccoon or opossum..:| do you have them in your area
     
  3. LibbyinTx

    LibbyinTx New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2008
    Really ?????????????? A raccoon or possum could pull it out and carry it away??? Seriously??? She was a big black hen. Yes, we do have them. I've seen raccoons come up to my back door and look in at us. So they would actually do this during the morning and take a whole chicken to eat it? I thought they just ate the heads or something and I have never had that happen. I've never walked into a coop to find a ripped off chicken head. I'm just so confused about this.
     
  4. laughingllama75

    laughingllama75 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 13, 2008
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    My vote is a raccoon.......I used to raise rabbits, and the things they would do to get them. They can open latches, lids, sliding bolt locks and be very quiet about the whole thing. Sorry about your chicken, that is too bad. [​IMG]
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Raccoon. Think of them as having better skills than a three-year old and the appetite of a wolverine.

    Check the rafters in that building or any elevated hiding spots. Raccoon may be living there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  6. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * It's crazy, I agree. I would probably have torn the place apart looking for her-- or SOME sign of her, even a feather!!! It uery well could have been a racoon, though. Might try a trap in the same vicinity and see what you come up with. Sorry about the girlie.
     
  7. LibbyinTx

    LibbyinTx New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2008
    Thank you for all the replies. It totally has driven me crazy thinking about it. I had no idea a raccoon could do that. We had 2 big dogs that lurk all over but, my old dog died recently and we only have one now. The old dog that died, ironically was a bird dog. But he learned quickly not to chase my chickens but he sure kept away anything else. My one dog left would rather stay near the house and guard us than the chickens so I guess I need to think about getting another one. Its always a difficult thing to do because you never know if your going to be able to really train a dog to not kill your livestock. I'm always worried I'll get one that just can't overcome instinct although every dog we have ever had we have trained not to chase or kill them...it always feels like such a risk. When I do get a big dog, with the exception of Zeke who died as I inherited him... we get the aggressive protector type dogs which, I feel is more difficult to train rather than perhaps a Great Pyrenese.

    Anyhoooos, thank you SO So So much!
    Libby in Tx:)
     

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