Lost 5 in Two Days, Cont'd....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bobbi-j, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    OK, since I can't remember how to edit a thread title, I'm starting a new thread altogether. After losing 5 pullets in 2 days, I separated my flock and have been keeping the two new flocks in their coop/runs for a few weeks. Hubby got done with fieldwork, is mostly around the place now, so I thought it would be OK to let the chickens out on alternating days. We started that last week. Well, today I noticed that my "old" rooster (hatched last year) is missing. Found a trail of some feathers at the edge of the now-dug bean field. That flock was out yesterday - DH was gone for maybe an hour, dog was loose, but up at the house when DH got home. I'm still not sure what to think Has anyone else had a dog kill a chicken and leave no more evidence than a few feathers? Every other time we've had dogs kill chickens, they were happy to bring their prized up to the doorstep for me to see. This one does bury things, though. But I haven't found any new dug up places, either. Would the dog follow the same pattern (taking chickens in the same place), or are they more random (carcasses in different areas? I guess my chickens will not free range again for some time. I know, I'm really trying to avoid the thought that it could be my dog. Denial? Maybe. Baffled? Definitely.

    In talking further with DH, he said he did lock that coop up early on Tues. because there were chickens in there roosting, but he apparently missed one or two because Wed. morning there was one wandering around outside the run... So it's possible that he also locked out the rooster. I'm now leaning quite positively toward coyote.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
  2. jerryse

    jerryse Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like coyote or fox . They like to carry them off before eating them .
     
  3. Indiana feather

    Indiana feather Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm really sorry to hear that Bobby-J .. Did they get taken out of a run or out of the coop or sounds like they were free ranging at the time.. If it is a coyote he will come back until he gets them all if he can.. Good luck
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    They were all free ranging at the time of loss. Our coops are very close to DH's shop and office, so I figured that they'd be OK now that he's around the place again. If the rooster got locked out of the coop the other night, I'm not surprised at all that he got taken. My coops with attached runs are secure against large predators. They'll most likely remain locked up until the problem can be taken care of.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If you have time this weekend, get one of those $5 predator calls and sit where you can see area of apparent kill sites while blowing on call. Have a book and a rifle. Listen to cooped birds while reading. When they give alarm cackles direct you attention to rifle and look for your pest.

    Your dog is still not ready to handle more than a fox but get him on trail immediately after taking shot. Get him excited and into what the chickens are saying. Your dog will not fulfill the desired role by instinct alone. He needs guidance.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Definitely something to think about... Not going to happen this weekend, but I know that the area where I suspect coyotes are living will get walked in a week when we're deer hunting. Big slough with tall grass around. We've kicked and shot coyotes out of there before. (Heck, one year we got more coyotes than deer!) If we don't get them within the next couple of weeks, DH does plan to do some coyote trapping this winter.
     
  7. Indiana feather

    Indiana feather Out Of The Brooder

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    Hope you all get that predator...a 12 ga. shotgun loaded with bb or #2 shot does a fine job on fox or coyote inside of 50 or 60 yards. I'll be heading out deer hunting in the morning ..still archery season here.
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Since we're deer hunting it'll be 12 ga. shotguns with slugs. (We live on the prairie so we don't get to hunt with rifles here.) They make a good sized hole, too. We'll get them one way or another. Maybe I'll buy a predator call and encourage DH to go play with his "varmint gun".
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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