Lost a hen

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Burnduro, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. Burnduro

    Burnduro New Egg

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    May 9, 2011
    I let out my flock, 8 hens and 1 roo, yesterday morning at about 8:30am. I live out in the country, so I let them free range all day and lock them up at night. My nearest neighbor is ~200 yards from my house, and they have cats. One of these cats I have seen real close to my house, watching my flock. In fact, a month ago my neighbors complained my turkeys were on their property in the morning. A few days after that I saw my turkeys chasing their cat across the field to their house.

    Well, I was inside my house until about noon when I decided to go give my chickens some treats. I went outside and they were all acting very weird, and Sugar - my Rhode Island Red hen wasn't to be found. I looked around and couldn't find here. She was the most skiddish of my hens. Even still if I shook a can of oats, or corn or anything her and the rest of the flock would come running. I came upon some smaller feathers that were very white, with brownish tips. There was a little in the yard, and then a little more under a bush. These looked more like the feathers of my two Bourbon Red turkeys. I couldn't imagine why there was this amount of feathers, but there was no dead bird near and no blood to be seen. I had recently seen my turkeys go at it a couple times and get brutal so I thought maybe that.

    Well, just before dusk I went out to feed and call them in. Sugar didn't come. I grabbed a flashlight and headed out, about 50 feet behind the area of scattered feathers I found one possibly tail feather, if not wing feather that I am sure belonged to my only Rhode Island Red hen - Sugar.

    I will check my turkeys in the morning for wounds, but they both looked fine last night.

    Is it possible that a cat could catch a hen? Possibly catch it off guard? What else could take a full grown hen in broad daylight, while not bothering the rest of the flock? I was assume a fox, coyote, mink, etc would go for the rest of the birds.
     
  2. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    There are so many animals on the ground and in the air that will attack your chickens-dogs,foxes,coyotes,hawks to name a few. The cat is very low on the list as a suspect for a hen attack.They will however find catching chicks very fun!
     
  3. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2010
    MA Cranberry Country
    Can a cat take down a hen? I would think the hen would put up such a ruckus that the cat would let go fairly promptly... Hope you find your lady in working condition today... Good luck!
     
  4. Leghorn_Eddie

    Leghorn_Eddie Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 22, 2011
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    I had a cat who could take some chicks from time to time. But I had the same thing happen as you. One of my favorite white rumpless Araucana hens was taken by a Hawk while I let her free range. I was so sad about that. She was the most tame, human loving hen I've ever had.
     

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