Lost a hen

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

  1. Burnduro

    Burnduro New Egg

    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

    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

    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

    Dec 22, 2011
    Burnaby BC
    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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