Lost a silkie in broad daylight

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by angalynn23, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. angalynn23

    angalynn23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2015
    Eaton Rapids, MI
    It was midday, maybe between 11-2pm when we noticed only one silkie roaming our 20 acres. We have 2 and they always stick together. The rooster silkie was staying in the coop looking lost. We went to the hedge line of trees and found the pullets carcass among a circle of feathers. Whatever ate her tore into her belly and left the carcass and what appeared to be the intestines (looked like noodles). The chickens are being kept in the coop and pen and they are NOT happy with that. I am too afraid to let them out. What do I do now? I've read other posts trying to figure out what to do, but haven't figured it out. We have fox, coyote, hawks and crows also a raccoon and neighbor cats. Do I keep them locked up all the time now? Do I try to trap? We have had them for 6 months and this is the first issue we have had. They are locked in the coop at night. Any advise is welcome.

    Also I have not seen anything lurking. I only hear the fox and coyote at night and have only seen the raccoon after dark. Do I assume hawk? He left the carcass.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I would think Fox or coyote, I would keep them penned until you find out, a good game camera or some time watching, sorry, one year a coyote took 10 of my birds before we finally saw him, both Fox and coyote carry off the bird and eat it, then they come looking for more. You could let them out while you can keep an eye on them.
     
  3. angalynn23

    angalynn23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2015
    Eaton Rapids, MI
    It's impossible to catch them after we let them out until they go into the coop at night. We had 2 escape when my son went into the pen to pet them today. I guess we could let them out for a few hours in the evening and stay outside. That's hard to do with 2 kids and a busy schedule, but I don't want to lose anymore. The next smallest pullet is my polish that can't see as well as the other because of her hairdo! She's one of my favorites. They have a 10*10 pen, but it wasn't intended for year round penning. I have 15 birds in there. It's attached to their 6*6 coop. They've always free ranged during the day. Should I buy a fox/coyote trap and try to catch it?
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Not sure if you could trap either one as they are pretty smart and wary, we would be looking to shot it around here, though it can be hit and miss as whether you see anything. Look for prints or signs around your coop to make sure nothing is trying to break in. Seems like fall is the season for chicken predators. I understand not wanting to lock them up as I can't lock mine up either.
     
  5. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    You might want to to get some electric poultry netting. That way your chickens can get out into a smaller but safe area. Last year I lost nearly my whole flock due to foxes. This year with the netting I have lost none.
     
  6. LeafBlade12345

    LeafBlade12345 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Trapping is only a temporary solution. Electric fencing will be permanent! Please spend the time to set up an electric fence. It is an investment of time and money, but it will be well worth it in the end.
     
  7. angalynn23

    angalynn23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2015
    Eaton Rapids, MI
    I looked at the electric fence, but what keeps the chickens from flying OVER it? I have a 10*10 covered pen area off the coup that they have been living in. Before we put a roof on it, they flew out. It is 10 foot tall. Half the flock just flew out. So why wouldn't they fly out of a 4 feet high electric fence? Or is there a different one out there that you are talking about?
     
  8. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They just don't fly over it once they get to near adult size. I have had some 2 month old pullets fly over, but they stopped as soon as they got bigger. I think part of it is that they can see there is no where to perch on top of the fence. Without that they seem to be content to stay inside the perimeter. All I know is that I have Silver Laced Wyandottes, EE'ers. Buff Opingtons, Rhode Island
    Reds, New Hampshire Reds, Jersey Giants, Leghorn, and Barred Rock and none go over that 4' nettting. The 3 month old mixed breeds used to fly over but they have stopped now. If worse comes to worse it's an easy matter to clip a wing to prevent flying.
     
  9. feather13

    feather13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    southern california
    We've had so many chickens get attacked day and night by stray dogs, raccoons, and opossums that we now just keep them in the very predator-proof coop and covered run all the time. We live in the suburbs and have a fully enclosed back yard, but critters still were getting in and killing the birds. The coop/run is large and they have plenty of space, but it's still so sad that they are no longer free range. Even with clipped wings, our birds used to fly over six foot walls and land in neighbors' yards. Maybe you could cover your electric fencing run with either hardware cloth or some other kind of roofing?
     
  10. LeafBlade12345

    LeafBlade12345 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can cover the top with netting, hardware cloth, or shade cover to prevent Ariel attacks, stop chooks from flying over and out, and to keep the coop nice and shady! Good luck!
     

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