1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login, otherwise join BYC here!

Lost our small flock

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by reeder3, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. reeder3

    reeder3 New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Feb 8, 2017
    We went out this morning to find one of our chickens completely missing, and the other 3 dead in their fenced in area. The 3 left were not missing any parts or other wounds, only fang marks in their necks. We can't figure out what would have killed all 4 grown chickens, and only taken off with 1. There are feathers in the coop and run, but the birds seemed fully intact and ok besides the neck bites. Any ideas? We're in Dallas TX. My thoughts are a raccoon or bobcat, but I can't imagine a bobcat killing the other birds for the sake of killing them.

    I'm going to run and grab a game cam to see if the predator returns tonight for its remaining kills.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,978
    614
    246
    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Not a raccoon, because he would have done more damage to those killed. Not sure what bobcats do??? May there be a possibility that you have minks, or other weasel family predators? Those are hard to predator proof because they get through such small openings. Game cam is a good idea to see what returns, but if you leave the carcasses there for the night, other animals may be attracted to the carrion, and your real predator may not be identified.
    SOOOOO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS.. [​IMG]
     
  3. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    907
    162
    146
    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Very sorry for your loss. I would guess a weasel as well. Hope the camera lets you know who did it.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,744
    5,503
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Sorry for your loss.

    Many predators kill as many as possible in a 'killing frenzy'(not for 'sport' or 'fun').
    They then will carry them off one at a time to cache for eating later on.
    If this moving of carcasses is interrupted then the carcasses remain.
    There is a good chance it will come back for them....or something else may gather/eat them.
    Just one bite at neck does imply a member of the weasel family.

    Were they locked up in a coop or out in the open??
    Was there a breach in fencing that may afford clues by hairs left behind?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  5. reeder3

    reeder3 New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Feb 8, 2017
    Looks like it was a bobcat. We've got him on the game cam going in and scoping the coop out a couple nights later. That also explains my neighbors missing their small dogs.
     
  6. orrpeople

    orrpeople Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,441
    1,528
    221
    Jun 15, 2016
    Redding, CA
    We had a Mountain Lion hop the fence, grab a goat and hop out like it was nothing. Horrifying and stunning all at the same time. We have found that a solid welded wire run - top, into the ground, etc. is a fairly effective deterrent for big cats. Sadly, if a hungry bear ventures near, (and since they can break into locked cars), my welded wire fortresses won't stand a chance.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,744
    5,503
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    So you think the bobcat jumped your fence to get the birds?
     
  8. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,978
    614
    246
    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Electric shock fencing has been known to deter even bears. [​IMG]
     
  9. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    907
    162
    146
    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Glad you know what killed your chickens. Now how to deter a bobcat. I've had good luck with electric fencing keeping my bobcats away from the chickens. But they can easily jump fences up to 6' tall. My recommendation is a couple of big dogs. Bobcats won't hang around if you have large dogs who can roam / patrol your yard.

    I hope you start again with a new flock of chickens. Do you have a secure run that the bobcat cannot get into? This may be the answer to let you keep chickens and not feed the predator population.
     
  10. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,978
    614
    246
    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    A bobcat will not automatically jump over fences, rather preferring to chose climbing. If the hot wires are placed correctly, one zap of High Jules current will convince bobbi to search for dinner elsewhere. They cant smell electricity as of yet, and that invisible force is very convincing. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by