MISSING 4 HENS AND A ROOSTER! Predator suggestions?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by frozenchick, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. frozenchick

    frozenchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2008
    Wisconsin
    Well, I'm missing four hens and a rooster today. It's so disheartening. A neighbor's dog reduced my flock from 30+ to 15 this winter. Finally got that taken care of and haven't missed a bird since, until today that is. I went to feed them this evening and I'm missing 4 hens and a rooster. They must have been taken during the day. They were there this morning. I was outside most of the day and my German Shephard dog was out as well. He's a pretty good watch dog when it comes to the property. What could it be? I live in the Midwest so I suppose it could be any number of things. The other curious thing is I have about 50 chicks in the coop as well and none of those are missing. They seem like an easier target than full grown birds. Is it possible the rooster just took the hens to a spot he likes better than the coop? There are some woods around. Any suggestions? I'm putting the live trap out tonight...
     
  2. jessica117

    jessica117 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    My guess would be hawks. They would have swooped in and been gone long before your german shepherd would have even noticed. They would just be leaving the nest and the parents would be showing the youngins how to hunt (that would explain the multiple chickens gone.) We are having terrible trouble with them this year. If that's the case, they'll be back.... once they find easy food, it's really hard to get rid of them. I'd keep your birds cooped up for a week or two.

    I really think if it had been a dog you would have heard some sort of commotion.

    I really hope that I'm wrong and you find your babies safe and sound, just hiding.

    Also, I'm very sorry for your loss this winter.

    Jess
     
  3. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    May 17, 2007
    Two legged predator.

    Rufus
     
  4. tricia

    tricia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2007
    West Central Wisconsin
    I agree with Rufus and Jess. When its a hawk/eagle/owl/etc they only leave a few feathers behind, if anything. I'm sorry you've been having trouble with predators!
     
  5. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    It is possible that they went off to go broody. I am more inclined to agree it is a two legged predator (aka human). Many of us have had to deal with them at one time or another.
     
  6. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Human swiped em...
    sorry.
     
  7. frozenchick

    frozenchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2008
    Wisconsin
    I cannot believe that humans waltzed into my yard and took 5 chickens when I and my dog were outside. The dog is VERY protective of our property. There's no way someone can walk onto the property without my knowing it. I'm more inclined to believe that a hawk or even an eagle (which lives in our back 20 acres) may have taken them. Thanks to everyone concerned with humans stealing my chickens, but ther's no way. i was out there all day yesterday as were my 2 children, husband, and dog.
     
  8. flip9109

    flip9109 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 14, 2008
    st paul mn
    any clues? feathers? blood? tracks? where were they? whats near them, what kind of suroundings? fence? need more details?
     
  9. frozenchick

    frozenchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2008
    Wisconsin
    Well I did find some bloody feathers in one of our pastures. The rooster that was missing wandered back a few days later. He was pretty badly injured and died the following day. I live on 50 acres and keep horses. The chickens are able to free range and the majority stay near the coop which is built into the barn and pretty much in my front lawn. Three sides of the barn are surrounded by open pastures. The other side is the front yard, house. work shop, etc. . . The bask 25 acres include a pond and some heavily wooded areas. The birds don't typically wander near the pond. However, they do go into the nearest pasture which is about 50 feet from the coop.

    Anyway, I took one of the horses out and found a number of feathers in my western pasture. There is a neighbor's house up that way, and woods a little further. I've never actually seen the chickens go up there. When I rode further, I found the remains of one of my hens. It was right on the fence line between my pasture and the neighbor's pasture quite aways from the woods or the barn. I'm not sure what took the birds.

    I set up a live trap and have caught all sorts of interesting things. One fox, 2 raccoons, a weasel, and amazingly enough, a chicken that isn't mine. Haven't lost any other birds since. I'm sure hoping one of the above animals was the culprit.
     
  10. tricia

    tricia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2007
    West Central Wisconsin
    Quote:That is too funny!!! I'm happy to hear you haven't lost anymore. I hope you have already caught the culprit.
     

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