MIssing Adult Birds

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by denasfarm, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. denasfarm

    denasfarm Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sweet Home Alabama!!
    Sunday night my Ameracauna Roo was killed.
    Feathers Everywhere looked like a pillow exploded.
    No body found. Figured a dog caught him offguard at night.

    Last Night a Marans hen missing... a few feathers left behind near a back fence.
    THEN my neighbor calls me over and has found a mass of exploded feathers all down the side of his barn and the left overs of the Marans hen near the back corner of his fence.

    The Head and neck and most of one breast gone. Crop, wings, legs and organs intact.

    WHATS DOING THIS? I read the predator page and it doesnt match exactlty. These were HUGE birds to drag over a 7ft fence. (no holes or dig unders I LOOKED)
    Could an owl haul off a 10-15lb bird?
    Racoons? Fox? Bobcats?
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Sounds alot like the work of a coon to me.
  3. Knight Hawk Ranch

    Knight Hawk Ranch Songster

    Oct 19, 2007
    Labelle, Florida
  4. You probably have a racoom that is visiting every night to get a chicken snack. The eating of the breast and the feathers everywhere is a racoom signature. They decapatate to kill.
  5. denasfarm

    denasfarm Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sweet Home Alabama!!
    So how do I rid myself of this racoon?
    Do they come out randomly or dusk/dawn?
    I cant sit out all night since I have to work in the morning, but I dont want to lose anymore birds.
  6. Poohbear

    Poohbear On a Time Out

    Nov 12, 2008
    Live catch trap baited with sardines in soy oil. Keep setting the trap until you stop catching racoons. They usually have BIG families. I set two live catch traps at a time.
  7. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    You may want to consider a coop that they can be losed in at night. Even if you get rid of one coon, another will take its place.
  8. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    We had a hen killed a few years ago with similar circumstances as yours and after my detective work figured that it was either a coyote or bocat. The chickens were mostly freerange and slept in our trees at night (we live in phx - no cold weather and not much rain). We didn't know at that time that a predator could get over our 6 ft. block privace fence and plus we have 2 dogs.

    Early that morning, we found a pile of feathers in our yard, but no body. We found a few feathers next to our block wall, so I went to the other side of the wall (we have a dry wash behind us). After searching the other side of our block wall, I found the 2 footprints showing that a larger animal (dog-type) had jumped & landed there along with a few more feathers. I walked along the wash for 1/2 mile and found 3 more places where the predator had lied down (tall grass/weeds - it was obvious) and eaten (lots more feathers, etc). I then quite gave up and came home. We know it wasn't a dog - not dog attack behavior. I figured it was a coyote, but then talked to game and fish and they suggested it could also have been a bobcat (I never dreamed we could have bobcats here in the city).

    We ended up finding new homes for the remaining chickens because I was scared they would all get picked off one by one (my kids were devasted at the brutal killing of 'Angel'). We now have a new set of chickens and have built them a secure (hopefully predator proof) pen/coop for sleeping.
  9. denasfarm

    denasfarm Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sweet Home Alabama!!
    My husband bought a large live trap today so we will see what we catch tonight. I looked for foot prints but couldnt find any to decide what it might have been. We live in a transitional area...country going city with lots of micro neighborhoods all around us, theater and mini mall. I am sure we have all the common predators of Alabama and most of them are losing forest and cant find natural food so easily now. My little 3 acre island must seem great with all the tasty creatures so nicely offered. The chickens are in a long stall type horse barn separated by type and age. Some stalls close comepletely and some do not. The whole thing is fenced, crossfenced, and some covered. Those taken were in a stall without a door but had a sheet to block the weather. (Doors...Thats on my to do list)
    I always lock up the Silkies, Rabbits, quail and any Babies that may be transitioning.
    I will post my finding tomorrow and maybe pictures if its interesting.
  10. I agree about the coon ID. Depending on the weather, they are most mobile when it is warm, from just before dusk to just after sunrise. Important to coop your birds a little earlier and keep in a little later until you get this predator- good luck!

    We have so many predators here that we have a closed flock, buried hardware cloth in the run, roofed too. Like Fort Knox...without the gold, but we do have the eggs! [​IMG]

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