Missing chicken - possible bird of prey?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by stoutfamily, May 18, 2011.

  1. stoutfamily

    stoutfamily Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2010
    Tempe, AZ
    I have two 14 week old chickens - an RIR, Buffy, and an EE, hoot - and a 5 week old duck. I live in a residential area in the middle of a city. My girls free range around my yard/carport and are not fenced in. They could run across the street if they wanted, but have never gone further than my neighbors yard. The two chickens usually stay together. I usually go out to feed them about 4 times a day (the duck is an eating machine and so we have to feed small amounts at a time), and check on them periodically. They've always came when I called them. Today was the first day it "rained" since we moved them outside. We had about 5, 45 second sessions of sprinkles, but they have an entire carport for shelter and seemed to be doing fine. I have my front door open so I can see if they were to leave and hear them. Anyway, I went out to feed them around 3, it had been probably 3 hours since I had last been out, and Buffy is nowhere to be found. Hoot and the duck seem to be fine. I searched my street and went quite a ways and don't see or hear her anywhere. We have a dog in the yard and he didn't make a peep, nor did the girls who usually throw a fit if anyone or a stray walks up (and I also would've seen something like that - they'd have to pass the front door to get to my yard). I did find probably 6 feathers in one area and a little bit of red/brown fluff. I'm thinking maybe a bird got her? I'm pretty darn sure she didn't just run away, especially without her best friend, Hoot.
    Anyone else have a similar experience?
  2. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    That's so sad. Sorry about your girl. It could have been a bird or coyote or other wild or domestic critter around the area. I'm in the Phx area. It's hard to say, but predators of all types seem to take full advantage of any amount of rain. Whatever it was will return for the others. [​IMG]
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    At 14 weeks old your birds are a pretty good size, but likely light (skinny) because that is before they start to fill out. I could easily see a bird of prey killing a bird that size, but not carrying it away unless you have some mighty large raptors. I think you are looking for some other culprit.

    Sorry for your loss.

    I had a bird just disappear last week. Full-sized BO just vanished into thin air with no trace left behind. Not a feather, not a squawk... just gone. I assumed my culprit was a hawk because that's really the only predator I have had losses to in the past, but the lack of feathers and carnage led me to look for another explanation. I assumed a coyote, fox or bobcat got her and carried her away. Imagine my surprise the next day when I spotted a fisher cat stalking around my yard. I know we have them around, but I hadn't seen/heard one in about 8 years, so I never even thought of them. My point to this story is that if you keep your eyes open your culprit will be back to get the rest of the birds, and you may be able to identify what happened. In the meantime you better get some fencing in place.

    Good luck.
  4. wvfoxhunter

    wvfoxhunter Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2011
    Lewisburg, WV
    It is hard to say with were you said you lived but if it wasnt a bird, but a coyote or dog or something you should look into putting electric fence around your yard. It is a relatively quick set up and does a fine job of keeping predators away. [​IMG]

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