Missing chicken

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Jennifer74, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Jennifer74

    Jennifer74 Just Hatched

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    Jul 14, 2016
    I had a 6 week old very friendly speckled sussex disappear out of the run yesterday during the day. My fence is 7 feet high, completely enclosed except the storm blew off part of the top so there was a 2 foot by 6 foot opening. Could a hawk have gotten in that space or something else? The door closes and latches automatically but for the first time ever the combination lock wasnt on the door.
     
  2. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am sorry for the loss of your bird.
    Yes, the opening on the top of your run could have been an access point for a predator but an unlocked door could be too.
    Raccoons can climb fences very well and they can also figure out latches and door openings.
    Did you see any tracks or scat? Any feathers or blood?
    What type of fence are you using for your run?
     
  3. Jennifer74

    Jennifer74 Just Hatched

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    Jul 14, 2016
    I see no feathers or blood or any signs. I have 1/2 inch hardware cloth for fencing and part of the top. I want to eventually do that with the whole top but its expensive so doing little bits at a time- for now I have tarps but I put washers and screws every foot to secure it tight except for the section that ripped during the storm. Would a raccoon be out during the day?
     
  4. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    While usually out at night, raccoons might come out during the day if there is a food source available at a particular time, if they have been frightened out of their daytime sleeping spot, or if there is high competition in the area at night from other nocturnal animals. Baby raccoons are also commonly seen outside during the day. Raccoons seen during the day are not always sick or afflicted with rabies as many believe.

    Without tracks, scat or any other information, it will be hard to determine what type of predator took your bird.

    Good luck and I am truly sorry that you've lost a sweet, friendly chicken.
     
  5. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it could also have been a hawk. When our chicks were 6 wks old we had them out in the yard in a 2x6 wire dog crate. Hawk didn't notice the screen and came straight down for them, seeing the screen right before he was on them. He swerved, crashed onto the ground, and flew off again immediately. It was in the afternoon, and if the screen would not have been there, I am positive we would have lost at least one.
     
  6. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A hawk could easily fly through a 2'x6' space, especially hawks that hunt birds.
    Now that its found an easy food source, it will be back, get your run covered first thing tomorrow or be prepared to lose another bird every day its not covered..
     
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    x2! Protecting your flock is your job! It's best to have no openings larger than 1/2" diameter anywhere. Mary
     
  8. Jennifer74

    Jennifer74 Just Hatched

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    Jul 14, 2016
    I fixed it right away so the rest of my flock is safe. Ive learned my lesson - I wont ever let something go again - no more boards on top, the top is all covered by 1/2 inch hardware cloth fencing so I dont have to worry about storm damage leaving my babies vulnerable
     

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