MY BIRDS DISAPPEARED???!?!

007Sean

Becoming Ridiculously Awesome
Premium Feather Member
Oct 25, 2015
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South Central Texas
two sides were plywood. two sides were chicken wire and mesh. the bottom was just chicken wire so poop could fall through. the roof was chicken wire and mesh. i had four birds yesterday.

upon further inspection some disturbing details have come up. there are two small smears of fresh blood on the feeder and waterer. the dirt underneath the coop looks like it could've been disturbed recently. the roof, which was always been less stable than the rest of the coop, has always had a slight gap in it. it's not nearly big enough for a quail to get out of, but it is pliable, and it ricochets back in place when moved. a raccoon or a housecat could have dragged the birds through the roof gap if they were particularly smart.

it seems like a stretch, but it's the best explanation i have. as for humans and theft, i doubt it, because the only neighbor who knew i had quail was my next door neighbor, who is very friendly and helped me try to find an escaped quail once.

this is especially jarring because i have recently suffered the loss of two very special birds to me and i am still mourning. i have no idea how to even begin to process this.
I've had raccoons get my birds before and not leave a trace of evidence...a few small drops or smears of blood is all that was left...they ate the whole bird, feathers and all...I swore up and down that a two-legged predator had gotten them, until I found a tiny piece of skull. They pulled them through the wire a piece at a time.
These birds where in a 1" by 1/2" welded wire enclosure with 1/2" HC flooring. No latches were unlocked.
 

007Sean

Becoming Ridiculously Awesome
Premium Feather Member
Oct 25, 2015
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South Central Texas
Lack of much evidence makes me suspect a snake. But do you have snakes nearby that could eat 4 birds?
Not likely a snake. I had a snake get into my pen, it was small enough to get into the pen but couldn't swallow the birds, it regurgitated the half swallowed birds. A nasty slime was on the unswallowed birds. It tried to eat every single bird but couldn't so left with a pen full of dead birds. The wire on this pen was 1", if it had been able to swallow the birds it wouldn't have been able to get out.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Jul 29, 2013
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Cleveland OH
two sides were plywood. two sides were chicken wire and mesh. the bottom was just chicken wire so poop could fall through. the roof was chicken wire and mesh. i had four birds yesterday.

upon further inspection some disturbing details have come up. there are two small smears of fresh blood on the feeder and waterer. the dirt underneath the coop looks like it could've been disturbed recently. the roof, which was always been less stable than the rest of the coop, has always had a slight gap in it. it's not nearly big enough for a quail to get out of, but it is pliable, and it ricochets back in place when moved. a raccoon or a housecat could have dragged the birds through the roof gap if they were particularly smart.

it seems like a stretch, but it's the best explanation i have. as for humans and theft, i doubt it, because the only neighbor who knew i had quail was my next door neighbor, who is very friendly and helped me try to find an escaped quail once.

this is especially jarring because i have recently suffered the loss of two very special birds to me and i am still mourning. i have no idea how to even begin to process this.
Very sorry for your loss. As for the raccoon bit, I thought the same thing about this door on a chicken coop;
door.png

Figured that the top only wiggled like an inch, two TOPS, and there was a 2x4 behind it. I woke up one day to find the whole flock dead. The coon climbed on the roof, pried it open and wormed in through the top - I found some of its fur caught on a semi-exposed screw end right in that corner, big tuft of rough agouti fur.

Whatever you think raccoons aren't capable of, they are.
 

chaoticandrew

In the Brooder
Jul 25, 2020
38
90
43
Seattle, WA
Very sorry for your loss. As for the raccoon bit, I thought the same thing about this door on a chicken coop;
View attachment 2384618
Figured that the top only wiggled like an inch, two TOPS, and there was a 2x4 behind it. I woke up one day to find the whole flock dead. The coon climbed on the roof, pried it open and wormed in through the top - I found some of its fur caught on a semi-exposed screw end right in that corner, big tuft of rough agouti fur.

Whatever you think raccoons aren't capable of, they are.
I've had raccoons get my birds before and not leave a trace of evidence...a few small drops or smears of blood is all that was left...they ate the whole bird, feathers and all...I swore up and down that a two-legged predator had gotten them, until I found a tiny piece of skull. They pulled them through the wire a piece at a time.
These birds where in a 1" by 1/2" welded wire enclosure with 1/2" HC flooring. No latches were unlocked.
at this point i am pretty sure it was a raccoon. i do have a housecat that likes to hunt, but he's never taken an interest in the birds, and i don't think he's wily enough to find a way in the coop. the lack of evidence is startling but i have no doubt a raccoon would be smart enough to get through there.
 

chaoticandrew

In the Brooder
Jul 25, 2020
38
90
43
Seattle, WA
I know how you feel, I lost my entire flock - including one of my favourite birds who was somewhat trained - to raccoons a year ago. :hugs
aww i'm so sorry. i'm glad at least someone knows what i'm going through here... i'm still just completely stunned and have no idea how to process this. i cared immensely for my birds, and i was still grieving over previous losses when this happened. damn those raccoons!

i'm especially upset that i couldn't even give them a proper burial. i've started a cemetary in the garden and i was hoping they would all eventually rest there together. i guess that's too much to ask for.
 

Ted_Harrell

Crowing
Sep 23, 2019
2,051
8,409
416
Pembroke North Carolina
Andrew, I am sorry for your loss:hugs. Most of the birds I have lost in the past have been to the neighbor's dogs(and our own). It hurts every time. I know it is hard but I would spend this time adding extra fortifications to the coop and planning your next birds. You know pull yourself up by the bootstraps, you can do this....
 

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