my flock

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mstedman001, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. mstedman001

    mstedman001 New Egg

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Hey this is my first time on here, I had a flock of 15 Rhode Island Reds 16wks old. 1 died as a chick and 6 more got killed on my land. Which brings me to my Q. They were free range birds, and would go into their coop that I built at night. Slowly they started to disappear 2 to 3 at a time. I would find nothing left of them but a little pile of feathers, no bones, no other remains what so ever. Does any body know of what might have gotten them?? I live in the woods but have cleared off land. Some stray dogs come around and of course hawks and owls. Please help me figure out the varmit that killed my birds so I can rid it properly and so my birds can once again free range. Thanks.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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  3. kelar

    kelar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yacolt
    If you just find a pile of feathers, it is probably a hawk. They attack their prey, then strip some of the feathers before flying off with the carcass - presumably to their nest. Since hawks hunt during the day, it seems likely that you have a nesting pair in your area. It is illegal to kill them & the danger will lessen as the summer wears on although their juvenile offspring may stay in the area to hunt. We had a pair in our neighborhood last June, but they are not back this year.
     
  4. mstedman001

    mstedman001 New Egg

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. I did catch a fox eating corn last year on a trail cam. Hawks could very well be a possibility. It seems like they were all taken in the early morn though I am not 100% sure when they were killed. I let them out today but have been keepin close eye on them. I would hate to put up a run to "keep" them confined and would really hate to have to keep them cooped up all the time but dont want them to keep gettin killed. What should I do? [​IMG]
     
  5. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    What difference does it make? Something has gotten your birds and you should have done your homework and taken precautions. It's your job to keep them safe.
     
  6. kelar

    kelar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yacolt
    In my area, late May and June are the very worst time for predators. Lots of wildlife are feeding young & are hunting all the time, plus they are bolder about coming closer into habitation. I have trained my GSD to protect the flock, but because of the danger, they are let out to free range only for a couple of hours a day while both myself and the dog are right there with them. (while I'm doing chores). Predators keep coming back to a known source of food, so at least for a while, the danger will be very high. When we had the hawk predation, I read that they learn to hide in low branches or brush and ambush their prey, then drive it into something for the kill. Prior to that, I figured I would see it circling above prior to any attack. The only way to really keep your birds safe is to keep them penned & build your runs like fort knox.
     

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