Mysterious missing chicken - owl?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dbahan, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. dbahan

    dbahan Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2007
    Nashville
    Just the other day we noticed that one of our three hens was missing. We live in an urban neighbor and have an eight foot privacy fence as well as a coop. Our hens free range during the day. We searched the whole yard and couldn't even find signs of feathers. None of our neighbors had seen her (in case she had managed to escape) but one of them said that they did see a very large owl near our house earlier in the day. Has anyone heard of an owl being able to snatch up a full size Ameracauna hen without a trace? It happened once they were out of the coop because I saw all three of them that morning...
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Interesting... let's hope she went broody and is hiding really really good. I would think an attack would leave traces of feathers.
     
  3. Della

    Della Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Maryland
    A couple of months ago after I noticed several of my free ranging chickens acting kind of weird and then realizing that several others were unaccounted for I went searching our property in hopes of finding them in a field I prefer they don't visit. On my way I noticed a big brown bird, which I'm thinking was a hawk, sitting in a tree in a wooded area before the field. That made me suspicious and sure enough, not too far from where the bird was perched I sadly found one of our favorite and normally quite feisty hens, Pecky, dead on the ground. What struck me at the time was the lack of scattered feathers as usually are found after a successful or unsuccessful fox attack. My husband thinks the bird clunked Pecky on her head to kill her and planned to take her away as soon the coast was clear (it probably got nervous when it heard my husband and me out and about). As devastated as I was to find our beloved Pecky dead, I was quite relieved to find our other favorite hen, Chicken, cowering under a canopy of twisted vines and fallen branches. I found another cowering under our front steps.

    I too hope your missing hen is just brooding in some secret place but I'd be very suspicious of that owl.
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]...and foxes will often take a bird without a sign, burying it shortly after and returning to the buried cache several days later...
     
  5. dbahan

    dbahan Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2007
    Nashville
    Good news! Mystery solved! Thanks to the digital age, someone in our neighborhood posted a found chicken several blocks away sitting on top of their car! I have no idea how she made it so far away or still how she made it out of our fence, but tonight we went over to the friendly neighbor's house at dusk when I knew she would be roosting (in said neighbor's pit bull's dog carrier, no less) and picked her up and took her home. She clucked rather quietly and tiredly when she arrived back at her coop and promptly squeezed herself between her two sleeping sisters, who clucked quietly in return. In the two days she was gone, she still layed her eggs in the pit bull cage that she had made her temporary home and the neighbors fed her corn and other scraps. We gave them a bunch more eggs as a thank you. I'm sure they were used to having to feed the random stray dog or cat, but stray chicken? [​IMG]
     
  6. Della

    Della Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Maryland
    Wow, that's great news!
     
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    So glad she was alright! And that you had a neighbor caring enough to take care of her and put the word out. What an uplifting thing when humans are thoughtful!
    JJ
     

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