Mystery Killer, any ideas?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by new2green, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. new2green

    new2green Out Of The Brooder

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    We have wild chickens that were in the property when we bought it. They sleep up on the trees and roam the yard during the day. Lately I noticed that there are fewer and fewer chickens around. I found feathers in the grass, looked like a bunch, but nothing else.
    Yesterday I saw another bunch of feathers of a different color and today I saw a third bunch and a beak!! Whatever it is, it comes during the day and kills very skilled and agile chickens, leaving very little behind. The little flock is now reduced to one, maybe two chickens. I am so sad, they were so cute to watch and sometimes would even come to me for a treat.
    Any idea what is killing them? Neighbors have seen a bobcat and coyotes around the area, but I just moved from a big urban setting to Loxahatchee, FL, a very nice place, not country, but lots of green areas and old nurseries. It is my dream house, I wouldn't hurt this predator, but would like to protect the chickens.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. guineagirl23

    guineagirl23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could be a Hawk
     
  3. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard of chickens going wild in Florida, like in Key West. If it is warm enough all year, chickens can live wild.

    If the neighbors have seen a bobcat and coyotes, it very well may be either or both of those killing chickens. The bobcat would be the better one at killing chickens because it can climb up trees.

    But, as mentioned, a hawk is a likely candidate also.

    If these chickens are living wild, there is not a lot you can do to protect them unless you want to start trapping and removing predators. But new bobcats and coyotes would just move into the area. So it would be a short-term solution.

    A good dog might be the best solution to keep predators away.
     
  4. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Fox. We lost 7 chickens in 2 days to a fox, during the daytime, no signs, nothing, just a feather here and there. If I hadn't been outside one day and seen him leaving, I would never had known what it was. They are sneaky!
     
  5. new2green

    new2green Out Of The Brooder

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    Wouldn't a hawk carry the pray away? This animal ate it right in front of the others and only left feathers, beak and a piece of the stomach.
    It was also during the day, what baffles me...
    Today I left my dog out for the day, but my son came home and brought him inside because it gets too hot outside.
    I also am afraid the animal could hurt the dog (?) even though he is an 80lb pitbull. But if it is a bobcat, can it take on a big dog?
    What can I do??
     
  6. new2green

    new2green Out Of The Brooder

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    How do you protect the chickens from foxes? I never saw one and wouldn't want to hurt it, but I don't want them to kill my chickens either. I just want a safe home for them.
     
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hawk might not be big enough to fly off with the chicken. A fox is a good candidate also. I don't know what predators you have in your area.

    It's too hot in Florida in December for your dog?

    A bobcat would probably only fight your dog if the bobcat was cornered or your dog chased it down. A bobcat will do some damage if it fought your dog. I doubt your 80-pound pitbull would be killed by the bobcat, though. You would have a vet bill.

    Mostly what the dog does is deter predators. No predator like a bobcat, coyote, or fox wants to try to get a chicken when a big dog is there. So they will look elsewhere for a meal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013

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