Mystery predator/fox?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChickensForLife, May 19, 2019.

  1. ChickensForLife

    ChickensForLife Chirping

    10
    2
    79
    Jan 11, 2012
    A backstory for some context first off..
    About a week ago now my entire flock disappeared, which is unusual but not unheard of. Only one pile of feathers from a single chicken and nothing else. Neighbor saw what they said was a fox (apparently they've never seen one so they weren't sure) but we've had a fox coming around trying to get them for the entire year. It's also been "after" one of our cats, it hangs around him and we've caught them together more than once (my father even suggested they were playing but I've never heard of a fox and a cat doing that), and I can't tell if he's been fighting it or not because he never comes home with any external injuries. We've fired shots into the woods to try to deter anything from coming around, but now whatever's lurking around is just a bit further away

    The odd part is though, I can't tell if it's a fox or something else that's coming around too. I'll hear what sounds like a chicken panicking, and since ours are.. gone, obviously, I get confused and dash outside only to see something run off (today it looked... grey?), and then in the distance hear sort of a.. clucking? sound for a minute (sounds like a beak hitting wood kinda), and vanish. I can maybe guess owl, because it ran kinda with a wobble, and the crows have been going nuts over something for weeks (checked that out, found an owl and got some cool pics of it, thought that was the end) After that our black cat comes bounding out of the woods, completely fine and happy.

    I can never tell what it is and it's driving me nuts, or why my cat is hanging around it. We even found broken eggs and a single egg in the hen house the other day after looking for the odd sound, so I don't even know if some of the chickens are still alive somehow??.

    What kind of animal makes this sound? Like is it even a predator? I'm stumped!

    Edit: I have a camera on the way! I'll see what I catch and maybe update this with the answer
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
    starri33 likes this.
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    19,281
    6,041
    531
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    If you have a game camera, put it up. Some years ago something was killing my birds and I couldn't find how or where a predator could penetrate. This turned out to be the culprit.
    PRMS0006.JPG
    Two of my coops have one side open. I put tarps up over the open side and covered all of the pens with heavy duty netting.
    2014-11-18 17.08.57.jpg
     
    hispoptart likes this.
  3. hispoptart

    hispoptart Crowing

    884
    417
    267
    Apr 14, 2011
    NW Colorado
    I would get a game cam too. How many chickens were in your flock? Did you go looking for them?
     
  4. CatWhisperer

    CatWhisperer Songster

    126
    75
    131
    Jun 16, 2013
    northwest Arkansas
    Foxes here have been seen playing with the neighbors cat.
     
  5. ChickensForLife

    ChickensForLife Chirping

    10
    2
    79
    Jan 11, 2012
    For
    Looked everywhere,
    I have a new camera on the way, our old one is busted unfortunately.. as for the flock I only had 5 left after they kept getting picked off earlier this year by something.
     
  6. ChickensForLife

    ChickensForLife Chirping

    10
    2
    79
    Jan 11, 2012
    For real? I had no idea they did that, but I guess anything's possible
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: