Mystery predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mermaidgoat, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. mermaidgoat

    mermaidgoat Songster

    90
    5
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    Feb 22, 2009
    Vermont
    I lost a bird yesterday, but I'm not sure what took it...

    The girls (we had 11) were free-ranging on the lawn like they do every day, all day. I went out to do a head count at about 10 a.m. before leaving for work and I couldn't find any of the birds, which is unusual. Usually they come to me when I call.

    After looking around the yard (we have 3 acres, mostly wooded area surrounding the lawn) I saw 5 birds come out from behind the compost bin/woodpile. Then a minute later, I found the remaining 5 hiding in tall weeds against the side of the garage (maybe 20 feet away?). They were obviously spooked.

    I found no feathers anywhere to indicate a struggle...I know we have fox, skunk, opossum that I've seen in the yard. Coyotes in the field across the road. Maybe a hawk or starving owl?

    Whatever it was, I'm bummed. I'm leaving them in their fenced yard when I go to work, but I feel bad about it. They are so happy when they're free. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  2. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    I lost 2 guineas and a sweet little frizzle cochin with 1 1/2 weeks to a coyote. S/he snatched them in broad daylight, with the last guinea taken while I was mowing the yard! [​IMG] [​IMG] Their run is a part of the yard, separated off by the Permanet electric fence so I can move it and mow their run & under where the fence goes. Of course it couldn't have been the ornery male guinea, it had to be the two younger, sweeter girls -- a pied and a beautiful white. [​IMG] Coyotes around here are plentiful and brave. I had been letting the chickens & guineas freerange our entire yard during the day, but no more. They stay in the run (with the exception of the bantams & young frizzles who are small enough to walk right through the fence webbing. Apparently they're not getting enough of a zap to care... gotta check that out! [​IMG]
     
  3. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Songster

    1,354
    17
    151
    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
    A coyote will grab and leave, same for an owl or hawk. Any of the above. Coyotes are not as likely to grab during the day, but they certainly can and do.

    I free range too and occasionally lose a bird. It makes me [​IMG] but I think it's worth it. I keep them up for a while after I lose one so predators don't start thinking of my place as a buffet.

    Sorry about your bird.
     
  4. Please excuse me for being blunt, but you have the same predators as we do, and we allow the birds in a run because the chances of having them alive are nil with foxes, coyotes, raccoons and the like in our vicinity. Well we don't have possums. These predators, once started, come back until the flock is gone, so please get your chickens confined! [​IMG]
     
  5. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Songster

    Feb 20, 2009
    Vermont
    Sorry Mermaidgoat, to hear about your girl, it is always sad to lose one. We've had a fox attack twice during daytime hours. If we lost one during the day, I'd put my money on fox [​IMG]
     

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