Mystery predator?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by buckabucka, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 13, 2010
    Fairfield, Maine
    My Coop
    My chickens free-range for an hour or two a day, usually in the afternoon. I let the chickens out at 2:30 and sat out on the porch steps for a while watching them. I went in for about 15 minutes, and came back out at 3:00 with some sunflower seeds.

    One hen is gone. She was an EE, but fully grown. The other chickens and rooster are not acting skittish, and I could find no feathers and no tracks in the snow (which is only about an inch deep). I looked in the woods near the coop, thinking maybe an owl or hawk could carry the bird a short ways, but found nothing. Can hawks or owls carry a 6 pound bird a long way?

    I guess I will have to stop free-ranging for a while, because I'm sure the bird (or whatever it was) will be back. I would've thought that this white EE would have had some camouflage advantage in the snow. [​IMG]
     
  2. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh! The story has a happy ending. As it started to get dark, I took one last look and found her on the porch. I have no idea where she was all during the time I was throwing sunflower seeds, looking under the house, in open sheds, etc. Usually she sticks with the flock.
    Sorry for the false alarm.
     
  3. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I am glad things worked out well. I've had the same thing happen to me but she was gone all night. I even thought I heard her and when out looking after midnight in my bathrobe. The next morning I was sitting drinking my coffee in the yard and here she comes just as nice as can be on the other side of the fence in the neighbors yard.

    May we all have happy endings,

    Rancher
     
  4. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2011
    Phew! That was a close one! good to hear she is alright. [​IMG]
     
  5. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both! I am also quite relieved. She is one of our favorite hens. [​IMG]
     
  6. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    yes an owl can carry a 6lbs chicken off, (i watched one of the 2 nail a heron in the neibors pond, but it didnt pack that off) and its a very quick kill, we have been blessed with a pair of great horned owls around the house, (those darn things are as big as my 4 year old)and when they drop from a tree top to hit a duck or chicken its kinda amazing, but yet violent(there will be a round like spot in the snow where it pens its prey down), im glad it turned out for the bettter, and have a merry christmas
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011

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