Mystery...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MYNSBTR, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. MYNSBTR

    MYNSBTR Out Of The Brooder

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    So around 3:30 this morning, I heard commotion coming from the coop. I joked to my husband that one of our babies were finally crowing and we would know if we have a rooster. Then I thought about it and said, wait...it's too early for them to be up. I went to investigate. There were 2 babies and 2 ladies out in the run "talking up a storm". Unfortunatley, I couldn't understand them, but did see blood on the noses of 2 of the babies and on the ladies, their combs were bleading. I thought I did a thorough head count and checked things out, but later realized that I don't remember seeing Rocky (Our silky bantam) I waited till daylight and went back out, and sure enough, she's gone! I saw a clump of her feathers near the back fence and I guess something dragged her under. We have had chickens for almost 2 years and nothing like this has ever happened! I have no idea what it could be. I have only seen opossims in our yard. What could have gotten into the closed up run and into the coop? I think we're too far from woods for it to be a fox. We are heartbroken...she's fought one heck of a battle throughout her little life...she wasn't originally ours, we adopted her, but she was attacked by the other chickens she lived with and they pecked her tiny head open, and she healed from that and is doing great. I am hoping she's still got some fight in her and I see her walking around the yard later today, but I'm not feeling so confident [​IMG]. Any suggestions on what it could be? I feel like it was a scene out of a movie...just gone!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Coon, fox, opossum - urban foxes are not uncommon in the least. Make sure you lock your coop tonight, it will be back. Good luck.
     
  3. Melabella

    Melabella Overrun With Chickens

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    My greatest fear!

    I am so sorry to hear about your loved little silkie. I too would fantasize about her getting away but I am sure the cold reality of that is not good.

    I rented for a year next to a family that had about 30 chickens that free ranged all the time. I would fold laundry on my bed every morning with a beautiful view out the window to the back yard where I was renting, and could see out to thier yard as well. Every morning, heck, even in the middle of the day, I would see the stealth fox family picking these chickens off one by one. THey are fast, and they grab and go. THere were no major woods near us either. just small strips of trees and some brush seperating property lines. I knew where their den was, and I would see them grab a chicken, a few feathers from the struggle would be left and they would carry them off, back to the den I suppose. Sometimes, no feathers would even be there.

    So, not sure it is a fox, but I wouldn't be suprised. There is a great informative link about Predetors, and they way they kill in the Learning Center under Maintaing a Healthy Flock. The title of the article is Chicken Predetors and Pests. It's a great read, and you can read the style of many predetors and narrow it down. There is also a lot of information if you troll through this part of the Forum https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/13/predators-and-pests

    Good Luck, and also, do you close the coop door at night? My coop is inside my run, I feel the run is pretty secure, but I close the door nonetheless. If the door to your coop was shut, now is the time to go over your coop with a fine tooth comb and really see where the weakness was to let the monster in. Also do the same for your run.

    Let us know how it goes, and agian, sorry about your silkie [​IMG]

    MB
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  4. MYNSBTR

    MYNSBTR Out Of The Brooder

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    Ocean County
    Thanks for your input. Our coop door is locked inside of the run as well. We do not close the door at night...I am going to have to start doing just that. Whatever it was, had to have managed to get under the wooden stockade fence in order to get into the run and then into the coop. I don't see where there would be any point of entry, or exit for that matter, which is baffling my mind! My daughter is taking this WAAAY better than I thought she did. I had to tell her this morning (she's 5 and Rocky is her favorite [​IMG] ) She was a little sad for a minute, but got over it much quicker than I thought she would. I thought it would be major drama this morning, but I am proud of her. She has told me she misses Rocky.
     
  5. MYNSBTR

    MYNSBTR Out Of The Brooder

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    What about a groundhog? Is that possible? I am thinking no, only because the chickens have all been out in the yard at the same time a groundhog was hanging out there and it never bothered them. Nor would it ever be able to fit under the fence. I feel like a CSI because I am checking around the yard, behind the fence, the coop, run, etc...
     
  6. MYNSBTR

    MYNSBTR Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, I found footprints on the coop yesterday...we are guessing it was a raccoon trying to get in through the window. Thankfully we closed that as well the other night. All of the girls are now safe and sound. I imagine eventually the coon will give up and go away, but I am not taking any chances!
     
  7. Greyfox Farm

    Greyfox Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    It is very unlikely that it will give up. It now knows there's food inside the coop and it WILL try again. Coons are pretty darned smart, and are determined predators. If I were you, I'd invest in a "Duke Dog-Proof" trap, available for less than $15 on-line, and make SURE the coon went away....permanently.
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    X 2
     
  9. polskituft

    polskituft Out Of The Brooder

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    probably a raccoon. Sorry about your chickens.
     

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