Nine 20 week old Roos GONE!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mercyme, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. mercyme

    mercyme Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2012
    I'm hoping you guys can give me some clues as to what happened.

    My laying hens stay inside a fenced area and sleep in the hen house. These roosters were for meat and they refused to stay inside the fence and roosted rather low in some small trees. This morning nine roos were missing with five others there and fine. I found two not quite as big as your fist sized clumps of feathers and two more areas of some scattered feathers. That is absolutely it. I called them and walked quite a distance in the most likely directions for them to run.

    What would take that many chickens at once with so little trace? Is there much hope for more to show up?
    I'm in rural East Tennessee, so the potential predator list is pretty long.

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    How low in the trees? Could a coyote have reached them or a fox have climbed. All I can think of is a pack of something in the canine family. Sorry for your loss - that is a lot to lose at one time!
     
  3. mercyme

    mercyme Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2012
    Thanks for the reply

    I believe a coyote could have reached them, I would think it would have been more difficult for a fox but maybe.
    I've talked to someone else that lives in the area and they said coyotes. I was just very shocked that so many were gone with so little traces. All the feathers total that are there on the ground would not equal all the feathers on one chicken. How many coyotes would it take to carry off nine?

    Its got me even more spooked up because I also have sheep and these roosters sleep right outside the fence. I can deal with a lone coyote or a couple of raccons, but if this was something big (bear, lion) or a large pack, its time to start looking at LGDs.
     
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I only think coyotes or something like that because as far as I know, raccoons are the only other chicken predator that you might have in TN that hunts in a group sometimes. And since so many were gone and you found so little trace evidence, it would see that coyotes were more likely than raccoons. I have a special dislike for coyotes...I mean, I know they're just trying to make a living too, but I do not like them around my farm!! Be careful...now that whatever it was thinks you run the nearest KFC, they will likely come back for more. Do you have or know someone who has a trail camera? Maybe set it up around the trees where the roosters hang out or the coop - you'll find out soon enough who's been coming to dinner! THen you can set up a plan to deal with them. Best of luck!
     
  5. mercyme

    mercyme Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2012
    I've taken some extra security measures and I will be sure to go back out and put up my game cam tonight.

    Thanks for the advice
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    One fox or one coyote could have removed nine birds in a single night. Probably only one was consumed immediately with balance likely dispatched and carried a short distance away for caching. Look in a radius of a couple hundred yards for chicken sized wholes in soft ground. Very likely you will be able to find additional feather piles between where birds where taken from roost and cache sight. Foxes caching near me do not spread caches very far apart. My dog likes to pilfer fox caches and eats what he finds. Fox does not seem to learn to look for better locations even when pilfered.
     
  7. mercyme

    mercyme Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reply. That makes me feel a little better. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I get a picture of one lone fox. [​IMG]
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Management for both same. Pen up vulnerable birds or make so canid not able to hunt by either removing it or having dog repell it.
     
  9. mercyme

    mercyme Out Of The Brooder

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    You're right it wouldn't make a lot of difference as far as the chickens, but for lamb safety (which is always in the back of my mind) anything a step up in size is worse.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    When sheep or goats involved you might as well go the livestock guarding dog route and simply include chickens as its charges. Do you have an LGD in place?
     

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