Nothing left but feathers

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Theo, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Theo

    Theo Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2010
    Something lurking in the tall grass near my coop grabbed one of my girls. We found a depressed spot in the weeds, the size a large dog would make if it were laying down and having a nice snack. This depressed area was covered with feathers and nothing else. The thing is, no dogs have been spotted in the area (our farm is on a country road with only 3 other neighbors, none close and none with loose dogs) Any thoughts on what animal completely consumes its prey? Or maybe takes away the leftovers, perhaps to kittens or pups, oh lordy.

    My tenant has seen something in the tall grass a couple of times ... could be a coyote, could be a cougar. The key here is, I think, "tall grass". We haven't been diligent with keeping up with the brush on our property. We mow and weedwhack about 1.5 acres but there's another acre or so that is chest high in grass and brambles. The coop is right on the edge of the tall grass. We only have a push mower and a weed whacker. We really need a tractor with a few handy attachments, but that's in the future.

    Time to rent a brush hog and get after that predator habitat. Meanwhile my remaining chickens are in lockdown. Plus I have 10 chicks who are ready to go into a new pen. Yikes!
     
  2. benjoycei

    benjoycei Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2011
    Wilmington
    yeah...bummer...I had that happen before...it was a fox [​IMG]
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Fox or coyote, most likely, feeding kits/pups. Eliminating the tall grass near the coop would be a great idea.
     
  4. MissMolly'sMom

    MissMolly'sMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2011
    Alabama
    I had a coyote get one of my hens. Lots of feathers at the site of the attack. The next day I saw the coyote again and when I went to where I saw it I found her wings:(. We also had a fox get another hen (forgot to secure the door, we were lucky only one got taken) and I never found a bit of that one, just saw all the feathers where the attack happened. It was kind of sad though, because I knew where the den was and watched the mama fox raise her babies, I guess she was really hungry. The neighbors shot the coyote, it was killing cats and lots of chickens. It was very mangy and sick, quite scary, we would see it during the middle of the day hanging around the house.
     
  5. tennesseeckn

    tennesseeckn Real or not real?

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    Jul 11, 2010
    Knoxville Area
    I had three huge roos go missing Tuesday. There was nothing left but a couple of piles of feathers. We've staked out the coop in the morning and at night and never saw a thing until tonight my husband saw a fox cross the road and head into our woods. He said it looked like it had a purpose and knew where he was going.

    It hasn't bothered anything in the pen, yet. We're adding electric fencing this weekend just to be safe.

    I'm glad you said that about clearing the property. I'm pretty sure my boys were ambushed by something hiding under a mound of honeysuckle. Guess that's next on the to-do list.
     
  6. brx017

    brx017 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Taylorsville, NC
    I had a 75% German Shepherd / 25% Wolf a few years back (she actually looked more like an all tan coyote, though)... Her favorite snacks were rabbits and squirrels. She always ate them whole, never really tearing them up too much. Just crunched on the heads, then worked the rest of them down. I doubt it's a wolf, but I imagine coyotes eat in a similar fashion.
     
  7. jojo@rolling acres farm

    [email protected] acres farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Nebraska
    When we have had fox issues here they always carried the chicken or goose off a distance before chowing down. We have severe mange in the area so the coyote and fox population is sparse now...thank goodness. I don't have any coyote experience to share with you.
     
  8. Krystle807

    Krystle807 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2010
    ESVA
    I had the same thing happen about 2 weeks ago. I had a mallard hen who always insisted on laying her nest outside of the safe and secure enclosure, and she would always try to time it so I wouldn't follow her and move her nest back inside. I always found her, except this time. I could not find her nest anywhere..until one morning, I went out to our shed and saw a loose pile of feathers and a few specks of dried blood...[​IMG] I was devastated..poor baby girl. She ended up having her nest in the most obvious spot, so I guess that is why I never found it-I was looking way too hard. Her eggs were perfectly split open and empty. I looked EVERYWHERE to see signs of a struggle, more feathers..anything, but the only evidence was a few feathers. I really wanted to know what it was that got her, since I also have had 3 chickens vanish over the last few months...just went out one day and I never saw them again. We've had trouble with hawks, seen raccoons, foxes,and heard owls, but its just really unnerving to not know what happened. I came across this great website-http://icwdm.org/inspection/livestock.asp. Needless to say, we set 2 humane fox traps and our black lab is now on night patrol!
     

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