Pile of feathers but no body


In the Brooder
May 20, 2015
My chickens free range during the day on a fenced-in acre. Found a pile of feathers by the fence which is close to a tree. No body found. This is the second day in a row it's happened. Chickens are mostly 3-4 months old. Happens around 9am the past two mornings. I'm leaving them locked in their coop tomorrow. It is so frustrating losing birds.


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Lock your bird in for a while, because your predator will be back!
Trail cameras are wonderful!
Live traps baited with canned sardines or cat food do well, but only trap if you will then shoot the trapped varmit!!! Releasing raccoon, opossums, foxes, at least, is not a good idea and is illegal many places. Here in Michigan, releasing on the same property, or on private land within the same county, with landowner permission, are the only options.
Raptors of any sort are federally protected, so if it's a hawk, keeping your birds in a safe place for two or three weeks will discourage that bird.
Electric fencing or electric poultry netting work very well to keep land predators at bay!
Sooner or later every predator will show up! You've been incredibly lucky for all those years, as we were not. Our two worst episodes were caused by a sick fox during the day a few years ago (ten hens!) and one of our own dogs this spring (twenty-seven birds!!!) when our fence failed.
Otherwise, it's been an occasional hawk, or before our coop was done, raccoons, opossums, and once rats.
The coyotes have so far stayed away, probably because of our nearby big dogs. Or maybe just luck...

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