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Pile of feathers with no carcass?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Iheartchickens7, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Iheartchickens7

    Iheartchickens7 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2012
    Does anyone know what would drag a chicken under some brush, pluck feathers and leave with the carcass?

    Lost my daughter's favorite bantam this evening. I thought I would be nice and let the birds out for an hour or so because it was Christmas and all.. apparently that was not a good idea... Someone had a nice dinner.

    I am in MA and we have every predator you can think of around here. Hawks, coyote, racoon, fox, opossum, owl.... could have been anything. It was getting dark when I found the feather pile so I could not investigate very much but I did not see any carcass. Would a cat be able to do that? I set up 2 game cameras just in case the offender comes back so maybe I will get lucky and get a peek. This happened just before dusk.

    It is very frustrating because my guineas are out ALL DAY every single day and have never lost one. I let my chickens out maybe 2 or 3 times a week for an hour or so at a time with no real pattern and I lose one. I am dreading when my daughter asks where "baby girl" is....
     
  2. chick-in-florida

    chick-in-florida Chillin' With My Peeps

    so sorry about your baby girl. that happened to me last year with a rooster when i was just in the front yard for a few minutes and left them all in the back. Came around and found a pile of black feathers from my rooster and all the hens were clucking furiously. I figured it was a hawk and the roo put up a good fight. Your predator certainly will come back, no doubt.
     
  3. Iheartchickens7

    Iheartchickens7 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2012
    Thank you Chick-in-Florida. I just feel so terrible because this was completely my fault and could have been avoided. I did lose a girl over the summer but I have seen nothing on my cameras for months now and other than the mid morning hawk visit (I never let them out at that time) things have been calm.
    Everyone will have to just learn to be happy in their pen. I can't risk losing another. I just wish I knew what I was dealing with so I could take some measures to deter them.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I'm thinking the hawk has returned. I might supervised free ranging until the predator is defined/eliminated.
     
  5. Iheartchickens7

    Iheartchickens7 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2012
    Upon further inspection I see that her crop was left in the pile of feathers. Nothing else was found though. Maybe you are right and it is the hawk.
    Everyone is in their pen and will be staying there. Including the guineas.
     

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