Please Help 4 Dead Girls

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gagaberry0609, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. gagaberry0609

    gagaberry0609 Hatching

    May 27, 2013
    Bedford, Virginia
    I have had my girls for a year. Seven wonderful happy girls Golden Sex Links....I raised them from little 3 days old chicks. I am beside myself, sick with worry and so very sad. I live on a horse farm. I have a large 10 stall barn in which I have made one of the stalls into the girls coop. The sleep and lay theirs eggs as well as eat their meals there. They free range during the day and spend a lot of time we me near the house and in the garden with me and my little dogs and cat of which they were raised with. They all even lay in the sun together, eat their snacks together, and go on walks together with me. The other day I went our to the barn to feed lunch to the horses and 3 girls were gone and I found one very badly hurt. Her tail feather were pulls out, her neck feathers and under her wing feathers were gone as well. I found the other 3 girls dead about 200' from the barn in a patch of trees. Something had eaten part of them. For the last week I did not let the girls out of the barn.....until yesterday.....for 10 minutes while I ran to the house to get the dogs....when I returned another girl was killed and I found her in the same place I found the other....I am sick and blame myself for her death....Her name was Cupcake and she had the cutest curly tail feathers....I miss my girls like you would any family pet...They all had names, sat on my lap, came to the house to see me.....Please help.....I don't want to loose the rest of my babies....what could be killing them....Thank you, Claudia
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I'd suspect a small Canine
    The M. O. fits a Fox

    You'll need a large live trap, or some leg hold traps to take care of the problem
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. gagaberry0609

    gagaberry0609 Hatching

    May 27, 2013
    Bedford, Virginia
    Thank you, I was thinking it may be a fox. The house next of us has been empty for a few years, that is where I found the dead girls. They are attacking in the day time hours which worries me for my new baby chicks. I think I will have to keep them inside until we catch this predator. I have the other girls locked up. We are building a big wire door so they can see out and the sun can come into the barn....
  4. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Songster

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Sorry for your losses. Daytime attacks with little or no evidence could definately be a fox. But raccooons and bobcats are out during the day too, so don't discount them either. I had the same problem earlier this year, and I had to end their free range time until I was able to put in an electric net fence around a large section of yard. Now they free range in the afternoons, protected by the electric fence, and I have gone 3-4 months without a loss. If you have access to a trail camera or game camera, put it out so you can at least find out what is coming around. Trapping fox is very different than trapping raccoons, so knowing what you are up against is a huge advantage. Hope you can stop whatever it is that is hunting your birds.
  5. Heidisgran

    Heidisgran Songster

    May 30, 2013
    Burleson Texas
    My Coop
    both bob cats and raccoon are nocturnal most likely a day hunter
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Raccoons and bobcats are typically nocturnal, but its not unusual to see them during the day this time of year, as they prepare themselves for winter. Or if you've got one that's old...or sick.
    When I've had a fox attack (and we've had a few [​IMG]) they usually take their meals with them, leaving a trail or pile of feathers behind. Domestic dogs typically play with the bird until it dies and leave it and quite a mess behind.
    Hawks will pluck and eat their kill on the ground if its too heavy to carry away.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  7. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    We've lost a chicken to a bobcat during the day!! We saw the attack so we know it was a bobcat. I agree with the game camera idea. Wish we had used one before we lost our hen but we have one now. Lets us know what's moving around the yard.
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  8. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Songster

    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    The thing about foxes, though is that they take it and eat it somewhere. They don't leave them dead lying around. They will attack in broad daylight. We had a really bad fox that would come up and grab hens in the mornings after we let them out. If he couldnt get them in the morning, he waited until no one was outside in the afternoon. We finally trapped him by leaving eggs on top of the trap for a few nights till he got used to it. Then put eggs in front of the trap one night. The next night made a trail of eggs into the back of the trap and snagged him. They are very cautious and not easily duped. It was the only thing that worked even a dead chicken didn't work, neither did sardines or catfood.
    We got a trail cam and one night we saw a fox, two raccoon, and two possums show up all at the same time! They are definitely helpful to find out who the enemy is lol.
  9. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Songster

    Mar 27, 2013
    I had a fox attack at 3pm just after my brother walked through the yard when the chickens were free ranging. The fox took 6 of them off and by the time we noticed what was going on, she was running away with a 7th. I ran outside and she dropped the chicken and ran. I picked up my leghorn and she was barely alive and sadly died a few minutes later. The fox will take the prey to a place it feels safe, usually close to the den and bury them. Because you found them away from the coop like that, I suspect fox and I suspect it was in the process of eating and saving the chicken or later. You may have scared it off. I would get a game camera and trap.

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