Please help me figure out what killed my chicken!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Catmoose1347, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. Catmoose1347

    Catmoose1347 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had too many roosters this year, so I had one out roaming in the yard. The whole place is fenced in, so I though hed be okay. Anyway, yesterday I heard screaming in my backyard at around 11:15 am and ran out side. The head rooster had escaped the enclosure (idk how, the fence is five feet tall) and was chasing the other one around. I put Head Rooster back and went inside. Five minutes later, I heard a commotion but didn't think anything of it because my birds make noises all the time. When I went out to collect eggs at 11:45, I was a little concerned because he didn't come running out to greet me as usual. I found a pile of feathers and followed a trait of feathers to a hole under the fence to a bigger pile of feathers and under some bushes was a ******* huge pile of feathers.

    I didn't care about me getting hurt and crawled through a 1' by 1' tunnel through blackberry vines following this trail of feathers. By this time, I was hysterical and the feathers were few and far in between. I didn't see any blood except one little drop on a leaf. I was forced to stop when the tunnel went under a log I couldn't fit under and the blackberries were too thick to go over. I sat there for like ten minutes crying and wishing I hadn't gotten attached to that darn bird. I strongly suspect my neighbor's cat, because I've had to chase the cat away before when he was chasing the chicken, it was daytime, and the tunnels were cat-sized.

    After spending the better part of today pulling thorns out of myself (figures, I was wearing shorts and a tshirt), I decided to actually try to find out what it was. I'm feeling super guilty about his death. Also, if it was my neighbor's cat, should I do anything (talk to them, etc.)
     
  2. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Sounds more like a raccoon to me. Cats don't dig under fences.

    Sorry about your bird.
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    You didn't say how old or big the cockerel was or how big the neighbors cat is. Sounds more like a member of the K9 family is responsible for your missing bird, sorry.
     
  4. chickencreek

    chickencreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you have foxes in your area if you do that would be a top suspect. Digging holes under the fence, making a tunnel in the brush. Sounds like you got a pest. Time to bust out the 12 gauge. Sorry for your loss it's hard to not be attached to chickens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  5. chickencreek

    chickencreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh yeah buy a live animal trap and put a chicken leg or something in there and put it in the tunnel that the thing made. And make sure it's big enough for a large coon or fox. Then when you catch it you'll find out what it is.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  6. Catmoose1347

    Catmoose1347 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for the misunderstanding. It didn't burrow under the fence. It was a small gap that I'd never noticed before.

    He was a little over five months old. The cat is slightly larger than him. Could/would a cat drag a chicken?

    From what I could gather, it looked as though he was attacked at the first pile of feathers, ran away, but got caught at the second/third piles. The last two were only about 6 ft away from each other. This guy could run. He was almost as fast as me and definitely faster than many of my friends (and I'm not a slow runner, folks). So the whatever got him was probably pretty fast too.

    I don't think that a raccoon or fox would have been out at the time. It was almost noon.

    (I can't put a chicken leg in as bait! Where do you suppose I'll get one? I'm trying to protect the chickens, not sacrifice them! How will the others feel if they find out? :p )
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  7. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Foxes hunt in the daylight and are a likely culprit here. And you don't need one of YOUR chickens' legs, silly.. a leftover drumstick from dinner will do nicely.
     
  8. Catmoose1347

    Catmoose1347 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just found out that some blasted exterminator released several raccoons not too far from here. :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  9. mightymax

    mightymax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forgive me if I'm reading more into this than necessary, or if I'm being at all too literal, but doesn't the word 'exterminator' mean to exterminate something...as in kill it dead ??? At least that's what my dictionary says it means. It doesn't say anything about relocation.
    That's something else entirely...[​IMG]
     
  10. SoupytheChicken

    SoupytheChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Many of my chickens have been killed by foxes... there are always feathers and hardly any blood. And the trail that u described sounds like it leads to a Fox den. Probably a Fox... sorry for your loss... it's always heartbreaking when you find those feathers. Almost all of our chickens have been taken in daylight too
     

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