Please Help! What predator would murder all of our chickens and only take one?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rookiefornow, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. rookiefornow

    rookiefornow New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Sep 29, 2013
    We are just getting started on our little farm we want. We started with meat birds after seeing some of the horrible treatments that our store bought chickens go through. We started with 10. The person we got them from said they would go lazy and not go 3 feet for water by 49 days old. We have been free ranging them and had gotten quite the opposite result. Our birds will roam 30 to 40 yards 4 to 5 times a day to let us know they are hungry. They each have their own personality and although they are just meat birds we have become fond of them and enjoy watching them enjoy life. One bird went off balance early on and we isolated it, sadly our dog decided to play with it to death. :( Now 9. We humanely butchered two on Saturday. Now 7. Woke up this morning and they are all dead. Murdered and scattered around the yard. We also just a couple of weeks ago got six little egg layers which we were also free ranging. I was in the front yard on Friday in the garden for about 15 minutes. When I returned to the back yard I noticed crows over where the little chicks like to forage. I ran, too late. The crows had killed one of the babies. So, this morning when our daughter and her friend came running in waking us up to tell us that the crows had killed all of our "fat chickens" that was what we thought. For five or so devastating minutes we thought crows. We then realized there was one chicken missing. There is also a rather large pile of feces near the crime scene. What would kill them ALL and only take one? And why kill them ALL? Thank you in advance for any info or advice you might have.
     
  2. rookiefornow

    rookiefornow New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Sep 29, 2013
    I should also mention we are in west central Florida.
     
  3. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

    8,000
    1,311
    366
    May 21, 2013
    S. louisiana
    Dogs kill for the sport and leave the bodies. And they may have taken the last one killed to play with it. Sounds gross but it is what it is. Sorry for the loss.
     
  4. Muffinburgler

    Muffinburgler Chillin' With My Peeps

    153
    6
    91
    Feb 8, 2012
    Watsonville, CA
    Dogs and weasels are the biggest sport killers of chickens, I think. They just kill for the thrill of it.
     
  5. Kyzmette

    Kyzmette Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,618
    326
    208
    Aug 28, 2013
    Once a dog kills a chicken for sport, they will go back over and over again. It may not be 100% of dogs, but for 99% it becomes an addiction, if you let it. And that's exactly what they do, kill them and leave the bodies laying. I have a little demon dachsund next door that has ruined any chance of good neighborship because the neighbors won't keep him penned and he's killed close to twenty of my chickens.

    Dogs have to adapt to the concept of chickens as part of the family, and never be allowed to eat a chicken carcass or chase a chicken. There's an old farmer cure to chicken killing. Take the carcass and attach it to the dog, I would wire it and use duct tape so it can't fall off, and leave it until it rots off. I hear the dog will never touch a chicken again. To hedge your bet, make sure your dog spends time with you while you show the dog the chicken is to be protected as part of the family. When the dog gets too close to the chicken, growl at it. Seriously.
     
  6. kgardiner

    kgardiner Out Of The Brooder

    78
    0
    41
    Dec 12, 2011
    North Port, FL
    Being you are in west central Florida, could a bobcat be the culprit? I had a bobcat destroy my flock before I put them in a fully enclosed run. I'm in SW Florida. It killed all, leaving most behind. The others were mutilated and piles of feathers all around. The feces you found could be a good clue.
    [​IMG]
    I'm sorry for your loss... Hope you figure out what it was and restart your flock making the proper adjustments for their safety...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by