Predator killed Silkie

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by kairosdreaming, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. kairosdreaming

    kairosdreaming Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    May 29, 2011
    Just found the headless body of one of my silkies. They are free range (about a month and a half now) and this is the first one I lost to predators. It happened during the day and I suspect the Silkie was a male, although I can't quite tell yet, so I don't know if that has something to do with it if he was protecting the rest of the flock. Should I keep them in their coop tomorrow just in case the predator decides to return for another lunch?
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    20,149
    291
    401
    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Very definitely. Might want to put a heavy layer of flour around the coop/pen to look for footprints. Although it could have been a hawk/owl, but that would typically not have taken only the head.
     
  3. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    6,636
    40
    258
    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    Quote:x2
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,837
    9,522
    766
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Once they have established a food source, predators will continue to return until either they are removed, the food source is enclosed and protected, or all of the food source has been killed. The predator WILL return.
     
  5. kairosdreaming

    kairosdreaming Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    May 29, 2011
    Whatever it was I think it was small, there's a fenced enclosure around the coop (but big enough that the chickens walk through it, leftover from when the previous owner had dogs) and I found my poor silkie in a corner closest to the woods and it looked like perhaps it couldn't get it through the fence. I'll have to go find a trap tomorrow and set it out in that area and keep the chickies inside until I get home at night. The chickens themselves are almost 4 1/2 months old and it went after one of the smaller ones that I have. I suspect that my roosters aren't very effective also, would getting a better rooster help at all?
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    20,149
    291
    401
    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Quote:Unfortunately, the rooster usually loses against most predtors, so while a different rooster might be more vigilent and give a predator alert sound sooner, it may not change the outcome; it just depends on the predator. Since you do not know what it is, you should take the safer side and keep your birds locked up until you can figure out what it was, and remove it.
     
  7. kairosdreaming

    kairosdreaming Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    May 29, 2011
    Ok, I won't worry about looking for another rooster then, thanks. Chickens are going to be kept inside today with a fan and a couple gallons of water. I checked the flour I spread around the coop last night and there weren't any prints, but whatever it is might come in the day again so I'll check when I get home from work (and finding an animal trap). Thanks to everyone for your advice!
     
  8. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    5,314
    59
    291
    Aug 12, 2009
    Home depot 1089 trap for $45.Good in a pinch when you have no time to order online.

    I would want to keep them in for a few days too.Hope you get the predator!
     
  9. kairosdreaming

    kairosdreaming Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    May 29, 2011
    Well, I caught something in the trap but it wasn't what I expected. A pretty young orange tabby cat. I moved the cage to the shaded porch and put some water and food in there with her and I'm going to make sure she's doesn't belong to the neighbors before taking her to the humane society. Could she have killed my chicken or was she just in the wrong place at the wrong time?
     
  10. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    Quote:Sometimes it works and sometimes it just makes for an even hungrier predator. Although in my case, the fox was taking several at a time so she wouldn't come back for days. I tried keeping them in their coop for a week, hoping the it (I wasn't sure what it was at the time) would lose interest and move on. When I finally did let them out, the next attack was even worse than the one before. The attacks continued until I finally trapped and killed the fox.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by