Predator? Lost 2 of our girls

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by weloveourgirls, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. weloveourgirls

    weloveourgirls New Egg

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    Apr 14, 2012
    Im so sad that we lost 2 of our girls yesterday in the middle of the day to a predator. They are all just coming up on a year old so this is very hard for us. We free range and know the risk. We bought these as chicks last spring and every one survived. We came home yesterday and while feeding my child counted heads and couldnt find 2. We didnt worry because they wonder a bit. Shorty after she came in upset to find one with a missing head. It was one of our favorite girls that layed some beautiful eggs. We have yet to find anything but a pile of feathers for our Americana. Any ideas on what it may have been? While looking on line Im guessing a fox? It took one of the girls thru a thick area in the woods and the branches had feathers about 12-18 inches off the ground. If it were a weasel I dont think this would be the evidence left behind.
    We are so sad and feel so responsible. I am usually home and going in and out of the house. The dog too is always looking out for them. We were out of our routine today and this is what happened.
    What can we do to protect our flock?
     
  2. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northeast Texas
    I hate to tell you this, but you will have to contain your girls in a secure run. Wrap it in hardware cloth, with a top and a wire skirt on the ground all the way around it. A predator has discovered a lunch buffet and will return again and again until all your birds are gone. Alternatives include a GOOD dog that will watch over the flock and a smaller fenced in area, and/or only letting them out to range while ya'll are out there with them. But even being in the yard with them does not deter brave predators. I had a friend that let her chickens out one morning, only to have a bobcat spring out of nowhere and snatch a hen almost at her feet and bound away with it. Gheesh. I am so sorry about your loss and I hope you don't lose any more of your girls.
     
  3. weloveourgirls

    weloveourgirls New Egg

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    Apr 14, 2012
    I think your right. I think whatever it is will be back. We do have a run and we are going to chicken wire the ground of it today. I think until we find out what it is and rid it of our area we will keep them in the run. After today it will be fully enclosed. This whole thing is just so sad for us.
     
  4. telehillco

    telehillco Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2009
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    I'm so sorry for your loss. We just lost 4 last night and it's a terrible feeling when you take them in, raise them and feel like you're making some kind of agreement to protect them. It sounds like you do a good job keeping them safe and that this was just a freak event. I hope you figure out who the predator was so you can keep it from coming back!
     
  5. weloveourgirls

    weloveourgirls New Egg

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    Apr 14, 2012
    Thank you for your kind words. I am so sorry for your loss as well. What happened to your chicks/chickens?

    It is shocking how this event has rocked our little farm. We love our girls so much and this is just so sad for us. My daughter and I spent the afternoon adding wire to the bottom of the run and filling it with dirt. It is predator proof now for sure. We just never use the run as they are always around the yard. They really like to step just inside the woods and bury themselves in dirt in the bushes. I think this is where it all began. Today we noticed a small amount of feathers on the road and food that we feed our chickenss near the feathers. I think he acutually ate her there. It just sickens me. . I think this Predator pulled one of the chickens to at least 3 different spots from what we found. I dont know what it was but it was greedy. To take one and to kill one and leave it behind. It sounds like a fox to us.Anyone have an idea?
    Anyway our girls will need to be content in the run for a while until we get our preditor taken care of.
     

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