Predator Survey

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mirandaleecon, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. mirandaleecon

    mirandaleecon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2014
    Panama City, FL
    I have been seeing a lot of predators in my area lately (foxes, hawks, dogs...) and today one stole some of our eggs and knocked some stuff over in one of the pens. All of my birds free range during the day so the door was propped open. Looks like whatever it was, was chasing one of the birds and gave up and chose the easy meal (eggs) and left.
    So this got me thinking, I would be curious to hear about everybody's experience with predators and what the circumstances were.
    A lot of people think feel like free ranging is too risky but it seems to me that the worst losses are when a pen isn't secure and a predator takes out a whole flock at once...

    Anyway I'll start; I have lost two peacocks and three chickens, all weeks or months apart. The peacock was the first, it was really young and we were just trying "supervised short time free range" and just vanished. No clue what happened but it was just too young to be out.
    Next one was the second peacock and that one was in a pen that wasn't very secure. Something carried it of and had a hard time with it because there were piles of feathers from the front to the back of my 4 acre property. Was in a pen with another peacock and 3 ducks.
    Then a stray dog caught one of my free ranging silkies and broke it's neck.
    Something got my new Barred Rock a week after I let it free range. It cornered it in the open pen and took off with it. Didn't take it too far because one of my puppies (not the culprit!) Threw up a pile of feathers and brought us one of it's feet.
    Then my free ranging bantam black breasted rooster just disappeared, not a feather in sight. I think that was a hawk...

    I think it's also important to mention all of these happened during the day and I don't have a fence around my perimeter.

    Don't want to drudge up bad memories but I feel like we could all learn something from this...
  2. chick lovers

    chick lovers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2013
    With my chickens.
    I have lost three chickens in the past month or so just out of the blue. The first was a Nankin Bantam hen, al we found was a pile of feathers and the clean skull. There was no other bones or anything. I am almost sure that was a hawk, two days later my Nankin rooster disappeared, all I could find was a whole lot of his feathers, I think that was also a hawk. The most recent one was my big barred rock hen, I found her more or less spread out all over the yard, she made to er coop but was so badly messed up we had to put her down. I have no clue what that was.
    I also lost 7 chicks to something or other, not sure what that was either.
  3. mirandaleecon

    mirandaleecon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2014
    Panama City, FL
    I'm so sorry for your losses! It's always hard when they happen so close together. The first 3 of mine happened within weeks of each other and then it tapered off. I think the ones I have now witnessed some of the others and are super aware of their surroundings...
  4. nprats

    nprats New Egg

    Mar 26, 2015
    I lost my first chicken this week.We have 5. Initially I thought it had been a fox. She simply disappeared and that's a fox behavior. Well, today i happen to look out the window and saw a huge Coyote or Coy wolf (It was big so I'm not entirely sure) looking around our garden and coop. So now I'm pretty sure he's the culprit. Since the incident I haven't allowed the girls to free range. They have a pretty big run and enclosure.. But they were used to free ranging when we're at home. Now I can't allow them outside because of this new predator. He now knows they are here and will keep on coming back. I'm very sad because they had been able to free range for the past year. And now they'll have a much more limited yard time. It's so hard to lose an animals that you've cared for and paid so much attention and energy. I hope this animal finds somewhere else to hunt! Thinking about getting electric fencing but it's so expensive!! We'll figure it out.
  5. Scottankarens

    Scottankarens Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2015
    Scipio, IN
    Go to It's s great site, as they have a predator analyzer. It will help you determine the culprit by the signs and clues they leave behind. It's an impressive tool. Good luck!
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by