Predators during the day

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hjellehpbyc, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. hjellehpbyc

    hjellehpbyc New Egg

    Aug 11, 2011
    It's my first season of raising poultry and today we lost 13 of our mature birds. It's my fault because I was free ranging them during the day, but I had no idea that there could be such a significant loss during daylight hours when our family was home.

    I left for work at 7:15 and by 11:00 when my teenage son went to collect eggs, only 1 chicken and my two Kacki Campbell ducks were left. My husband was home at the time as well. No sounds heard from the house. I lost 11 hens and 2 turkeys.

    Can anyone give me some ideas about what creature you think could have done this, what creature hunts like this.

    Background: we live in northern Wisconsin near a lake with some wetlands near by. My son found the remains of 1 chicken and feathers in 6 different spots which appear to be from different bird species. I had 8 varieties of birds. No blood or other remains were found.

    We do have confirmed Fischer, Bobcat, Coyote, and even Cougar in the area. I suspect the first three predators are around our house.

    What would swoop through and take out 13 birds in a few hours leaving a few feather remains and one dead bird?

    I've learned my lesson and will not free range around here unless I'm working near the coop. [​IMG]

    Maybe some of the birds are hiding out there afraid for their lives. I walked, called, listened, and shook scratch. Nothing. Hoping some are safe and come back to the coop.

    I have named my remaining Americana hen Survivor. She seem to be traumatized but unharmed.

    Thanks for your thoughts
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Sorry for your loss. Young coyotes learn to hunt this time of year. I think it was a mother coyote and her pups. They probably carried the rest back to the den to feast.

    ETA: Unless you have wolves, that is also possible

    BTW Welcome to BYC, sorry this is your first post, wish it were happier.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  3. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ
    Depending on location I would also say coyotes....
  4. hjellehpbyc

    hjellehpbyc New Egg

    Aug 11, 2011
    Thank you for your thoughts. We're making plans to set out some live traps and field cameras to spot the culprits.

    I'm heading to a friend's place in Iowa next week to pick up 5 mature hens. He's nice enough to sell me a few birds.

    Hard lesson. We live in a beautiful part of the country with lots of wild creatures.
  5. rider357

    rider357 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 25, 2011
    Nokesville, Va
    I'm very sorry for your loss. I too have coyotes in my area here in Northern Va. My answer to the problem was to buy a coyote live trap at my local Tractor Supply store. I have trapped and dispatched 5 so far, as well as a few foxes. I seldom see them around anymore. My biggest problem now is hawks. I have placed a nylon net over the run and that seems to solve that problem. I've seen a Coopers Hawk bounce off the net twice. Mine are not allowed to free range unless myself or my wife are physically out there in the area with them.

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