Predictors identification?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by animalsrule1, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. animalsrule1

    animalsrule1 In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2012
    Well, at the beginning of this month, I put roughly 40 chickens in my chicken coop. There were a mix of bantams, and standards, two standard roosters and about five bantam roosters. For a couple weeks having all the roosters turned out wonderfully, no predators whatsoever. And then, my chickens started to vanish. Literally.

    I have had a silver seabright rooster, black silkie (sex unknown), gold seabright rooster, two buff orpingtons, a silver laced Wyandotte, and two Cochins just vanish. No feathers, no blood, no squawking, nothing. There is a six foot chain link fence around their run, so I know they aren't just leaving.

    My question is this, what predator will just carry chickens off with no evidence? There are hawks, stray dogs, Bobcats, stray cats, owls, etc. In my area, but I have never had chickens go missing without a trace. Especially not standards. Especially not when there are like six roosters outside.

    I did lose my entire flock one time to a bobcat, but the thing had ripped my coop open and there were feathers everywhere. I've had Hawks, and dogs (even my own once in a blue moon. Training is taking for ever.) kill chickens, but they've always left feathers. Same with cats and foxes. Even possums and raccoons. So, again, what could just carry than off like that? Some of my friends have even suggested that people could be taking them.
  2. Ravennest

    Ravennest In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2014
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    A few thoughts having read through your post - a 6 foot chain link fence is actually not guaranteed to prevent them from "just leaving" - it is not improbable that your birds can easily fly out over such a fence. As for what predator can overcome a 6 foot chain link fence and take your birds, the answer is pretty much any of them. While you may have seen evidence in the previous attacks, several of the animals on your list are quite capable of taking the bird and leaving not one sign that they were ever there.
    Given you have had multiple losses in separate incidents, I would suggest it may be time to rethink your security and enclosure system.
  5. animalsrule1

    animalsrule1 In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2012
    Thanks for everyone's help! The links were especially appreciated, and we'll definitely consider making more improvements, including getting a livestock guardian dog (hopefully).
  6. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Songster

    Jun 10, 2014
    Agree with all this - a 6 foot chainlink is pretty easy to scale for pretty much everything you're worried about (racoons, possums, bobcats, etc). It'll be 100 times as secure with a single hotwire across the top (seriously, electric is the cheapest, safest, easiest, and most effective means of predator exclusion - it's awesome).

    With 7 roosters (and it sounds like mostly roosters lost), and a lot of birds overall, I'd suspect that some of the birds have been driven out by the roosters, and picked off at night.
  7. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Songster

    Jun 13, 2013
    A friend recommended an outdoor camera called a Truview. She purchased hers for $89. and swears it worked like a charm to see who had been getting to her cats.

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