Question about what got my chickens....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bonkers, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. bonkers

    bonkers Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been missing a chicken every now and then but last week between 8 am and 4 pm something made a visit and took 10 of my chickens. There was a "paw" print or two that was plain enough to see it was either a coyote or a dog. My question is I know dogs will just kill chickens for the fun of it and will kill rather for a game than for food but will coyotes leave dead birds lay? And will they kill 10 birds? Maybe more than one predator? I was wondering if it really is coyotes or if it's a neighbors dog. Some of the birds were completely gone---disappeared---nothing but I did find four places where there were struggles and major feather loss. I also found three dead hens (including my very favorite handfed lady) and one leg. Do you think its coyotes or perhaps a dog. Whatever it was jumped a 48 inch netting fence. I've been watching for whatever it is to return but so far----no sightings..... 10 birds was a major hit and whatever it or they were---had to be there for a few minutes.
     
  2. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    So sorry for your loss. :hugs

    Dogs kill for fun, so they usually will leave the body nearby. Foxes will leave no trace, except maybe a feather or two. i've never dealt with coyotes, so I wouldn't know how to tell if it was one. I'm currently having bobcat trouble, and he comes anytime between 7am-10am and in the evening as well. He's not exactly a clean thief, having left piles of feathers the majority of the time.
    Have you talked to the owner of the dogs?
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Any predator might kill many in a frenzy...it's not so much for 'fun'.
    Fox for sure, and maybe other preds, can kill many then carry them off to cache one by one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  4. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    This, just about any predator when the adrenaline starts pumping and they are surrounded by an easy to pick off free chicken buffet can be driven into a killing frenzy intentional or not...

    Coyotes in general will only kill what they need, but that is not a hard fast rule in a confined space surround by birds a frenzy could kick in..

    But, before you jump to the conclusion it's a neighbors dog, consider it could be a feral dog or a wild coyote/wolf/dog hybrid, raccoon or even a bobcat...
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  5. bonkers

    bonkers Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2009
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    Thank you or the replies. I haven't said anything to the neighbors who live a quarter mile away as I am not sure it was a dog and if it was if it was theirs. Both my neighbor and I have caught their dog carrying off chickens a year or so ago but I bought an electric netting to put around the area around my coop. Worked so far until recently. I am thinking it was a coyote or two. Maybe a mama with half grown pups. They had to jump into the enclosure---so I've been sticking close to home and watching!!!! Not sure how big a paw print a fox leaves but the prints I found could be coyote, fox or dog. I don't like to say anything to the neighbors unless I catch their husky/malamute red handed! I am in the country next to a creek so coyotes are plentiful here!
     
  6. bonkers

    bonkers Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2009
    Hiawatha, Kansas
    I'm sorry---I actually did not mean dogs kill for "fun". Just that they kill like said above---in a frenzy---not just for food unless it's a stray.
     
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In addition to a dog or coyotes, is a pack of dogs (as in several) a possible option?

    So whatever it was got past a 48" electric poultry netting? What type of charger and is it hot? I've heard a few cases where the fencer was one, but grounded out or power supply weak, so not delivering much of a shock if any.

    With a good fence and a hot charger, not many canines are going to tangle with it.
     
  8. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    A coyote, bobcat, fox and even some dogs can clear jump a 48" fence with little trouble essentially rendering it useless against them regardless of how charged it is...
     
  9. Poticus

    Poticus Just Hatched

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    Probably a coyote or two. I had a single coyote kill multiple birds at a time. Before I was finally able to deal with him, I realized he was killing several birds then coming back to collect the bodies one at a time.
     
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    True.....but when they first encounter a fence like that, they don't know what it is. It appears no different than any other fence. So likely as not, they touch or sniff it or perhaps even try to climb it. If it's HOT, and they get zapped pretty good, they set sail for the horizon and are not likely to return. On the other hand, if it's not hot, or they only get a mild tickle, it's then they continue to pursue things and jumping over it then becomes an option. It it's not hot, it's nothing to fear or respect.

    When an otherwise good electric fence stops being effective, first place to look is at the fence itself. Is it still hot. Grounded out, weak battery, etc, all leading to a light shock is generally the problem.
     
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