Sigh...lost my first chicken to a predator today

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by erinlee, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. erinlee

    erinlee Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Baldwin MI
    I guess I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later, but I'm still sad about it [​IMG] We live in the woods with lots of predators around, raccoons, opossoms, who knows what else. We've been putting the live trap up the last month or so and have caught and relocated two raccoons and a feral cat...figured it was best to be proactive even though we hadn't had a loss yet.

    Well today something got one of my hens, the salmon faverolle. [​IMG] They free range during the day, even though they could roam as far as they wanted (no fences) they generally stay within about an acre or so radius of the house. Around 1:00 I heard the ruckous; the chickens cackling up a storm - I've heard them do this before when they see a cat - and by the time I got out there there were feathers everywhere [​IMG] I followed the feather trail through the woods and finally found her lifeless body. I must have scared whatever it was off, as she was intact with just a couple of teeth marks in the back of her neck and what appeared to be a broken neck. I feel so bad. Not sure what did it, the teeth marks were probably about 1.5" apart. I'm figuring too big to be an opossum or another feral cat- maybe a racoon? I never would have guessed they would be out hunting during the middle of the day though.

    Live trap is up again and I hope to catch the culprit soon. I hate to keep them shut up in a run, but maybe it will come down to that.
     
  2. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    So sorry for your loss [​IMG]

    Whatever it is will come back - I would keep them penned up for awhile.
     
  3. erinlee

    erinlee Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Baldwin MI
    That's what I figured - especially since it didn't get to eat any of it's kill. Figured it would be back to try again. Hope the trap gets him!
     
  4. BrokenRoadFarm

    BrokenRoadFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2011
    North Central NC
    So sorry about your loss [​IMG] That is why we won't free range ours - we have 10 acres, most of it wooded....we built a tractor so they can go out in the yard for fresh grass. They also have a 12' X 20' covered run. We only have 4 ladies and don't want to lose any. Call me over-protective... [​IMG]
     
  5. erinlee

    erinlee Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Baldwin MI
    They seem to enjoy free ranging so much, I'm going to feel bad if I have to keep them locked up from now on. But I guess that is better than feeling bad about having more killed.

    On a side note, my husband asked me what I wanted to do with the body. He asked if I wanted chicken for dinner. GASP! OMG how could he?!? I know we eat chicken all the time - but not one of my pets! Is this weird of me? LOL [​IMG]
     
  6. BrokenRoadFarm

    BrokenRoadFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2011
    North Central NC
    I wouldn't - especially since you don't know what got it...or if it was rabid. I know the poultry can't get rabies, but you could get it from the saliva left in the wounds. Shots in the stomach would just be adding insult to injury in my opinion...[​IMG]
     
  7. erinlee

    erinlee Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Baldwin MI
    No, I couldn't eat her even if there wasn't a question of rabies or whatever. I couldn't do it!
     
  8. Anarchy82

    Anarchy82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 10, 2011
    Stroudsburg, PA
    [​IMG] I am sorry for your loss. I to have lost a couple of chickens this week to an outside predator. I knew there was always a chance of this happeneing, and try to plan. But it doesnt change, it still hurts. So I know what you feel.

    Needless to say I have started a war against predator animals on my 14 acres. [​IMG] (same as you, alot of it wooded)

    When I lost my chickens, I took them and burried them not to far from their home. And made sure to dig far into the ground, and covered the soil with heavy rocks.
     
  9. erinlee

    erinlee Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Baldwin MI
    Well...I have good news and bad.

    The #@%!!! critter got another chicken out of my yard! The chickens have been in my front yard within 20-25 feet of my house this afternoon since the tradgedy and the darn thing came and got another one! I'm so mad!!! I normally am 100% against killing things, but this meant war. My husband and I were out looking for the second body, when he heard rustling in the brush. So I headed to the one side and my husband sat at the otherside with a gun. I started through the brush with a big stick making a bunch of noise and headed towards my husband.

    He got him. It was a bobcat. RIP.

    It looks like I need to start building a bigger run to keep the chickens locked up. Grrr.
     
  10. real_redhead

    real_redhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am glad you got the predator and I am glad your husband or you weren't hurt by the Bobcat!! Pretty scary!
     

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