Something is eating my flock

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sparrowsong98, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Sparrowsong98

    Sparrowsong98 Songster

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    So, a couple of days ago, I noticed my Black star was not walking around the yard anymore. On further investigation, (Or as best as I can do with a broken foot) she was just gone, then, looking around, I noticed he flock seemed much smaller. There were 17 of 34 in the pen, and about 10 out (but they are by woods and fields so that is not excact). Point is, we are missing a 1/2 dozen chickens. Whatever it is just takes them. No sound, no feathers no carcass. But It only gets the chickens that live outside. We have constant trouble with holes under the run, through which the chickens escape. So some are roosting in trees, and one knocked the top off of an Alberta spruce to sleep there. I think it is either canine, or we have heard bobcats in our area. What do you think? What should I do? Right now, the chickens are closed int eh coop, and we are fixing the holes in the run, while catching the birds that escaped.
     
  2. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    Fixing the holes is pretty much all you can do, I'd suggest adding a "skirt" around the bottom of the coop and rum to help prevent future diggers.
     
  3. Nardo

    Nardo Free Ranging

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    So this is not an exact science but "typically" cats will take their catch off somewhere safe to eat it while dogs (canines) will play with it right where they are until they make a huge massacre site which is easy to notice. Hawks, possums, owls, and others have their own style of kill. Owls at night, hawks hit hard and fast and leave feathers around, etc.. Sounds like you may have a bobcat using your place as an all you can eat buffet. Sorry for you and your flock. Hope it gets better.
     
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  4. TinyBirds

    TinyBirds Songster

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    We had a bobcat that used to take 1 a day of our free range birds. Once i even saw it catch a bird and within seconds it went back across the creek with the chicken in its mouth and the just turned and sat staring at me while holding the dead chicken in its mouth. Raccoons seem to drag the carcass more and often leave a trail of feathers along the way. Both came in daytime.
     
  5. Without knowing where you are located makes advising difficult but bobcats will definitely kill a chicken and quickly haul off the evidence.
     
  6. Bonniebooboo

    Bonniebooboo Crowing

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    I have Wire flooring down in pens and tops on pens. This has kept mine safe at night. Occasionally, I do find big black snacks in the pen/coop and have to take care of that, but as long as I make sure they are shut in at dusk, I can catch the opossums and coons when they try getting the chickens. we have had opossums and coons get them and drag them off to a barn or under the bush hog to kill/eat them. The early morning coyotes have taken chickens when turned out early and I know the bob cats would if they had a chance, their prints have been in the yard in the mud and snow. We have captured 11 opossums in the chicken run anywhere from 3pm to dark. That sort of amazed me.. Best of luck to you.
     
  7. FowlPrincess

    FowlPrincess Songster

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    I have had 2 chickens taken by a bobcat this year. Both times they left quite a few feathers from the hen putting up a fight. I have heard that foxes tend to have a pretty clean getaway, but I don't have first hand experience with them.

    Gina
     
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  8. Sparrowsong98

    Sparrowsong98 Songster

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    I am in SW PA
     
  9. cacknballs

    cacknballs Chirping

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    a rifle will fix that problem.
     
    Bonniebooboo likes this.
  10. Bonniebooboo

    Bonniebooboo Crowing

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    Once while out deer hunting, we saw a group of turkeys going by and a Bobcat lying in wait and jumped and took the very last one. Evening time. Then we saw another one run up a felled tree, it was leaning on another tree where the turkeys decided to roost, and he got one of those before it could fly away. He was only about 40-50 yards away from us and guess he didn't get our scent. They can be quick and haul that bird off with few feathers flying. I guess it all depends on How they catch the bird, by neck or by back. I did lose my polish rooster 5 months ago with No clue. and no body parts found. He was there early morning when we let them out, but not there at lock up time. The next few mornings My dogs raising cane, gave me the reason why I think, a coyote came around the chicken pen early AM, Hadn't let the chickens out as yet, thank goodness, so while the coyote was teasing the dogs that were in the fenced yard, I dispatched that coyote and so far no more early morning loss of chickens. If you had a deer cam set out by the pen You would get a picture of what may be causing the mayhem.
     

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