The thread noone wants to start

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 2DogsFarm, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I came home to carnage yesterday.

    Left my little freerange flock as usual around 9A, got home at 6P anf they did not come running at the sound of my car,as is their habit, to mug me for treats.
    Just one hen in the backyard, and a huge pile of downy feathers - from the color I knew they belonged to the rooster.

    I followed this trail and found his body, along with 2 of my hens - one my "pet" Houdan - in the bushes they like to hide under to get out of the sun or away from hawks (when rooster sounded the alarm).

    All three had their necks broken and the rooster had been chewed (stomped?) on his back, no other sign of any fight or major wounds. One hen had a puncture on her breast, but not bloodied and she was a white hen (Delaware).
    It looked like the rooster put up a fight, but the hens seemed to have been attacked while they were hiding or just resting - no struggle apparent.

    The four survivors were shaken, but came out of hiding and let me put them into their coop w/fenced yard.
    They will stay there today and maybe from now on.
    Saddest thing was the little white (mutt) hen who grew up with the rooster since I got them as day old chicks, flew onto the window sill and called. I just know she was looking for her pal & protector - the rooster.
    The most upset of the others was the Black Star who hung around with my Houdan.
    Noone can tell me these two were not grieving : (

    If this was not an attack by a dog I'm afraid it could have been a human predator.
    If so, I hope the rooster got in some good licks before he died.
    What else would do this kind of killing and not drag away or eat the kill?

    I am saddened and a little frightened someone would come onto my property, if indeed this was not done by an animal.

  2. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    [​IMG] Sorry for your loss.
    sure sounds like a dogs work with the chewing/stomping of the roo and puncture wound on the hen.

    I hope you get to the bottom of this, i know it has to be hurting you not knowing for sure what got them, a trail cam works great at my place, perhaps you could get one, it will provide you with a snapshot of what is going on when you are not there, you will be suprised all the critters that come out when noone is around.
  3. ReLearning2Live

    ReLearning2Live In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2012
    Central NY
    Just wanted to say...*hugs*
    We lost two turkeys last night and I was coming on to start a thread like yours, so just know you are not alone :(

    Ours were similar, one was a pet and she was the most loving and sweet turkey ever (more like a dog). Just yesterday she spent most of the day in the house with the children while it poured out and she only pooped in her box...amazing. But, *sigh, she's gone now :(

    It's so hard when we loose our birds - especially when we become attached. It's hard and all kinds of crazy thoughts go through your head. Your broken-neck mystery is an odd one. Ours is birds missing completely - not even a single feather to show, but the non-pet victim's wings and neck/head were about 150' from the coop. Our pet bird, no sign, nothing. *sigh

    As for your broken-neck situation...I agree with the other poster that it sounds like you have a domestic dog issue:

    "How will I know that it was a dog that killed my chicken?
    Domestic dogs usually kill aimlessly, or even accidentally. What you will commonly find is a bird with a broken neck or mauled and nothing is eaten. The bird will usually be left where it was killed out. When the bird stopped struggling the game was over for the dog."

    Best of luck in securing your flock.

    "Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up." - Quote from Batman
  4. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Thanks for the sympathetic responses.

    In the cold light of day I am leaning toward loose dog - I read the BYC Predator thread you linked to Relearning, and I am soooo sorry to hear you lost your turkeys.

    At least I know what happened and my girls & rooster died pretty quickly, I did not have to witness the deaths and was able to account for each one.
    I think the hens just picked a bad hiding spot while avoiding the fight.
    Certainly whatever did it is wearing some battle wounds today - that rooster had some pretty impressive spurs!
  5. i am so very sorry for your loss! What a horrible thing to find. Is your yard fenced? Wondering how a dog could have gotten to them. i agree a trail cam is a good idea. When i set mine up outside at night i'm surprised to see what is moseying by.

    And i agree with you that chickens grieve. i have lost birds and then witnessed their friends looking for them for days, and saddened not to find them. Breaks your heart.

  6. Coop Deville

    Coop Deville Songster

    Mar 19, 2012
    I'm terribly sorry.
  7. CAjerseychick

    CAjerseychick Songster

    Jun 25, 2012
    Northern California!
    So sorry for your loss.
    Our beloved family dog has a real chicken predator streak ( so we fenced in an area for them-the chickens-- to range about in and the dogs are trained, and have stayed out of it) and the wounds you describe do sound like a dog attack. So, be warned the dog(s) will come back- either that one, or just another random loose one-- I just found out we have loose dogs at night (after 6 months in our new house) but our dogs stay out at night and so far have done a good job of warding them off...
  8. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I have 5ac, so no, not perimeter-fenced.
    Just the pastures - which would not keep a dog out, but my pony would probably take care of that.

    I am going to ask my neighbors who have dogs if their dogs have noticed anyhting - maybe barking at loose dogs?
    We all work days - only stay-at-home is kind of a tale-teller, but she also fancies herself unofficial overseer of my farm & keeps an eye on it.
    I'm sure if she had seen or heard anything she would have called or dropped over by now.

    Looks like my 4 survivors will have to get used to their fenced yard for a while.
  9. feather13

    feather13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2012
    southern california
    Really sorry for your loss. Hope you find out what happened for peace of mind and to prevent anything like that from happening again. Lost my first bird Monday night to a possum and it's traumatic!

  10. KnobbyOaks

    KnobbyOaks Chirping

    Sep 10, 2012
    Central Texas
    Sorry for your loss. Sounds like a kill for sport rather than for food. Good luck.

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