1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by anne23, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. anne23

    anne23 Just Hatched

    14
    1
    14
    May 22, 2016
    So approximately four days ago I commented we were short a chicken. Looked briefly around but didn't see it. In the past, I would see the chickens next feeding since some of my girls lay in the afternoon. I have thrown a stink before only to have the chicken show up later on. Significant other feeds the chickens the next few days and he never can remember how many we have or what types.


    Well, yesterday I found the missing one dead because I was short. I make him deal with the corpse and he thinks it may have been ill because thought I made a comment a few weeks ago I thought one was ill. I did not as far as I can remember. Head ripped off but he thought it went over to the fence, died, and something found it afterwards and ripped its head off.


    Well, today, one of the white ones is dead and a brown one is missing although there is a small explosion of brown feathers in the yard. The white one is in the coop dead and I can't bear to look at it so I don't know what killed it. It appeared healthy yesterday.


    I was thinking a hawk may be attacking them due to the explosion of feathers. We have been lax about locking the chickens since I work 11-11 and he will sleep at friends' when I am not home. I have seen hawks in the field previously.


    Last year we had our ducks killed because they wouldn't sleep in the coop. We caught the raccoon. We also thought around this time a hawk killed our silkie rooster. I came home from a trip and thought I had heard him crowing/singing. Later on, I come out to a massive explosion of feathers and he is dead under a bush. Significant other thinks it was a possum or raccoon but I an sure I heard him earlier.
     
  2. TomGallopavo

    TomGallopavo Chillin' With My Peeps

    105
    6
    103
    Apr 12, 2011
    Hillbillyville, MO
    I agree, hawk.
     
  3. anne23

    anne23 Just Hatched

    14
    1
    14
    May 22, 2016
    Update...


    Found the chicken that was missing and hear was gone but the front was torn up like claws. Significant other thinks it was a hawk. Something weird is going on with chickens as in 2 chickens and 1 rooster chose not to sleep in coop but in the shed with the donkeys. Tomorrow I am going to move them back into the coop if they do it again. Last week they all were in the coop since we had the donkey hooves trimmed at around 9:30 pm (chickens and all roosters were in the coop).
     
  4. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,542
    478
    159
    Dec 15, 2014
    Massachusetts
    I've only had 1 loss to a predator and I know it was a hawk. There was a big "poof" of feathers in a pile. The hen was about 2 feet from the pile. Her neck was severed and her breast was torn up and mostly eaten.

    We have other predators in the area too, but the yard is surrounded by 5 foot wire fencing and my 3 dogs are out frequently during the day. The kill happened in the middle of the day. It is unlikely it was anything other than a hawk.

    There is usually some hawk activity around me but for the next couple of days I was seeing that hawk everywhere, as were my resident crows.
     
  5. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    773
    69
    114
    Feb 26, 2015
  6. anne23

    anne23 Just Hatched

    14
    1
    14
    May 22, 2016
    Thanks. I'll take a look. My significant other swears we had all three roosters and our neighbor called and said he found a dead chicken under our fence. Head torn off. It was our rooster. So it happened between 10 am nd 3 pm
     
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry for your losses. [​IMG]

    Hawks don't rip off heads!

    And there may be something attacking in the coop, why they won't go in there.

    Thinking more along the lines of raccoon. I think great horned owls hunt during the day time also. There is one arial predator that specifically eats the breast meat on site but can't remember which one.
     
  8. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,542
    478
    159
    Dec 15, 2014
    Massachusetts

    Don't be so sure.

     
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Nice video. I have worked with birds of prey and they are quite amazing creatures!

    I guess that's not how I pictured it....

    But raccoons have been known to reach through fences and rip head off.
    And I guess, reading back.... I wouldn't think a hawk would leave the chicken under the fence.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by