Three Chickens Gone Without a Trace..... theft?

Sep 13, 2020
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576
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Hello!

About a week ago I noticed three of my adult chickens gone from my yard. I thought maybe they were just hanging out in the bushes behind the fence and would be back at feeding time, but they weren't. Occasionally I would have one or two adventure seekers I would have to chase from the neighbors yard and clip their wings and they wouldn't get out again, but they haven't done that in over six months ever since I fixed the fence. My brother was home all day but the car wasn't in the driveway and he said he didn't hear a thing, and we all have one ear open for predators at all times. No noise, no bodies, no feathers. The chickens missing are; my rooster Noir who is known for being friendly and going up to people for attention, Hawk, my Dominique hen who is blind in one eye and always was a little sickly and likes to sleep by herself and one of my older EE hens. What could have happened? Could someone have gotten into my yard and taken my chickens? And are there any predators that are that sneaky and could take them silently without the rest of the flock being alerted?
 

All4Eggz

๐•๐•–๐•ค๐•ฆ๐•ค + โ„‚๐•™๐•š๐•”๐•œ๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•ค = ๐“๐“ต๐“ต ๐“˜ ๐“๐“ฎ๐“ฎ๐“ญ
Premium Feather Member
Apr 23, 2021
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Hawks and other birds of prey are capable to catch a bird without a trace.
I'm thinking it was a flock of hawks. Sometimes we have dozens of hawks circling above our chickens.

Were they shut in the chicken run the entire day?
If not, maybe they went a little too far and something got to them.

Is there any way for a hawk to get into your chicken run? If so, I believe that is the likeliest possibility.

Thefts are very rare, but do happen. The fact that your brother didn't hear a thing makes me think that it was not a theft made by humans.

I'm sorry for your losses. I hope you find out what got to them. โค๏ธ
 
Sep 13, 2020
220
576
151
Hawks and other birds of prey are capable to catch a bird without a trace.
I'm thinking it was a flock of hawks. Sometimes we have dozens of hawks circling above our chickens.

Were they shut in the chicken run the entire day?
If not, maybe they went a little too far and something got to them.

Is there any way for a hawk to get into your chicken run? If so, I believe that is the likeliest possibility.

Thefts are very rare, but do happen. The fact that your brother didn't hear a thing makes me think that it was not a theft made by humans.

I'm sorry for your losses. I hope you find out what got to them. โค๏ธ
Thanks so much for replying! They free range all day and I thought it was a little suspicious because the missing chickens aren't wanderers by heart. They mostly stay in the corral. It could be a flock of hawks but my peafowl make their blaring alarm honk when they see an aerial predator and I think my brother would have heard it. I've only seen one kestrel that hangs around my house catching mice but there's no way he would've killed and let alone taken three full grown chickens away.
 

All4Eggz

๐•๐•–๐•ค๐•ฆ๐•ค + โ„‚๐•™๐•š๐•”๐•œ๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•ค = ๐“๐“ต๐“ต ๐“˜ ๐“๐“ฎ๐“ฎ๐“ญ
Premium Feather Member
Apr 23, 2021
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Thanks so much for replying! They free range all day and I thought it was a little suspicious because the missing chickens aren't wanderers by heart. They mostly stay in the corral. It could be a flock of hawks but my peafowl make their blaring alarm honk when they see an aerial predator and I think my brother would have heard it. I've only seen one kestrel that hangs around my house catching mice but there's no way he would've killed and let alone taken three full grown chickens away.
You're very welcome. Happy to throw a few thoughts out there, even though they may not be very accurate.

I recently had a hen disappear also without a trace, I'm thinking it was a hawk or flying predator.
Mine also free range all day, some are a little less comfortable with the boundaries than others...

Sometimes, the chickens or in your case, the peafowl, don't have time to make any noise to warn the surrounding animals/humans. Sometimes hawks come out of nowhere, swoop down, and in an instant the chicken(s) is/are gone.
 

Birdsonghill

Songster
Feb 1, 2021
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West Tennessee
I have watched a fox that lives in my back pasture and creek area hunt and take ducks from my neighbors pond. They don't know what hit them and he/she drags them away to my property and then starts removing feathers and the rest of the remains are never found! Not a feather on the ground until the fox is comfortably hidden away in the back woods/fields. Then a pile of feathers and no more is found! I did find a fox den once, that was about a five foot diameter cavern dug into a hillside and comfortably lined with grasses, beyond the narrow entrance. The neighbors had no clue as to what had happened and blamed the disappearing ducks on hawks and another neighbors dogs, until I told them and showed them the pile of feathers just across the fence hidden from their view in the tall weeds and trees along the creek bed. The fox would get one every few days or so until they had none left! They fed the fox about 10 or 12 ducks last year! I witnessed two being taken! Rouen and Duclairs they said. Sad for them and the ducks but the foxes were fed well and they eat a lot of voles their most common food here, that can over run pastures/lawns in this area. The ducks must have an electrified fence to protect them from ground dwelling predators and a covered run to protect them from hawks and owls or they are wildlife meals in my area. I also have watched snapping turtles eating young ducklings while swimming on a pond. They just disappear like a fishing float grabbed by the legs from under the water never to reappear! I am not the only animal that enjoys ducks for a meal! Their ducks are easier meals than my chickens that are kept in a predator safe coop and run.
 

Birdsonghill

Songster
Feb 1, 2021
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West Tennessee
So sorry for your loss. About any predator could take a bird. If you have a camera put it up. If a predator got your birds it will be back and then you will know what your dealing with. I have several cameras up on my property an see predators roaming quite often. Good luck...
I often use trail cameras to monitor my gardens, gates and mushroom farming area. They are very helpful and helped me catch a teenage girl that was vandalizing my grandkids above ground pool, for some unknown reason, a few years back. I also have had the proof to show errant neighborhood dog owners their pet's roaming and attacks on my sheep and goats. ( retired from keeping the larger livestock a few years ago) A good video is invaluable in a legal proceeding. It can also be used to show your faults in keeping your livestock up properly confined and safely! Best wishes and I hope your remaining flock is safe!
 

Ursuline Chick

Chicken Outlaw
Premium Feather Member
Jul 21, 2017
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A while back one of my hens pictures appeared on next-door Neighbor. She was in the garden of a neighbor one street over, helping herself.
He put a BOLO out on her. I went and got her, apologized, offered to pay for any damages, which he kindly refused and we had a good laugh.
Another time one of my hens decided to go roost on a pile of brush in the service ally behind the houses and we had to search for her with flash lights.
Perhaps your hens have decided to go for a stroll and will return tomorrow.
I hope they do!
 

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