Trouble in Paradise ...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Pupsnpullets, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Pupsnpullets

    Pupsnpullets Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,076
    11
    193
    Mar 9, 2008
    SoCal desert
    It's a gorgeous balmy day here so I let my girls out for some r & r around noon. They hadn't been out for a few days so it was time. I saw them wandering around the lawn and a few minutes later I had to go outside for something and there was a blanket of white feathers across the lawn!! I didn't hear anything, didn't see anything and even the dogs hadn't alerted me. On closer inspection I think the feathers belong to the rooster, but there isn't a body, or even a trail to feathers going in a particular direction. I've walked the whole property and found 2 chooks but there are 2 more unaccounted for, excluding the rooster who is either bald or gone. Sigh .....

    I'm not going to panic too much until evening when, fingers crossed, the others come out of hiding, which, hopefully, is where they are. What do you think got them? The rooster was huge - maybe 10lbs live weight, which I would have thought was too big for a hawk. Foxes perhaps? Do they hunt in the day? I don't think it was a coyote as my dogs weren't stimulated by the smell of the remaining feathers. They had finally all started laying again, dang it. Poor girls and poor old rooster.
     
  2. This summer I had what I believe to have been a fox carry off a full grown Buff Orpington in the middle of the day, leaving nothing but piles of perfectly beautiful golden feathers... I never found a body, blood, nothing. My neighbor down the road lost his entire flock twice in 2008 due to foxes and many in broad daylight so that's the only thing I can suspect. Though we have hawks around here too.
     
  3. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,305
    16
    221
    Apr 29, 2007
    Ohio
    Probably a fox. I'm from Northeast Ohio and with 15 inches of snow on the ground and temps that are going to be dipping into the single digits, foxes get cold...... and hungry. So they tend to be seen more in the daylight hours this time of year.

    I did however have a problem with a fox taking chickens in the day a few years back. I ended up sitting out with a .22 and a rabbit call one rainy morning. I called him in and one shot did the deed, sometimes when they get a taste they will keep coming back until they are gone, no matter what time of day.

    The one I had was smart, he knew the birds were penned up at night. He knew his best chance was to get the birds in the morning when daylight was low but the birds were active.

    What a coulple of hours to let the birds out in the morning as this will throw the fox's schedule off a bit.

    More than likely a fox if you have feathers scattered everywhere. Hawks are more precise, usually they will leave the carcass behind if the animal is too big to carry off.

    Good luck. Given your area, I doubt you could use a gun? But if you could look into it, or even some traps.
     
  4. Pupsnpullets

    Pupsnpullets Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,076
    11
    193
    Mar 9, 2008
    SoCal desert
    Quote:Yes, I'm thinking fox, too, as I've been seeing weird poop around the place. Whatever is doing the pooping has been eating olives from the tree??? Is that something a fox would do? Are they more ominivore than straight carnivore?

    My 2 other pullets showed up so it seems only the poor old rooster bought it. He was about 7 years old and quite the gentleman.
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Whatever is doing the pooping has been eating olives from the tree??? Is that something a fox would do? Are they more ominivore than straight carnivore?

    Foxes will eat most anything. The droppings you described could also be raccoons.​
     
  6. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Sounds like a fox or bobcat. My friend who lives maybe 10 miles away never knew she had bobcats here until she saw the male, during the day attack and carry off a bird leaving a long trail of feathers.
     
  7. FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    600
    0
    129
    Jul 30, 2008
    North Carolina
    wow that just stinks having a mystery like that....feathers and nothing else around!

    now that "whatever" it was knows your area is a restaurant, be careful.

    Ugh, chickens are sure prey animals...everything is out to eat them....LOL
     
  8. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

    843
    4
    141
    Nov 12, 2008
    desert of calif
    FOX will hunt anytime...
    cototes and bobcts ususally are night time hunters but WILL hunt in the day if they are hungry..
    all 3 of these usually will snatch and grab,, and only a few feathers will remain..
    coyotes and fox will eat strange things like olives, fruit , berries and other animals scat..

    sorry and goodluck
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by