TWO BANTAMS GONE WITHOUT A TRACE: Suggestions as to Culprits?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Gresh, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    Hey, fellow chicken owners,

    I've got a situation on my hands. In the last month or so, I have lost two bantams--a d'Uccle hen and a OEG rooster--with absolutely no trace left behind.

    We live on 28 acres and our house is in a clearing surrounding by woods. However, the clearing we are on covers about an acre, and for months now our free-range chickens have stayed in the clearing close to the house. The days that these bantams disappeared, we checked the woods near the clearing and found no feathers or bodily remains. We searched our yards (which are fairly large and open) and we found no signs of their bodies...not even a feather to speak of. We lock the coop at night, but these bantams disappeared before "lock-up" time.

    The only predator we've dealt with recently is a hawk (one of our bantam roosters was attacked and almost killed by one, and the very d'Uccle hen I've spoken of was nearly killed by a Redtail), but having witnessed an unsuccessful hawk attack before, I imagine there would have been plenty of feathers left behind even if the hawk carried the bantams away. We have had one possum visit, but it was a lethargic animal that seemed sickly, and it was not near our chickens when we found it and put it out of its apparent misery.

    My question is this: what animal would be such a brilliant killer that it would leave no traces of its struggle--as I said, not even a feather--and would carry off its prey without dropping something behind? Could a fox be so skillful? We have had two foxes on our property before, but they disappeared about two years ago. Could a raccoon be so skillful? I have heard that they are ruthless killers that go somewhat into a frenzy and become very messy with their prey, but they are also clever animals.

    We live in an area that is not exactly rural, but nonetheless I wonder if it was a chicken thief. Both of these bantams would have made great pets (they were to my family and I), and the only motive I can think of would be that someone took them for pet purposes.

    Can anyone help me with suggestions? Is a chicken thief too far-fetched?

    God bless,
     
  2. sarasweatman

    sarasweatman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2012
    I have lost two chickens. Both times not a feather left behind. I believe one was a hawk and one was a fox. I think raccoons would leave a mess behind.
     
  3. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2012
    North Dakota
    i have never had hawks before. racoons have left a bloody mess with my killed ducks and chickens. with foxes i found feather about 100 yards south of my place in the open. with weasels i found a head laying around.
     
  4. Chicago chick

    Chicago chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2013
    Hobart, Indiana
    As I was just beginning to read your post I thought to say"check your neighbors yard!"
    When I lived in Chicago we were the only family in the neighborhood who had chickens (bantams) so when two went missing we put the word out & recovered them about four blocks away..neighborhood kids!
     
  5. mustang56

    mustang56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2012
    Is a chicken thief too far-fetched? Nope, I think that's very possible...!
     
  6. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 2, 2012
    Michigan
    Deffinitly not a raccoon. Two of my hens were killed by a coon in spring of 2012. It left a horrible mess behind... :(
     
  7. Campine

    Campine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2012
    I've had the same thing happen ,even with a large 10+ lb. rooster, my conclusion is coyotes.
     
  8. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2012
    Try putting up a game camera and catch the predator in action. Sorry about your chickens.
     
  9. melaniew

    melaniew Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2013
    clinton, wi
    Hey, fellow chicken owners,

    I've got a situation on my hands. In the last month or so, I have lost two bantams--a d'Uccle hen and a OEG rooster--with absolutely no trace left behind.

    We live on 28 acres and our house is in a clearing surrounding by woods. However, the clearing we are on covers about an acre, and for months now our free-range chickens have stayed in the clearing close to the house. The days that these bantams disappeared, we checked the woods near the clearing and found no feathers or bodily remains. We searched our yards (which are fairly large and open) and we found no signs of their bodies...not even a feather to speak of. We lock the coop at night, but these bantams disappeared before "lock-up" time.

    The only predator we've dealt with recently is a hawk (one of our bantam roosters was attacked and almost killed by one, and the very d'Uccle hen I've spoken of was nearly killed by a Redtail), but having witnessed an unsuccessful hawk attack before, I imagine there would have been plenty of feathers left behind even if the hawk carried the bantams away. We have had one possum visit, but it was a lethargic animal that seemed sickly, and it was not near our chickens when we found it and put it out of its apparent misery.

    My question is this: what animal would be such a brilliant killer that it would leave no traces of its struggle--as I said, not even a feather--and would carry off its prey without dropping something behind? Could a fox be so skillful? We have had two foxes on our property before, but they disappeared about two years ago. Could a raccoon be so skillful? I have heard that they are ruthless killers that go somewhat into a frenzy and become very messy with their prey, but they are also clever animals.

    We live in an area that is not exactly rural, but nonetheless I wonder if it was a chicken thief. Both of these bantams would have made great pets (they were to my family and I), and the only motive I can think of would be that someone took them for pet purposes.

    Can anyone help me with suggestions? Is a chicken thief too far-fetched?

    God bless. I guarantee you that possums did it I've had this happen before in all you will find will be the bones from the carcass leftover they can also hide in really small spots
     
  10. luvmychixandducks

    luvmychixandducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2010
    Danvers, Massachusetts
    Coyotes x 2 !
    Lost ducks the same way- the 'yotes grab and run- do the killing in a safer place near their den.
    My neighbors house across the street abuts the swamp where the 'yotes den up - and a few feathers from the uninterrupted dining were all I found of my muscovy hen - and those were on the edge of the swamp where the 'yote felt completely safe ..
    I think she was killed and carried further into the swamp to be enjoyed later.
     

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