unidentified chicken killer Mojave Dessert

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by whitehead, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. whitehead

    whitehead New Egg

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    Dec 1, 2012
    This morning I noticed 2 of my best layers were missing. One was never found, not a feather or drop of blood anywhere. The second was laying on her side. I saw no bite marks or signs of struggle, but her intestine were hanging out of what looked like her hatch. She had recently died. There were a few feathers around her, and what seemed to be a small amount of thick bloody mucous. I keep my hens in a free range area fenced off from the area my dogs are in. Beside us and behind us are fenced yards with dogs. We live in the Mojave Desert, with lots of sand, but their area has several trees for shade and roosting. Their nesting boxes are kept against a small storage shed to protect from wind. I have not seen any predators, nor have I had any problems before. Do you have any idea what could have killed my chickens?
     
  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I am really not sure. That sounds really odd. I know chickens shed the lining of their intestines. Is it at all possible is this some sort of medical situation? No wounds is weird.

    Hopefully someone else will know more.
     
  3. starkiller8

    starkiller8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2012
    Elko, Nevada
    first i would like to know what kind of chickens you have. it could be a hawk or some kind of bird or do u have any ground creatures in the mojave if u do let me know and i may have a better idea.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  4. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    This actually sounds a lot like a fisher or marten, they love to go for the vent area and will sometimes take off with one or two birds and hide them for future eating. They can also be very small so as to slip through cracks that other predators can't get through. I think in Mojave you guys have kit foxes, ringtail cats, weasels... it could be a number of things, but it's sounding like a small rodent-type predator.
     
  5. starkiller8

    starkiller8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2012
    Elko, Nevada
    i would agree
     
  6. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Skunks and other chickens as well.
     
  7. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    x2 Didn't even think of other chickens, though it would be odd since one's missing.
     
  8. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Not really.

    When a chicken goes down it can't get away from other critters that might happen by and just pick up the bird and off they go with it.

    Usually when other chickens do the deed it is to the hind end and they have been known to pull out intestines in the process.
     

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