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UTTER TRAGEDY

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Nbird, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. Nbird

    Nbird Out Of The Brooder

    [​IMG]I am at such a loss! We had 12 adults and 17 teenage (15 week old) chickens. Thursday I got home about 4:30 pm. I found one of my two "head roosters" dead (no marks) and two teen-chicks (also, no marks) lying dead in different parts of the yard. The other Head Rooster and all but 4 hens are GONE! I walked through the wooded acreage of our property (25 acres) and did not find them! Over 22 chickens! That is a lot of chickens to completely disappear! I am completely mystified and broken up about it! Have you ever heard of such a thing? It gets worse. I let the remaining chickens and two roosters out yesterday to crow and hopefully call some missing in, but now more have dissappeared! Only one rooster and four hens left! No more bodies. It's like they were transported to the home planet! Could they be silently hiding somewhere on my property? Will they come back? Can you give me any hope? I love my chickens and can't imagine not having any around, but what could do this? If I order more chicks this year, am I crazy? Are there any other chicken people who might help me? I just feel completely at a loss.
     
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    I am SO sorry for your loss.[​IMG] You have suffered a devastating loss. It is possible that your birds are "in hiding." Did you see any footprints or anything to clue you in to how this might have happened? What type of preditors do you have? Is it possible that this could be vandalism? Again, I am SO sorry. And, yes, get you some more. It will help you fill that hole in your heart. YOu can "replace" your special birds but you can get some more to keep the others company (eventually) and help your heart heal.
     
  3. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    Hi,
    Trying to brainstorm this...
    Did you have the older birds for long? And, did they all have a regular routine of free-ranging, or was that a fairly new activity?

    I would guess that if they were new to free ranging, that if they saw something kill your other birds that they would have run away in fear and forgotten where home is.

    The second thought is, if they were familiar with their routine and where home is, that you may have a dog stopping by to "shop" for chickens. Once they learn where any easy meal is they will come back again and again. They will usually grab and kill (internal damage) the chickens, and enjoy the hunt (prey drive).
     
  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    [​IMG]

    How sad. I'm so sorry....

    Were there any tracks around? Any holes in the run wire? Sounds like it could have been theives stealing your birds or maybe a dog. Though with a dog, or pack of dogs, some would have escaped into the woods and come home to roost. I assume you were gone during the second incident. Yes, I think someone has stolen your flock. Unfortunately, it happens. If you get more chicks you might think about keeping them under lock and key whenever you're not home. But only survelence and putting more birds out there will tell you who the culprit is.
     
  5. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    PS: And, I am very sorry you lost your birds [​IMG]. I went through a similar thing-it was a dog. It took me a few weeks to even think about wanting to replace my chickens (I got a bit sick to my stomach remembering the dead and missing ones), but I recently got some more eggs to incubate and am grieving a little less each day by concentrating on the new batch.

    Best wishes
     
  6. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    I found one of my two "head roosters" dead (no marks) and two teen-chicks (also, no marks) lying dead in different parts of the yard.

    Hi Beckyla,
    It seems more to me of a predator type because of the dead ones. It could be vandals, but I would be a bit confused as to why they would kill some (without marks) and leave them. I guess it could be some delinquent youths stirring up trouble.​
     
  7. Nbird

    Nbird Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks, all, for your commiseration and help. This was a well established flock of 12 adults (4 roosters) and the new flock of teenagers (15 weeks) I had 2roosters and 5or 6 hens the day after the big tragedy. Then more disappeared. Yesterday I had 1 rooster and 4 hens. That's what I still have today.
    I have a german shepherd. He was in the garage when it happened, in his crate, because it was supposed to thunderstorm, and he has "issues" with that. He isn't a guard dog, but he takes no notice of the chickens. They all walk right around him. No tracks were left, that I could find, but its mostly woods and grass, not much mud or dirt to look in. We live in very rural area. No neighbor dogs. thieves would not have been able to round up the chickens! I still hold out a tiny hope that they might be out there somewhere, but you would think I would be able to see them up in trees, or at least hear them, wouldn't you? How far away could they go? Some people I have talked to here think it was coyotes. Some say dogs, for sure. Some say absolutely racoons! Even if one of those took off with a few - Where did the rest all go? It's driving me mad. I am thinking of getting an Anatolian Shepherd Dog to guard the future birds. And a wildlife camera for night shots. And traps. And a bigger gun. And a llama, just for good measure.
     
  8. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    May 17, 2007
    I'm sorry, but I am sure you have a chicken thief in the neighborhood. They killed the mean rooster that was too tough to eat and they took the productive laying hens. A predator would have left blood and feathers everywhere. No predator could make off with 22 chickens, it was someone with a cage and a leg hook. Don't trust your neighbors. If they would steal chickens, they will steal anything. Sorry about your loss, but you are just lucky it was chickens this time, and not your life or the life of a family member. Get a big dog and buy some guns.

    Rufus
     
  9. Nbird

    Nbird Out Of The Brooder

    As you say, if they steal chickens, they'll steal anything. Well, if it was human thieves (which I just KNOW it wasn't) they could've stolen a heckuva lot more than a bunch of birds that could fly up into trees, or run into the heavy buckthorn that people cannot get through without a chainsaw. Computers, tv, stereo, vehicles, tools, etc. Nope, not thieves.
     
  10. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    fwf- I thought it was thieves for many of the same reasons Rufus did. The biggest reason is that 22 birds are missing. With that many birds I'd think if it was preditors, like a pack of coyotes, some would have flown off and come back by now.

    Nbird, you know your area better than anyone. If you say it couldn't be human thieves then I believe you. But it sure is a mystery. Some should have come home by now. I believe the only way you'll ever know would be to set up a camera system that continually records to your computer and let it run all the time. Then get more birds, put them out, and see what happens when you're not there. I sure hope you get it figured out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2007

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