Vanishing chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Bteeg, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Bteeg

    Bteeg In the Brooder

    43
    23
    44
    Mar 22, 2017
    Kentucky
    Yesterday 4 hens went missing. One was full grown and the other three were slightly smaller. They went missing in the middle of the day. My husband and I have searched high and low on our property, neighboring property, even in creeks along the road and nothing. Not one single sign of struggle. No blood or feathers. I'm so stumped and at a loss of what to do. I was hoping if they wandered off they would have came back today. Opinions?
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Crowing

    5,601
    2,610
    407
    Jul 19, 2015
    Coastal Bend, TX
    It's hard to say but since you are rural my guess is a predator. Sometimes signs are left, sometimes not.
     
  3. Bteeg

    Bteeg In the Brooder

    43
    23
    44
    Mar 22, 2017
    Kentucky
    I was afraid of that. Do coyotes usually carry off their kill? A neighbor a couple houses down from me said she saw a wolf/dog type animal going into the woods by my house, she also said yesterday was the first time she had seen anything like that in our area. I'm assuming it was a coyote because wolves around here are not very common at all.
     
  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Crowing

    5,601
    2,610
    407
    Jul 19, 2015
    Coastal Bend, TX
    We don't have coyotes here, so I can't say for sure, but foxes do and I would assume coyotes do, too. Coyotes are pack animals, too, which could explain so many going missing all at once.

    We usually think most of these predators are out at night, or at least close to dusk and dawn, but I find that time of day really doesn't matter and doesn't correlate to illness in most cases, especially if there has been bad weather or something else (or just bad luck) contributing to a bad hunt the night before.
     
    tim daley and sourland like this.
  5. Bteeg

    Bteeg In the Brooder

    43
    23
    44
    Mar 22, 2017
    Kentucky
    I didn't even think of foxes, but yeah 4 at one time would be a little extreme for a fox. While my neighbor has never seen coyotes around here, I have during the colder months so it not at all surprising, but like you said, I would assume they would strike at night not in broad daylight.
     
  6. MyISAbrownhens

    MyISAbrownhens Songster

    162
    319
    132
    May 23, 2017
    Virginia
    Have you considered it to be foxes? We had a fox get two of our hens a couple months back, we saw no sign of something taking them. A few weeks later we saw a chicken foot sticking out of the ground. The fox had just burried what remained of them. But it is possible they wandered away and decided to stay the night outside the coop.
     
    tim daley likes this.
  7. Poultrybreeder

    Poultrybreeder Crowing

    1,498
    1,602
    262
    Apr 21, 2017
    New Mexico
    Do you think someone could have stolen them, I mean yeah, it is most likely a predator, but just a thought.
     
    SunHwaKwon likes this.
  8. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Crowing

    5,601
    2,610
    407
    Jul 19, 2015
    Coastal Bend, TX
    I have lost multiple birds at once to a fox but usually it is when they have babies back at the den or are teaching them to hunt.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  9. Bteeg

    Bteeg In the Brooder

    43
    23
    44
    Mar 22, 2017
    Kentucky
    yikes! That's pretty brutal. Yeah I never thought about foxes until someone else mentioned it. I've been watching for them all day and went looking around again and there is no sign of them anywhere.
     
  10. Bteeg

    Bteeg In the Brooder

    43
    23
    44
    Mar 22, 2017
    Kentucky
    Thought about that but unless someone jumped our fence, there's no way into our backyard and the ones that are missing are my most skittish chickens and they were basically impossible for me to ever catch but who knows.
     
    SunHwaKwon likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: