What is eating my chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jenicasam, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. jenicasam

    jenicasam New Egg

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    Sep 19, 2016
    Briercrest, SK Canada
    Hello there. I just recently got 10 leghorns and they love to free range. Since Sunday I've lost 4 of my girls. The first one I noticed didn't come to the coop at night and I figured she'd be back by morning but wasn't. My boyfriend found feathers but no blood out in the pasture. I let the girls out again today at 2 pm and went back outside at 5 pm and could see 3 piles of white feathers. No blood or bodies. We have seen 2 hawks, 2 owls, and a fox in the yard lately. Not sure which one is going after them. I'd really like to find out and figure out the best way to deal with predators. Also wondering why they go after the leghorns and not my other hens?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  2. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    White chickens are easiest to see. Also the most skittish which usually adds the fun to the chase. I would say with blood and feather piles you are dealing with a fox, coyote, or a dog. Hawks and owls usually pack the bird off or leave you the head and take the body. Fox usually don't come out in daylight but if they are hungry enough they will. Coyote are mainly night hunters also unless they are hungry. Dogs usually kill for sport unless they are starving. So you will have a dead, unbeaten chicken.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    Since you have seen predators in your yard, you may want to consider keeping your chickens in a secure run for a while or you may not have any left to worry about...
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Lock them in....I totally think Fox....They are learning your routine and will be back for the rest.....
    I have a Fox problem also...Killed the Male last fall...Female is still here...

    Cheers!
     
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    You can kill as many as you like & you will still have foxes. Nephew legally trapped 5 last year & we have many more this year.
     
  6. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just curious what kind of trap he used? Foxes around here seem very able to avoid the trap. [​IMG]
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    I would like to know also......My Husband shot the male...We tried trapping also....only caught my cat....Can not set snare traps to many pets around...

    Cheers!
     
  8. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    He used some sort of leg traps, something that is legal in PA. He also had a trapping license of course. I think the season opens this weekend here. Good luck. I heard it's hard to catch them In live traps. Shooting is getting dicey around here because of development.
     
  9. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For live trapping a fox, but bait I've seen used is a live bird. It could even be one of your birds......a young chick, extra rooster, etc. It may not like being in there, but should not be harmed. Bird is placed in a cage of some type that is adjacent to, but not in, the live trap. It could even be a second live trap. Sides of both are then covered by a tarp, blanket, etc. As for the bait bird, fox can see it, hear it, smell it, but the only way possible for it to get to it is to enter and go down the tunnel that is the live trap. It makes an attack rush, hits the end and trap closes.

    Dispatch that one and go again.

    On snares, they also make them with safety stops that snare, but do not kill the animal. Snare loop will only close so far.

    But in either case, trapping is a short term solution to a long term problem. Long term solution is to widen the perimeter safe zone with an electric fence.
     

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