What is killing my chickens?!?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by perfectly_polish, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. perfectly_polish

    perfectly_polish Crowing

    Mar 1, 2007
    All my birds are free range except for a few of my show birds. I have never had a problem with predators except for my neighbors rotweiler last summer, but I moved to a new location for more room. So anyway, I have noticed a lot of my birds just disappering, no feathers or anything. I had 12 chicks about 8 weeks old, I put them outside and they started to venture out on their own, they were fine for weeks and weeks, I always counted them and made sure they were all in the barn before I locked them up, so one morning I go out there and discover there are only 4 chicks, I figure maybe the others are just in the woods and they'll be back, but they never did. 2 weeks go by and another one is missing so now I'm down to 3 chicks left. No feathers or any other evidence of something grabbing them, I don't have a problem with hawks because my blue heeler pretty much keeps them away and she also sleeps outside or in the barn for protection to the chickens and sheep. Another killing that happened that I just cannot figure out is when I found one of my favorite hens with half of her head missing, looked like a perfect cut right down the middle. No feathers around and the rest of body and the other side of her head weren't touched she was just laying there dead. I thought maybe someone had shot her but I was outside one minute watching her strut her stuff, I go inside for about an hour and she's dead. I didn't hear any gun shots and the dogs weren't barking. I went inside to get the camera to take pictures of it, so maybe people could figure out what happened, but when I went back outside her body was gone, weird huh? I also have a Buff Laced Polish Rooster that went missing one, he's was my best one too. Sometimes at night he would roost high up in a tree and I never really had to worry about him, he was always there the next morning and if something did try to get him he would just fly down into the dog kennel below and run inside with the dogs, he was a smart little guy. Well I come out the next morning and he can't be found, I walk in the woods a little and see a few of his feathers, so I knew he was gone. Now my question is what is taking my birds, sometimes right in the day light, and how can 8 chicks just up and disappear all at once. Any ideas?
  2. herechickchick

    herechickchick Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    How old are the chicks? It can be many things but usually when no evidence of a struggle and no remains are found it is usually a good indication of a fox. But like I said it could be a different predator. I am sue someone else will chime in with better info for you. I am sorry for your losses.

    Good Luck.
  3. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Could be anything from racoons, possums, minks, weasles, feral cats, bob cats, coyotes, owls, snakes could be getting the chicks....etc... Where about do you reside (helps us narrow down the predator possiblities)? Have you noticed any predetors around, seen any tracks? What time of day are the attacks happening? Dogs won't always notice the smaller rodents coming around.
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Alien abduction.
  5. perfectly_polish

    perfectly_polish Crowing

    Mar 1, 2007
    Quote:I live in south eastern Connecticut, Montville, I have never noticed any predators except for the occasional hawk. There is one stray cat around but I feed him and I've seen him with the chickens, actually he's more afraid of the chickens, then they are of him. I have 4 cats my self but they grew up with the chickens and don't really bother them. The Buff Laced Polish was probably killed late at night or early in the morning, the chicks were probably taken during the night unless something got them after I let them out of the barn, and the hen that got her head cut in half was right in broad daylight.
  6. perfectly_polish

    perfectly_polish Crowing

    Mar 1, 2007
    Quote:When I put the chicks outside they were about 8 weeks old, when they disappeared, around 12ish. Now the older ones are about 3 1/2-4 months old.

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