What killed my chicken?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Englewood, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. Englewood

    Englewood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2011
    I came home to find that my 16 week old bantam pullet (that I hatched) was missing. All that I found of her was a pile of feathers, part of the skull, and some entrails. This happened in during the day. I keep my chickens in the back yard, so fenced in. I could not find any other evidence around the yard. What kind of predator would make this kind of kill? I am thinking hawk or cat since there was not much left other than feathers. This happened in my asparagus patch.
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  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Very sorry for your losses. Many predators leave nothing but feathers and minor parts. You don't say where you live, but it could be fox, bobcat, coyote, hawks to name a few. Foxes and bobcats can jump fences, up to 6' or more. I had a bobcat coming around a couple of years ago, and he did a number on my flock. Was driving home from work one day, and came across a bobcat dead in the road, hit by a car. The attacks stopped, so I know it was him.
     
  3. Englewood

    Englewood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2011
    I live in central Missouri. Only one chicken was killed, but it was also the smallest of the flock.
     
  4. smarsh

    smarsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    most likely day time predators are pets and hawks. Not a hawk if there were no bones, not a cat if there were no bones. most animals big enough to carry it off would, and maybe did since there was no bones. ?
     
  5. thechxwhisperer

    thechxwhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2014
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    We have had 3 birds killed in the middle of the day. All of them were small. Feathers were EVERYWHERE. For one hen we found the legs and wings. We are 100% sure it is a Bobcat.[​IMG]
     
  6. Englewood

    Englewood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2011
    I have never heard of a bobcat around here, but it could be. We live in a pretty open area with a fairly busy road 30 fl from the house. It would have to be pretty brave to come up to the house and jump a 4 ft fence, a majority of which has electric at the top. If it wasn't a cat or hawk, I don't know of anything else that could get over the fence and would kill only one bird out of 12.
     
  7. LR Gamefarm

    LR Gamefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2012
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    I had a bird get killed awhile back and the only thing left were feathers and his leg that was attached to his tiecord such was attached to a barrel at first I thought coyote as I live in an area that has allot of them so I did some thinking and a few days later I lost another well the next time I caught the culprit in the act and she would've gotten a bullet if it wasn't my neighbors dog :/ so I have came up with a solution to this problem keep everything penned up and stay home whenever she comes back to get another one she's gonna meet one of my pit bulls I do not condone dogs fighting but it's my last ditch effort unless I want to put a bullet in her she's an old dog so she doesn't have many yrs left I have told my neighbor and he still does nothing about it so letting one of my dogs whoop up on her should teach her to stay the heck out of my yard (I do not reccomend doing it unless you have a well trained dog)
     
  8. mickiemack

    mickiemack New Egg

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    Feb 22, 2014
    Have heard that skunks and weasels can slither under just about anything. And they are night predators. I have had a fox climb the fence to get into the yard. Couldn't believe it when I saw it happening. Leaving my dogs out during the day has solved this problem. But foxes come out around dusk. So make sure the chicks are closed up in coop as soon as they go in. Hawks are out day and night. Nothing is safe from them unless they are under something that will impede the hawks wings. They can get into even a tiny slit, but require space to get airborne. So overhead netting is a deterrant for an open pen. Not sure about the electric fence, would need it both on the ground area and the top of the fence.

    My brother's coop has a drop floor to allow his chicks to go in and out in their pen. This did not keep the predator (which he believes was a weasel) out of the coop. Even with the floor latched for the night, the creature was still able to get under the chicken wire fence and pry himself up under the floor into the roost area. All that was left were the legs and wing of one of the hens. Two others were completely gone. Perhaps there was more than one invader. He has set up wire type traps around the coop hoping to lure them with eggs or meat. He has caught a couple of snakes in the process AND his new puppy. ha ha Still no concrete evidence of what ate his chickens.
     
  9. smarsh

    smarsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    weasels standardly do not eat that much of the chicken. It has been my experience with minks (same thing only bigger) that they kill several at once and eat the heads off (of all things). They will drag them off when possible.
     
  10. bhopkins224

    bhopkins224 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 23, 2014
    spokane, Washington
    I had two of my babies lost in one night and found a third two days later. We had recently built a house for them and they were sleeping in it at night. They had been out for the entire summer and nothing bothered them when they were out. I found all three missing their heads and their bellies ripped out. I live in town and had only four ladies. I think they were drug out of their home, but I have it completely secured at night now. Is there a possibility that it was a cat or racoon?
     

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