What killed my chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jelmer, May 9, 2009.

  1. jelmer

    jelmer Out Of The Brooder

    88
    2
    31
    May 9, 2009
    My chickens have a coop but roam through the garden during the day one day I came home and my rooster was gone no feathers around or nothing my 4 other chickens were stil there few days later one of my hens had disapeared.

    I do not know if this hapened during the day or at night both cases there were no feathers around I do not know what hapened to them and it could only be a matter of time before another one is gone please tell me what I should do or what may of killed them
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    151
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    You are going to have to lock them up or you will lose more.

    If it were here in Phoenix, you wouldn't be able to rule out 2 legged predators.
     
  3. Jennie5193

    Jennie5193 Chillin' With My Peeps

    172
    0
    119
    Mar 2, 2009
    South East TN
    [​IMG]

    I just wish your welcome didn't have to be here... about this. [​IMG]

    I'm sorry to hear about your chickens. I'm not sure, but it sounds like something from the air is getting them. Maybe an owl or other large bird of prey. Maybe you could keep a look-out or find a way to keep them contained before your flock is completely gone.

    Is there any way you could set out a trap and see if there is something carrying them away after they make the kill?

    Good luck.
     
  4. jelmer

    jelmer Out Of The Brooder

    88
    2
    31
    May 9, 2009
    I have seen hawks fly about our paddocks and I have started locking them up at night but would a hawk realy fly of with a rooster its own size?
     
  5. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

    660
    2
    141
    Aug 28, 2008
    Jackson Hole
    So sorry you're losing chickens! Whatever is taking them now considers your flock a food source, so you need to lock your remaining birds in a coop when you aren't home AND outside with them, of you will eventually lose every one of them. It could be a bird of prey, it could be a fox or coyote. I had a hen taken last month by a fox, and no feathers were left behind (we found the den and a few of her feathers there) I have heard about organizations that will live trap and relocate foxes or coyotes, but not sure how to find them - perhaps through your local Ag extension office.

    I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this. It's heartbreaking to lose chickens this way.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  6. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,607
    23
    201
    Apr 10, 2009
    Rowan County, NC
    I vote hawk. Some species, like Red-tails, can get quite large. Cooper's hawks as well - after all, they ain't called chicken hawks for nothing! I would say a dog, but ususally they like to play with their food before taking it off to eat it (if they even eat it at all). It's usually the hawks and other birds of prey who carry off the birds with little to no trace at all.
     
  7. jelmer

    jelmer Out Of The Brooder

    88
    2
    31
    May 9, 2009
    we dont have any foxes or coyotes around here I know that for sure.

    will a predatory animal attack if we get more chickens and would roosters protect the hens
     
  8. Jennie5193

    Jennie5193 Chillin' With My Peeps

    172
    0
    119
    Mar 2, 2009
    South East TN
    I agree with the other posts. There is something out there that sees your chickens as an all-you-can-eat-buffet. You're going to need to keep your chickens in a secure area unless you're able to supervise them.

    Roosters would help to protect the flock, but unless you want to feed the hawks your chickens and your roosters, they need a covered run.

    My parents had chickens when I was little. Out of an original flock of more than 40 they had none less than a year later. There was a pair of nesting hawks nearby that picked 'em off one by one. My dad was too stubborn to put a cover on the run and eventually they didn't have chickens anymore.

    I'd probably try to find out what was getting the chickens *and* have a secure area for them before I got any more. Even though some people see them as "just chickens" they still need to protected as they are an investment.
     
  9. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I learned the hard way by loosing some of my chickens...I now keep my chickens locked up tight. I have lost some at night and day so I do not allow my chickens to free range without my supervison.
     
  10. countrybum

    countrybum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2008
    area pop. 96
    I learned the hard way and it sounds like a dog, a coyote or a fox, especially if there are no feathers. If they were banties, or young I would say it could be the hawk, but not if it is a full grown Roo or hen. I have had the hawks take little ones though.

    Good luck. leave them in for a few days and watch. Whatever it is will come looking.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by