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What killed my chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JessicaE, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. JessicaE

    JessicaE New Egg

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    Aug 16, 2014
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    Hello,

    I am new to chicken owning and had a small flock of four near-grown RI Red hens and two 10-week-old chicks (a barred rock and a brahma). They have roamed happily around our large yard all spring and summer with no issues. Two days ago, we found one of the reds dead on the lawn, with piles of feathers scattered in different places around the lawn. Another red and the barred rock chick are missing and we presume dead. Two of the reds and the brahma are OK.

    Our suspects are either hawks or a cat. We saw a hawk circling overhead the week before and assumed they killed the chickens. Then today we found a very large and friendly male cat hanging around the woods in our backyard (no collar--don't know who it belongs to).

    Based on this evidence, which do you think was the culprit? Would hawks carry away chickens' bodies? Would one hawk attack result in the death of three chickens? Or was it more likely the cat?

    Thanks in advance for any help solving this mystery!

    Jessica
     
  2. WthrLady

    WthrLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The cat.
     
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cats don't normally kill full grown chickens. They will get chicks sometimes. They also are not going to drag the body off.
     
  4. bobthebunny

    bobthebunny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First on a happy note I want to say [​IMG].

    Very sorry for your loss but I know it wasn't a domestic cat my babies have a best friend that's a cat and chickens I have discovered like to chase cats. A hawk would have swooped it up into the sky with it. My guess is raccoon because they just drink the chickens blood or a dog because they shake the chickens for the full grown chicken the chicks however cats would love to get too small for a hawk to notice I think. Good luck i'm very sorry [​IMG]for your loss.
     
  5. JessicaE

    JessicaE New Egg

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    Aug 16, 2014
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    I should add this happened in the middle of the day--around noon--if that makes any difference.
     
  6. SwedishDude99

    SwedishDude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say hawk. It would be really unlikely for a raccoon to attack during the day. I don't know if a cat would do it at all. My barn cats are scared of the chickens. I'm so sorry for your loss.
     
  7. bobthebunny

    bobthebunny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A hawk would have taken the bodies but It probably wasn't a 'coon
     
  8. bobthebunny

    bobthebunny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2014
    Still thinking dog or coyote.
     
  9. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    My first guess would be fox...they are in the heighth of tending to their young this time of year. Also could be dog or coyote, but not a cat.
     

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