What killed our chick?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by nes, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. nes

    nes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got photos I'll post after I'm done feeding, but I found one of our 6 week old chicks dead in the coop.

    He's got a lot of injuries to his head, very red & missing feathers, as well as several small 'bite' marks to his left leg and it looks like whatever it was bit through that leg at the thigh. Similar damage to the left wing & it looks like his neck is broken.

    I would almost swear this was a cat, but my cats were indoors (we were out for the afternoon) and as far as we know there are no stray cats in the neighbourhood (actually I'd really like one for my barn!!).

    The back door to the run was open the whole time we were gone. None of the other 5 chicks look injured (will check) and he was left near the front door of the coop.

    Any ideas? :dunno:

    Added as link so you don't have to look if yah don't wanna:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Ael0MJRxjldCfpilkaMZP9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vfhdwsPaoP6oHU5D036XntMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
     
  2. Shireshome

    Shireshome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Goodness, sorry about your loss. Are there any foot prints that could better help with identification?
     
  3. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for your loss. I have no idea what would do that.
     
  4. nes

    nes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Outside Ottawa
    Nope, was in the coop so no foot prints.

    Going to investigate tonight.

    We don't keep any food in the coop at all (chickens are fed at night & usually clean up before lights-out).

    I'm just glad whatever it was didn't get my favourite roo chick :S.
     
  5. Shireshome

    Shireshome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, you better get a trap quick because whatever it is will be back, and we wouldn't want you to loose anything else to it. Whatever it is, it's small so get a Have a heart trap or something similar and bait it. I think you might be right about a cat, or it could be a rat... so you might set some of those to.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  6. nes

    nes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm really worried about setting the trap and getting some of our very curious poultry caught in it :S.

    I'm also really worried it was a rat, we have TONS of mice in the barn, chicks are easy prey, but whatever it was got into the run (not hard, part of the fence is down a bit) and then into the coop.

    As mentioned we were gone all afternoon, but usually I'm home so it could have even been a fox or something just waiting for the right time, but the "bites" are tiny.

    ETA: could it have been a hawk what was then fought off by the rooster? The chick could have run into the coop and died. His momma is pretty nasty so I'm just really surprised anything happened to them at all, but I did notice they were starting to stray a little farther this morning.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  7. Shireshome

    Shireshome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:No it's not a hawk or a fox. A hawk would have left obvious marks and they mostly eat the head. A fox wouldn't have left anything with a chick that small nor do they pick their food over like that. I looks like from the part that was actually eaten on that you are dealing with a small animal that wasn't really sure wether it wanted to eat it's kill or not. Also there is no need to set the trap/s where the birds are. Right outside their coup is fine. Just make sure you bait it.
     
  8. Chinchilla2

    Chinchilla2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could be a rat or mouse, or it could be one that croaked on its own and was tested for delicacy by others in the coop / run.
     
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Are there adult chickens in the coop? The injuries look very similar to those that adults can inflict on smaller birds.
     
  10. nes

    nes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Also very possible! And we have 3 juvenile turkey in there; but the chicks have a VERY protective momma & a creep to run into if the other birds get nasty.
     

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