What the hell just happened!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by smiley, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. smiley

    smiley Songster

    Jun 25, 2007
    I was sitting on the couch tonight when I heard a hen scream. I cursed for forgetting to close them in (first time all year) and sprinted outside. 2 of the 3 were outside screaming and freaked out. I saw something that was very agile and large flying across the top of the fence and disappearing into the night. There were feathers all over the outside of the chicken door. I banged on the window and my husband came running with a flashlight. I was sure the third hen was dead. However, when I put the light in there the dumb*ss sat completely oblivious!!!! There were feathers all over the coop. So, I know the girls were all in and something came in. All three eggs were eaten (yolks only). How could 2 hens get out with a major predator in their coop and why weren't they harmed. Did I just get lucky? I am still so upset and mad at myself. It's just that they have been putting themselves to bed later and later. At 8 tonight, they were still out. So, I thought I would put my son to bed and then go tuck them in. But, then I got caught up in the basketball playoff pregame and game and forgot. Argh.

    We caught a fox just last month who got in and had killed Daisy. So, I moved the coop to our backyard with a better fencing (6 foot high).

    Now this....

    Holy crap. What got in there tonight???? I am just thankful everyone is alive.
  2. 1_FnkyFrm

    1_FnkyFrm Songster

    Jun 6, 2010
    Knoxville, Tn
    Good save! I would say another fox.
  3. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    Oh my gosh I am sorry for that experience!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Although I am glad you made it out there to chase off whoever got a free meal. Definately lucky. The only real predator problem I have so far is my youngest cat, but whenever the chickens are in the run and the cat is outside and the chickens do that HELP SQWACK I race out the door as fast as my legs will allow! I understand that run, for sure..
  4. smilingcat

    smilingcat Songster

    Jun 1, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I saw something that was very agile and large flying across the top of the fence and disappearing into the night.

    Sounds like an owl especially at dusk. Most birds will settle down after dusk but not owls.​
  5. rubyrogue

    rubyrogue Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Quote:Sounds like an owl especially at dusk. Most birds will settle down after dusk but not owls.

    By "flying" i dont think the OP ment actually flying but leaping or quickly going over the fence. I vote another fox as well
  6. Tylt33

    Tylt33 Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Chico, California
    Quote:Sounds like an owl especially at dusk. Most birds will settle down after dusk but not owls.

    I think the owl would have gone for a bird too, not just the eggs.
  7. kfchickenlady

    kfchickenlady Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Sounds like Raccoon, esp the large flying thing...but since you had a fox already...maybe another one? Raccoons are the worst! [​IMG]
  8. Valley quail breeder

    Valley quail breeder Songster

    Jan 13, 2010
    Greensboro, NC
    very agile and large flying across the top of the fence ??? Must be a owl only predator that hunts and flys at night.
  9. smiley

    smiley Songster

    Jun 25, 2007
    Thanks, guys.

    Yes, whatever it was was running with extreme agility over the top of the not very wide fence. I think it might have jumped on the roof of our shed and back off from the sounds. It had a tail but looked big. It had to go from the ground to being on top of a 6 foot human privacy guard fence in one leap. It's wood where it would have had to jump onto fence so nothing to grab like mesh.

    For the life of me, I can't figure why he just ate the eggs and didn't go after the hens. But, my husband says that he ate the easy meal first and was planning on going back for the more hard to catch meal. But, if something was in the coop like a raccoon than they would not have let 2 hens get out, right?

    There were little feathers everywhere but nobody looked harmed.

    We live in Massachusetts so do you all think it could have been a fisher cat? Maybe he was too big to get in through the hen door and reached in and grabbed the eggs which were near the door. I found one egg eaten outside so he must have taken the egg out of the coop. Maybe, that's when the other 2 hens try to make a run for it?

    The fox that I caught eating Daisy (I missed the attack as we had just come home) and chased out didn't seem as big as this animal but it could have been. It was evening and I didn't have much light so I could only make out a big dark blob. I honestly don't think the fox could have gotten in. We moved the coop to a better fenced area and there are no breaks and it is a high human privacy type fence. But, I guess anything is possible.

    This was so weird. I mean it happened at 9:45 at night- so not super late and the coop is now right next to the house. For pete's sake, the tv was on and there were plenty of lights on inside????

    Thank Goodness, I heard Rose scream. I am always saying she is the "loud mouth" of the family but last night I was happy that she is so vocal. She was at the back of the run screaming and really shaken up when I found her. Tulip was also scared but not as upset as Rose. Lilac was just sitting in the coop oblivious to all the drama of the drama. Hello, Lilac...is anyone in there????

    I have never heard that chicken scream before. Holy crap! Like a poster said, you just know. You just try to get outside as fast as possible. Thank goodness the animal wasn't crazy as I had no light and no weapon with me. Argh. This is so stressful......

    Does anyone have motion detection lights? Do they work?
  10. smiley

    smiley Songster

    Jun 25, 2007
    *Update* He got Lilac. Those were her tail feathers. I didn't see any bites so he must have just tried to grab her by the tail. Probably why she was just sitting there- in total shock. I am just glad all are ok. But, still can't figure out what did it and how the other 2 got out? The only opening was the chicken door. Here is my coop: http://www.horizonstructures.com/coop.asp

    , the only opening was the small chicken door. I can't believe the one time I forget to close door his happens. Unless, whatever it was checks every night and last night got lucky. :-(

    So, between fox, fisher cat, and raccoon who was the most likely culprit?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: