What Went Wrong :(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by baileychic, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. baileychic

    baileychic In the Brooder

    Mar 3, 2010
    Delavan, WI
    Tonight after I went out to put the chickens to bed, the leghorns were roosting as high as they could get. After doing a head count I realized I was short 5 chickens [​IMG].....ran out to take a look and sure enough feathers everywhere and one dead hen. No blood or visable trauma, just ruffled arould the neck, and maybe grabbed on the back. DH is insisting it was a dog, but no dogs in the area for miles, our dog dosn't mind the chickens and her run didn't reach the crime scene. No sign of the missing chickens, although there were a trail of feathers leading to the corn field. We have 2 acres surrounded by corn and it is over 8 ft high already. Later when it was getting dark my daughter spotted a young racoon way up in a tree. Would a racoon just break a neck and leave the chicken dead? And no sign of the other 4. I'm so worried and sad that this day has come. They loved to free range, but I don't know if it's worth it. Poor chickens, they looked so scared [​IMG] [​IMG]. I'm wondering if it could have been a fox or coyote? The strange thing is someone had been in the yard all day and I almost feel like it was watching to make it's move when no one was outside.....
  2. lovinlife

    lovinlife Songster

    When I lose a chicken, it's to a racoon. I've never lost one free-ranging, though. I had one hen that didn't make it into the coop and roosted on top of it. Gone the next day. Another time my helper didn't close the run gate and a racoon got my broody hen. Two others were pulled through the chain link fence of the run at night. How that happened, I'll never know since the chickens are on a roost that is secure.

    Anyway, it is probaby a racoon. Set a live trap, catch the dang thing, then either shoot it or drive it at least 20 miles away to release it.
  3. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Crowing 11 Years

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    My guess would be fox. They will do multiple kills and then start carrying them off to hide.

  4. baileychic

    baileychic In the Brooder

    Mar 3, 2010
    Delavan, WI
    my leghorns are so fast I don't know how a young racoon could get it free ranging. My husband took a few shots at the coon in the tree and insisted he got it, my daughter and I went to check and I saw it still moving. I should have taken a few shots myself! Also would a coon come out before dark????
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  5. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle 9 Years

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    my only loss to a predator was this week, and it was a raccoon. it broke her neck and punctured her windpipe, and carried her off without any trail. I wouldn't have know what it was except I chased it down and got her back (dead [​IMG] )
  6. Sooner

    Sooner My kids Mom!

    Mar 22, 2009
    Fox, Coyote, bobcat or dog in our area.
  7. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Songster

    May 9, 2010
    The trail of feathers suggests something that couldn't kill the bird straight away, and the feather become loose as the bird struggles.

    A dog or fox would normally squeeze them dead there and then but would be happy to take more than one, although you might get a lot of feathers where it's been eating the carcasses.

    I don't know anything about raccoons.

    I've noticed cats have a habit of leaving feather trails, but they, in my experience, take them one at a time.
  8. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    Yes, a coon will come out before dark, especially when it finds chickens. I'm sorry you lost some girls and that the others were so scared. We already have a box trap out (our chicks are due for delivery next week). So far all we have caught has been two of our own cats, and one of those got caught twice [​IMG] We just need some better bait.
  9. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Songster 8 Years

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    Im so sorry [​IMG]
  10. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing 10 Years

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    The only time a fox got mine, there was a pile of feathers outside the coop & a trail all the way through our field toward where the den was. Also many feathers inside the fence leading me to believe more than one was killed (different breed feathers), but it must have been the chase, as all the others were OK.

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