What would attack a chicken and leave a pile of feathers like this?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by IridescentPals, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. IridescentPals

    IridescentPals Out Of The Brooder

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    We heard, but did not see a commotion below the barn. The hens all came running to us gabbling. We counted heads and all were accounted for, but
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    one of the Golden Laced Wyandottes had some stray feathers. This is a photo of one of the two places were we discovered feathers. These were near where they take their dust baths. If a cat had pounced on her and she shook it off close to the barn would the attack leave two distinct areas of feather loss? Poor girl. We were observing for awhile afterward and saw one of our goats reach down and pull a few feathers from the back of our other Golden Laced Wyandotte. It's hard to imagine that the goat would pull feathers in that quantity, but I don't know what to think (except I am considering rehoming the goat!)

    Any suggestions? Thank you!
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Dismantled on the spot makes me think coyote. Foxes seem to have trouble just penning down and killing bird in one spot and tend to take it away from kill sight for subsequent processing and consumption.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  3. IridescentPals

    IridescentPals Out Of The Brooder

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    I was thinking that IF it was a coyote she would be bloody or dead. Can a chicken escape a coyote? She is fine, but for the loss of feathers.
     
  4. Ladybug2001

    Ladybug2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have seen my hens escape a coyote without ever getting touched. I don't think coyotes are very smart.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Coyote could have been skittish and interrupted mid-attack. Part of reason feathers come out in clumps like they do is to confuse predator. Part of reason for commotion in chickens squalling is to call in another predator to conflict with first. You were number two. For me its my dogs and before that when Great-horned owl visited number two was often Mr. Red Fox.
     
  6. IridescentPals

    IridescentPals Out Of The Brooder

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    We were surprised at an attack between 2 and 3 in the afternoon with us working in the barn. Coyotes and raccoons can both be very bold. In mid-August our calico cat disappeared and we suspect a coyote got her. We'd never lost a cat to a predator, but ALL of our neighbors had. We've also had a new stray cat come to the house and challenge our cat at night : ( It's a dangerous world out there.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I would have same problems if not for my dogs. Cat problems are from our own bringing in bunnies. Even bobcats and coyotes steer clear to avoid butt chewing dogs apply. Fox and great-horned owls are only ones that really keep testing us and they are more entertainment than actual causes of significant loss.
     
  8. themenagerie

    themenagerie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my roo was attacked by a fox, there were two distinct spots like that...just a pile of feathers. I came out while it was going on and chased the fox away, that's when I realized how hard my Roo fought for his life, she must have caught up to him at least twice (the feather piles) and he got away from her.
     
  9. Huntered

    Huntered Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds to me she was grabbed by a hawk but got away.Possably a young Cooper`s hawk
     
  10. IridescentPals

    IridescentPals Out Of The Brooder

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    We certainly do have those here and see them daily. We guarded the pullets in shifts all spring and summer, but recently thought that they were big enough to be left alone...maybe not.
     

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