What would attack during the day? Beloved hen was eaten <cry>

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by farmgirl2477, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. farmgirl2477

    farmgirl2477 Songster

    Apr 2, 2007
    Oviedo, FL
    Someone just ate my Pebbles. She was my favorite girl! She was my best mamma, and sweetest. She would come through the cat door and lay her eggs on the poarch, and would make a run for the house when ever she saw we left the door open. 2 days ago I even found an egg in an old box in the house which I suspect was her. And now shes gone. [​IMG]

    Friday sometime in the evening I lost 3 chooks. Shaken and upset I thought it was my fault for waiting for so late to close the door. My 2 year old son wanted to help feed the horses, so I did everything backwards that night, causing me to get to the main coop after dark. Yesterday I found a hen injured, but I think it may have happened when the other 3 were taken, since the blood was dry. Shes been broody and sitting on a shelf way in the back of the coop. So I didnt notice anything was wrong until she got up for her daily walk. Anyway, this afternoon I noticed Pebbles wasnt with the flock. I went looking in her favorite places, no where. Then went to check to coop to see if she decided to get a bite to eat or actully use a nest box. Well I saw her feathers everywhere. along with a trail of them going under the coop. (its about 12 in off the ground) We had some light fencing there, but it got pushed down.
    I just dont know what would attack during the day. I thought predetors did thier hunting at night. Any suggestions?

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Anything feeding young will hunt in the day-foxes, coyotes, even just roaming dogs. I'm so sorry for your loss.
  3. Menagerie

    Menagerie In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2007
    Weasels also hunt day or night. Sorry for your loss.
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Awww, Im so sorry you lost Pebbles. I hope you can protect the rest. Put some flour down around the coop, to get tracks, then you will know better what you are dealing with, and how to proceed to catch it.
  5. Mulemom

    Mulemom Songster

    May 8, 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    I'm so sorry! [​IMG]

    SNOODLES In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2007
    Hi i'm new to the boards, not new to chickens.
    I'm sorry about your loss. A dog got mine before in broad daylight, i've also seen fox on my property in the daylight.
    sorry bout your hen:(
  7. farmgirl2477

    farmgirl2477 Songster

    Apr 2, 2007
    Oviedo, FL
    I saw the beast! Unfortunatly it was as it dragging a hen below the coop. It was either a racoon, or a badger. I didnt get hte best view, but Im leaning toward badger. Weve blocked off the area it came in with blocks, instead of the fencing, and locked the gate that leads from our yard to the woods. I know its not a perfect fix, but its what we could do until the weekend. I think we are going to build a run for the chooks to stay in for a bit.

    Can anyone tell me any info on badgers? I know some of coons, but never gave a badger a second thought until now.


  8. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    The North American badger is an omnivore that eats an amazing variety of things, and a setting hen would certainly be one of those things. They are reclusive critters, but if you corner one, they will stand up to ANYTHING - dog, coyote, bear, person. They have a bite that is nearly impossible to release. Years back (hopefully not anymore...) people used to train their terriers and hounds by bagging or pitting them with badgers.
    Badgers can DIG VERY FAST and through very hard dirt. If that is indeed what you have, you may have to bury your fencing.
    If you got a look at the face, coons have that stereotypical mask, while badgers have stripes that run from forehead to nose.
    I'm admitting my geographical ignorance here, but do they have badgers in Florida? I thought they were more of a northern critter...
    Any way, good luck in getting your place secure, and I'm sorry for the losses you have had. It's so hard. [​IMG]
  9. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    I thought coons only came out at night until just the other day when I noticed a coon the size of a dog strolling across my driveway IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!!!!! I don't know, maybe they just hunt at night though.

    I'm sorry about Pebbles! :aww
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    farmgirl, I posted the exact same question a couple of months ago. In our case it turned out to be skunks and weasels. Weasels or minks will gut the chicken, and leave the bird; it looks like it's been prepped for the store. In our case they didn't bother to drag the birds away; just ate them where they killed them. Skunks will drag it away, and I'm betting that's your culprit. Could've been a cat or dog, too...dogs usually won't eat the bird; cats will. You don't say how big your chickens are, but the little ones are fair game for cats. Usually you won't see a coon during the day unless it's sick. Foxes and coyotes usually take the whole bird; there's not much of a fight. And hawks will sometimes eat the bird there; or if they take it away, the feathers will mostly be in one place, obviously not in a trail as if they'd been dragged. We've spent a lot of time studying predators; have had our share. So sorry for you; seems they always take the favorites.

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