What would do this to chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lovetobake, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. lovetobake

    lovetobake In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2010
    Recently something has been attacking my hens and roosters. Whatever it is doesn't kill or eat the chickens, but seems to pull all the feathers off their backs and sometimes some skin along with it. However, some of the damage is so bad that the chickens die soon after the attack. There is blood, but I can't see any scratch marks. The latest attack looked the same on the top, but it was also the same thing on the stomach. A couple of the hens that are fine are missing some feathers and one looks like something tried to bite it at the top of its leg. I don't have any pics. Can anyone give me any ideas as to what might be doing this? Thanks!
  2. Nupe

    Nupe Songster

    Jun 13, 2014
    Sounds like a dog attack to me. They prefer to "play" with the chicken, rather than eat it. Because of inconsiderate dog owners in my neighborhood, I have no choice but to keep my chickens in a fully enclosed pen when I have plenty of land to free range them.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Until you figure it out - and maybe even after you figure it out - you may need to keep your chickens in an enclosed run for awhile to keep them safe. I love to free range my birds, but after several disappearing in a short time, they are not confined. Not sure when they get to go out and play again.
  4. Diane8

    Diane8 In the Brooder

    Aug 20, 2013
    My chickens free range most of the day. Today they were still in the pen but there was a dog running around that I shooed away. I went to shoo it again and saw my leghorn running to the house. I brought the leghorn back to the pen to discover the gate was open and all the birds were gone and there were feathers everywhere. I found the largest bird, RIR way up high in a tree (this was really funny to see.) I went to the neighbor's house and discovered that their plumber's puppy was the culprit. A very cute Belgian sheep dog that was very very bad to my chickens. I spent the rest of the day searching for the birds. Six out of the eight returned. Now that it's sunset I can say goodbye to my beautiful Orpington Hannah and my funny little pasty butt Rosie (partridge rock). All I found of each of them were dead end trails with piles of feathers. Who says dogs don't eat chickens? I bet this one did. I left the outer door open just in case they do return late however this is doubtful. Yes, I'm having a good cry over this. The coop looks so empty without them. I saved all their feathers. This will pass like everything else. They are 'just birds'.
  5. lovetobake

    lovetobake In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2010
    Thank you for all the info. My mom said she saw a pack of 3 dogs running loose the other day and they weren't ones that I have seen around here previously. I have a dog who is so sweet to my chickens and it would make sense that she couldn't do anything to stop a pack of other dogs from hurting them.

    Cute story about her is that last March we came home late one night and could hear chicks peeping very loudly. When we stopped the car we saw our dog, Maggie, with two chicks (from who knows where) walking around under her. Every time the dog moved the chicks moved with her. She is always watching out for them.:)

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