What's killing my chickens? Pile of feathers no birds

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jluttrtally, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. jluttrtally

    jluttrtally Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2015
    Georgetown texas
    Today is the third of our flock to disappear and show only a pile of feathers as a result. No blood, carcass, just large amounts of feathers. The girls free range in the day and get locked up at night. All three seems to be happening at dusk. We live in central Texas out in the country and have a hog fence around out property. Could someone please shed sown light on this?! We lost our best layer pinkie pie last week and Snow White tonight :(. Thank you![​IMG]
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    I'm sorry for your losses! I'd say it's more than likely a fox or some other wild canine. Piles of feathers and missing birds, gone without a trace is characteristic of a fox in my experience. They are the number one predator for my flock and the "crime scenes" look nearly identical to your pictures. The repeated visits are another flag to me. And he will indeed be back too. After my last go-around with predators stealing my birds, I kept everyone locked up for a good week. When I let them out again, I put a stereo out and let it play while the birds were out ranging. It evidently gave the effect of people being outside, so the fox stayed away. (The ladies listen to nothing but classic country. Good music and predator repellent!) It's been quiet since and that was a good two months ago. That's not to say it'll keep them away for good, but it has sure helped for now.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I think fox also. Fox is more likely to have trouble subduing a larger chicken pulling a lot of body feathers in process of delivering multiple body bites as chicken is still able to run about a little. Coyote can dispatch and pack off more quickly. Hawk can also pull off a lot of feathers although feather pile will be more concentrated and carcass will not be removed unless chicken small relative to raptor.
     
  4. jluttrtally

    jluttrtally Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2015
    Georgetown texas
    Well it's a fox and the jerk floor two more of our girls! We are locking them up for a few weeks to see if that will make it go away... If we don't shoot it first
     
  5. jluttrtally

    jluttrtally Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2015
    Georgetown texas
    The fox is dead!!!!! My husband took care of her when he saw her sneaking back towards the coop
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Be prepared for at least one more. Her mate will likely be hunting the same territory and he will now be provisioning litter by himself. The kits should be approaching size where they will be hunting as well. When they come in they will likely be having trouble killing a chicken and will persist in effort under your nose. I guess they are the one people often think are rabid. The young will be very easy to pick off.
     
  7. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    Great to hear! I agree with centrarchid. May not be out of the woods yet. Eyes peeled and defenses ready! Hopefully all remains quiet.
     

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