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What's killing them?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mshuntjump, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. mshuntjump

    mshuntjump Songster

    Feb 13, 2012
    Memphis, TN
    My chickens free range. Even when i'm not home. They've been doing this for almost 3 years now. I them out at usually about 7 a.m and shut them in at 8 p.m. This morning, I had to leave very early (5 am), so I opened the coop door right before i left. I come back home, drive up the driveway and see one of my roosters (a large 5 month old wyndotte) laying in the yard dead, with feathers all around him. I go up and investigate. No bite marks, no signs of bleeding. Nowhere. I opened up his wings, looked on his underside, everything. Nothing. Just dead there with feathers around him. I walked across the yard to the coop to do further investigations. I see one of my 3 month old rooster dead right by the coop. Same thing. No blood loss, only feathers around him. I look around the run. Found one of my 4 month old hens dead. Same thing. The only crime scene I spot that the chicken was eaten(the chicken was not by the feathers) was only one chicken. What animal does this sound like? An animal that wouldn't eat something it kills? Just leaves it there?

  2. AlisonDS

    AlisonDS In the Brooder

    Sep 10, 2012
    Sometimes dogs will just shake something to death and leave it. So sorry for your loss :(
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    My prime suspect would be a dog, too. Foxes will sometimes kill way more than they can eat - I once lost 23 assorted chickens and ducks in a single fox attack (though I suspect it may have been more than one fox). The fox will usually return to remove the extra prey and "cache" it for later - sort of like a squirrel burying nuts. I don't know about the partially eaten bird, though - IME, foxes usually take their prey to some other location to consume it; I guess they prefer to dine under cover.
  4. daoustaj

    daoustaj Chirping

    Aug 22, 2012
    dog "playing" with them :(

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