When It's Just Feathers Left? **SOLVED!**

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Knucker Hatch Farms, May 14, 2008.

  1. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Hi all,

    We free range our girls, and last week lost three all at once. Occasionally we have a neighbor dog, but the carcass is found. This time, I only found large chunks of feathers in two locations a good distance apart. It looks like there was a kill behind the barn and then one three hundred yards from that. Both were Barred Rocks. Our Australorp is completely missing with no sign of feathers anywhere. I have hunted and walked the property up and down for more evidence. There was a trail of barred rock feathers that led into a dried creek bed and the cover of forest and out for a long distance into open pasture.

    The attack happened in broad daylight, mid day, and the puzzling thing is that much of our family was out by the barn that day. No one heard anything. I guess what has me puzzled is that it was three at once, and there is no sign of a carcass. We live in a private area that backs up to protected forest and a healthy size creek.

    I'm just not so sure this one was a dog attack like I first suspected, since the feathers lead out toward the pasture and forest and not toward any neighbors' housing. I don't know if it is of any relevance, but our black barn cat has disappeared in the last 48 hours as well. (Well after the chicken kills). Any guesses?

    Warm Regards,

    Mama Knucker Hatch

    See update below.....
    Last edited: May 14, 2008
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Sounds to me like some sort of Hawk,Owl. They are silent...and the girls dont usually see them coming. Im so sorry for your loss.
  3. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Could be a coyote feeding her babies.
  4. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    whatever it was there was more than one..at least, it sounds like that. Your black australorp may well be hiding right now?
  5. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I wish she was hiding, but it has been too long now. 3+ Days. She's either gone without a trace or completely lost. I keep going out to the pasture to see if she has found her way back, or looking out the window expecting to see a black dot out in the pasture on her way home. [​IMG]

    A Coyote is probably not likely, as I should clarify that the woods are smack in the middle of an active suburbia - although we have a lot of deer.

    Is there any real difference on traces left behind between a bird of prey and a fox? There was no blood, just tons of feathers and (trying not to be too graphic) feathers in large chunks as if you you could put them right back on the bird back in their proper place. Obviously they were ripped out all at once. What DOES that? :|

    Warm Regards,

    Mama Knucker Hatch
  6. willowtreecreek

    willowtreecreek In the Brooder

    May 10, 2008
    Do you have bobcats in your area? Bobcats are known for leaving just a pile of feathers. SO SORRY for the loss of your girls. I have only had mine since saturday but I would be heartbroken!
  7. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Bobcats are out too. We live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. If it was, I'm sure we'd be all over the local news! [​IMG]
  8. I am almost positive it was a fox since this is what happend to one of my roos. All I found was feathers nothing esle not a trace more I did see small foot prints that look like it was a smallish dog & then when we saw the fox a few eeks later it was confirmed.
  9. Ga Chicken Mom

    Ga Chicken Mom Songster

    Jul 24, 2007
    My son and his wife live in Kennesaw, GA and have seen coyotes in their back yard. Sorry for your loss.
  10. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    A couple of years ago in March I made the terrible mistake of forgetting to lock my coops and pens at dusk. I got up to mayhem and it was on a weekend because I leave in the dark for work and would have never noticed.
    It only happened once and once was all it took. I lost 18 birds in their prime just about to lay. All I found all over the property was piles of feathers, nothing else. No bones, nothing, just feathers.
    We have may predators including coyote, fox, raccoon, possum to name a few. I was told it was most likely a couple of fox and they were bringing them back to their den. But I really do not know and I have never forgot to lock my pens and coops since.

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