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Where did my chicken go - pile of feathers?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ScottK, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. ScottK

    ScottK Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2008
    Redmond, WA
    I'm missing a chicken tonight - a full grown buff orpingtion. We found a small pile of feathers and a few scattered feathers leading away from it into the woods. Our yard is fenced though, so it's not a dog or coyote. It's too dark to find if the chicken is still hiding somewhere, or completely gone, although we tried to look. No sign of blood.

    What could have done this? The predators we have on hand that could access our yard are hawks, bald eagles, barred owls, and bobcats. Raccoons I suppose, but they would have left a mess I think.

    Any idea?

    Redmond, WA
    Scott
     
  2. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    why would you rule out coyote?
    coyotes will jump a 4 footer with ease,
    was the chicken in the coop when went missing?
    any pics of the crime scene?
     
  3. ScottK

    ScottK Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2008
    Redmond, WA
    Because this is a 6 foot fence specifically designed to keep coyotes out. Our flock was free-ranging and the rest made it back to the coop. There are no feathers near the fence either. I will get pics in the morning.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  4. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    ok, then we can rule out coyote, was this at dusk?
    or at dark
     
  5. ScottK

    ScottK Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2008
    Redmond, WA
    We discovered it at dusk, but it could have happened earlier since we were out. A barred owl has hung out near the spot of the attack in the past (in a maple tree and we had a bobcat looking into the yard just last week, although a neighbor tried to shoot it. Hawks and bald eagles are common overhead, but never succeeded before.
     
  6. stephhassler

    stephhassler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Eastern Iowa
    That hawk that has been picking off my birds has been striking in the afternoon - around 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. We did have an owl earlier in the year - came at night only. So, if I had to guess . . . based on the fact that you have a high fence and only a pile of feathers . . . I'd guess hawk or eagle.
     
  7. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    Dec 16, 2008
    westchester
    I agree probably a bird...hawk or eagle, what ever it is will be back though for another easy meal. Good luck.
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Full grown adult bird... trail leading to woods, that sounds like classic coon to me. Crafty buggers can open doors and just leave a trail of feathers. Beef up fort knox, since they will be back, and often return with family. A family of coons destroyed my flock one year in Everett.

    I doubt it is a bird of prey as an adult chicken is too heavy to fly away with and you would find a pile of feathers with a body in the middle. I've only lost silkies to hawks myself.
     
  9. ScottK

    ScottK Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2008
    Redmond, WA
    I guess we will look for a body in the morning. This was a 7lb chicken and no holes under the fence, but a coon could be on our property still since it is densely wooded in that area. This is a high tension predator control fence, so unlikely it climbed it with a chicken body. Odd thing is most birds of prey couldn't carry the chicken off either. That's why I was wondering about bobcat.
     

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