which predator does this ....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Miz Mary, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Miz Mary

    Miz Mary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found a pile of feathers under a large tree, then a trail of them ....the hen is missing .... which predator does this ?? I set a live trap, and nothing has been caught for 3 days ..... I have a few birds that free range, the others cant fly over the fence .....
    This predator hasnt come back .... not a dog, as the feather trail led to the cliff we live on ... I'm guessing raccoon or possum ... wouldnt they be back by now to try for more chickens ??
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I was going to guess fox, but then you said the feather trail led off a cliff....how big is the cliff? Foxes are pretty good climbers but if its a good sized one, I dunno. I guess it could have been a possum or coon. Did this attack happen at night or during the day? It could have also been a bird of prey if the hen wasn't too terribly large. I've seen owl out alot during the day here lately. But if you have eagles and stuff around you I would think they could easily pick off a good sized chicken. If the poor hen didn't die on impact, that could explain the feather trail if she was struggling to get away. Anyhoo, just a couple of thoughts. Did you notice any tracks? Sorry, I'm not much help :/
    Nikki
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  3. Miz Mary

    Miz Mary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't see any tracks ..... we DO have eagles !! This hen was a smaller Orpington ..... the cliff is STEEP , but clime-able to a critter ....it traveled along the edge quite a bit before we lost the feather trail ... I *think* she was snatched in the wee hours, around 6 am ... it made me think coon or possum because the main pile of feathers is right under a big cedar tree, and it could have jumped down out of the tree right on her ??? Would a eagle or owl drag a hen that far before flying off with it ?? Never seen a fox around these parts, but we DO have Coyotes ....
     
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If your ground is frozen (like mine), that could explain lack of tracks. Most of the time when I've lost birds to coons and possums, there's been some blood/bits and pieces left behind. A raptor could have swooped down and snatched her off the tree and only stunned her with the hit. Then if it proceeded to fly off with her and she began to struggle, that would explain the feather trail (and why you haven't caught anything in your trap). Do y'all have bobcats where you live? Cougars? That could also be the culprit. They can easily climb a tree for a chicken. When my neighbor was having a bobcat problem (her birds were roosting in a tall tree next to the coop, she couldn't reach them to put them away), the cat would climb right up the tree and take it. We assumed it was killing them on the ground bc the only evidence it was leaving behind was a pile and trail of feathers...it also wouldn't come back every night. More like once a week or so.
    Nikki
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  5. Miz Mary

    Miz Mary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I still havent caught anything in the live trap !
     
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    What bait do you have in the trap? My trap is in an ideal traffic area.When I move it I often have to switch out the bait to lure the animals.
     
  7. Miz Mary

    Miz Mary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Had a can of sardines partially open ....then added a can of cat food, partially open .... today I added a cracked open egg ....
     

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