With heavy heart I'm coming here for help....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Xristo702, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. Xristo702

    Xristo702 Hatching

    Aug 5, 2014
    I apologize for not introducing myself, but after the loss of my 1 bantam hen (and dear friend) I think I'm gonna be done with pets for a while.

    I should note that I have been reading archived threads on here already...which narrowed the predator down to a fox, a coyote, an owl, or a hawk...and I've also heard people suggest it may have been a weasel, mink, a cat or even a dog.

    I have my suspicions but the one reason I'm coming here is for an added measure of certainty before dealing with the cause of my grief.

    Long story (made as short as possible), my bantam hen was snatched RIGHT behind my parents house at around 1pm...killed and dragged off in the time it took for my grandmother to get a glass of water. No blood, no body found, no limbs.... just a pile of feathers at the kill site...no feather trail and no secondary pile of finer feathers either.

    In this pic you can see the house + the car port + the cover a hibiscus shrub which should(?) probably rule out any aerial predators; plus I NEVER see owls or hawks in the area.

    Right next to that pic is the long path it must have taken along the pool to make its kill and escape to the farmers field

    A day after I searched the treeline behind the house and in the dense shrub I saw something golden brown slink away into the tall grass + I've also seen an ownerless cat coming around and on one occasion it came right up to the area where the chicken was killed.

    I apologize if I come off as an imbecile for obsessing over one bird, but I've been living out a pretty rough life and that small, gentle, affectionate and silly little bird was probably the very last thing in my life that wasn't absolutely horrible; having it die like it did upsets me to no end and I'm losing lots of sleep at night playing it over in my head.

    So given the time of day it happened, the swiftness of the kill, the lack of a carcass, the pile of feathers, the topography of the area and the brazenness (coming so close to the house), does anyone have an idea of what could have done this and how can I catch it?

    If it helps I'm from southern ontario (peterborough area, about an hour from Toronto)

    Any help would be dearly appreciated. =)
  2. limaro

    limaro In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2014
    Southwestern Ohio
    No expertise to share, but I do want to offer my condolences. So sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
  3. Xristo702

    Xristo702 Hatching

    Aug 5, 2014
    Even condolences are appreciated. Thanks. =)
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I'm so sorry for your loss. There are so many possible culprits here, especially for a little bantam, you likely won't ever know for sure. Most of my predator losses have been to raccoons, foxes, and hawks. Once to a cat (it was a bantam hen) . Also my own dogs, before the fencing was upgraded. I'm sure it won't help, but all of us have lost birds to predators over the years, and it's usually a favorite... Mary
  5. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    So very sorry. Do you have a dog? Reason is either a dog is a protector or a predator. My dog is a protector of chickens but if the neighbor's dog got lose it would be a predator.
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Being that fast, I would guess fox. Foxes can be pretty brazen, too. A dog doesn't usually carry them off. They generally just play with them until they quit moving and then look for another one. I would think a cat would eat it on the spot. You could try trapping it, but I think fox can be kind of tricky. I'm sorry for the loss of your bird.
  7. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    Yes, it could be a fox. Totally agree about setting up a trap. I've never had a fox attack my free range silkies because of my dog. You have a lovely yard and welcome to BYC.
  8. Xristo702

    Xristo702 Hatching

    Aug 5, 2014
    Thanks guys, I was thinking it was a fox as well. They have their cubs early spring and that might be why it would pull a stunt like this in the middle of the day and carry it off.

    Dogs mangle birds and leave them when they stop moving (for sport).
    I can't imagine a medium sized cat killing so efficiently either and they like to playfully torment their food
    Raccoons apparently mutilate birds, skunks drink their blood, not sure how weasels/minks do it
    next door neighbor has a yellow lab that never leaves its yard and never had any interest in the chicken
    (most) coyotes are keep their distance from people but the younger ones have been known to do risky stuff like this

    using elimination, all signs point to fox. and the fact that I saw something about the same size and color of a fox coming back to the scene of the crime in less than 24 hours says something as well.

    Not sure what the best bait is, or if I should put the trap close to where it found my chicken in the first place. I've heard raw chicken skin lures in foxes as well as tuna.
    If that doesn't work, I guess I'll just try to get my firearm/hunting license by this fall and see how that will work out instead. =/

    So distressing....but thanks for the comments/suggestions.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    So Sorry for your loss.

    Killing one fox will probably not solve the problem, tho maybe it will make you feel better.....
    .......there's always another predator lurking, of same species or another....
    and trapping a fox is very difficult.

    Best bet is to keep your birds safe in an enclosure that will exclude predators from gaining access to birds.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Howlet

    Howlet Chirping

    Jul 31, 2014
    My Coop
    ur not sounding like an imbicel i would personly dump poison around my freaking yard until every potential predator eats it ;-;

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