Would a coyote take the whole bird?

Sherielu

Chirping
12 Years
Jun 5, 2008
45
0
82
Yellville, AR
I am starting to lose chickens....
In the morning I let the chickens out of their house and let them free range. In the evening I call them in with some food and everyone loads back into the house and I lock them in for the night. This has been then routine since early spring and up to this last week we have not had any problems.
The other night when they came home to roast I noticed two of the roosters missing....the next day another one went missing, when we counted heads we had gone from thirty to twenty four. I don't see any bodies or piles of feathers? Would an extra roosters run off or are we having a predator problem in the middle of the day?

Please offer suggestions.
Sherie
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,740
772
Macon,GA
Predators can come any time of day, even if they usually hunt more at other times. Totally missing without a trace I would suspect a fox or coyote. Hawks may leave some but not a pile of feathers and with free ranging you may not notice them Or human.

If I am reading your post correctly, sounds like only roosters are missing and that would make me suspect human, because animal or bird predators would not likely be so selective.
 

Sherielu

Chirping
12 Years
Jun 5, 2008
45
0
82
Yellville, AR
Thanks, We are missing roosters I think because we have more of them than the hens...luck of the draw when I bought the chicks.

I thought about hawks and foxes, but was not sure if they could take a full size bird in the middle of the day. I don't know if could be a human unless they are shooting them when I am not around as we are in the middle of nowhere!

Now I am thinking coyote too, but was not sure about middle of the day hunting..... guess I'll have to lock up the hens and just let the extra roosters free range until this coyote runs out of roosters. I never see the coyote that is the unusual thing, but I suppose they are stealthy.

Sherie
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,740
772
Macon,GA
We have seen foxes in our back yard occasionally. One used to come around 10 am for a while. And one came at 3 pm once.
We have seen a coyote mid day in my back yard.

Your losses are definitely not raccoon, but most folks think they only are around at nite, we used to have families of raccoons come on our deck off and on all day when we had outdoors cats and left cat food there.

I agree, don't think a hawk would try for a full grown rooster.

** and when me or DH saw a fox or coyote, it was just by chance of glancing out window at the right time. They move fast and quiet.
Whatever it is, now they found the food source, you can be sure they will be back.
 

Sherielu

Chirping
12 Years
Jun 5, 2008
45
0
82
Yellville, AR
I finally found out what was getting the chickens.....a bobcat! About 5:30 pm my daughter saw it stalking the chickens! Not sure how to deal with this other than SSS, but I'll try to work something out!

Sherie
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,740
772
Macon,GA
Glad you found the culprit…get him, We don't' have Bob Cats around her, thank goodness!
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Hope you get him/her taken care of.
 

thomasboyle

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2013
935
317
186
NW Hills of CT
Bobcats are very good predators, and can wipe out a flock if you are not careful. I had one coming around on a regular basis, and I resorted to electric net fencing. Worked extremely well. It cost a bit to get setup, and now I have much more peace of mind against predators. I would keep the chickens in until you have dealt with the bobcat. Another good alternative is a dog. It does not have to be a livestock guardian dog per se, but any large dog will keep bobcats away. Of course, you have to make sure he does not harm the chickens either! Good luck, let us know how it goes.
 

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