Based on this post, my best guess would be either a bobcat, a coyote or a fox. It may seem obvious, but if you make this mistake, anything can happen to your flock. Now, I went out yesterday and found Fluff ripped apart, foot missing feathers everywhere. Even though a crow can take off with your chicken to their nest or elsewhere, they still leave a little behind. If you are into raising chickens for business purposes or for your personal use, it is good to be aware of causes of sudden death in chickens.. It may take weeks for the fox to find one, but you can be sure if your chickens are on the usual route the fox takes, it will check. To do this, determine what part of the chicken’s body is missing! If the bird is quite young and the bites are around the hock, suspect a rat. Turkey vultures have wings in a slight v shape. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kaxp9JK9eI), How to Stop Chickens from Pecking Each Other. Same thing gut stomach)eaten out. Our favorite of course. However there are some plants and foods that can cause illness or be fatal to your hungry hens. Lost 7 out of 12 in our flock (rooster gone too) to what we think is a habituated bear. the body wasn’t found but its guts along with feathers were about 20 feet away from the coop next to our garage. The other 9 are traumatized, but doing ok and did not get hurt. We have had an issue with rat snakes this year. It’s so frustrating, they not only get the eggs but all of our hard work in the garden, eating plants at every stage of growth. ive used it for horses, if you rig up the elec around the coop with insulators, and around the pen on step in posts , ground it well with three ground rods and put a gate handle on the strand across the door you use.. they wont mess with it, one hit and they take off. The awful smell will travel your way, and you will know that it’s time to check your chickens. Amazon product data was last updated on 2020-11-25. All other victims just vanished. Sadly, I’ve lost many chickens to them. Wild animals – like foxes, coyotes, and hawks – are natural predators that can kill your chickens. In general, skunks are more prone to rob your chickens’ nests of eggs. Yesterday we went down to the garden to find lots of feathers. After the loss of any member of your flock, you’ll need to answer the following questions to get a sense of what happened. But every now and then I get stumped, mostly because not all predators have read the same manual, so they don’t always conform to the standard operating procedure for their species. Often, the condition in which you find your flock is an indicator of which predator is involved. Your Chicken could have been Killed by a Dog. A snake eats the egg right out of the nest. Take preventative measures I literally find my chick bitten at the back and open and some cuts on the neck what could it be? Our chicken friends say raccoon, but will a raccoon really carry the chicken that far? Had a small circular bite on head. How do coyotes kill their prey? Cats always leave pieces of their prey lying around. We lost a chicken. They will attack your chickens because it is in their nature to hunt. A raccoon killing chickens may carry away the entire bird, in which case you may find the carcass in the proximity of the coop, the insides eaten and feathers scattered around. Took hen and 5 chicks from shed found one cactus away from site near fence. You bet. This isn’t an absolute if the coyote hasn’t eaten in a while, but it’s the most common scenario. Last two to die were rooster (only back eaten) and one hen(only head taken). As far as hawks and owls go, I hear farmers from the 1800’s would shoot them but that was back then. I had one today to die, it had been nibbled on around the neck. So, if your chickens disappear from your pen or chicken coop, it may be a fox. Raccoons will eat the head off of your chicken and let the rest of the bird lay for other predators to eat. So you begin by hanging the bird by its feet on your butcher station. To keep foxes and coyotes out bury your fencing outward about two feet from the pen. In fact, check the coop and pen daily while you’re already out there feeding them. Had no idea?! Reading Time: 5 minutes By Gail Damerow – Keep a flock for long and sooner or later you’ll be asking yourself, “What killed my chicken?” Many marauders love our backyard chickens as much as we do, and each leaves a calling card that offers a clue as to which predator you’re dealing with. This girl must have been the unlucky one near the door. It would be hard to say for sure what killed you chickens..but that is really not important..what is important is that you keep your chickens in a wildlife proof pen so it will not happen again. These larger birds will bond with your chickens, defend them in the event of an attack, and deter predators because of their presence. Black vultures will kill and eat livestock and pets. Add guineas! A snake can fit through a hole that is the size of ¼ inches diameter or smaller depending on the exact size of the snake. adjustable 24/7 animal detection unit with a 0 to 30 ft... the water jet 5 second intermittent spray cycle ensures... sprinkler head is fully adjustable with up to 1000 square... designed to be 100% harmless to people and animals. If you're interested, you can read my story, How to Easily Determine What Killed Your Chickens, Signs to Help Determine the Culprit Behind the Killing, Hoont Cobra Yard and Garden Motion Activated Water Blaster - Animal Rodent Repellent, Raccoons will attempt to drag the chicken through the fence, Bonide (BND2361) - Repels-All Animal Repellent, Granules (3 lb.). We free range our girls in the yard, with the nesting boxes in the coop; we think while the girls are out the critters get the eggs. Raccoons will attempt to drag the chicken through the fence surrounding your coop. We found a dead chicken today just outside of our fence. If you have a secure coop..wild and/or domestic animals should not be able to harm them. This site should contain everything you need to know about this fantastic hobby to get you started. © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, Ask the Expert — December 2014/January 2015, Ask the Expert —December 2015/January 2016. The question is, who or what killed them? The feet were still in tact but even the leg meat was gone. Just recently our beautiful, sweet 8 month old rooster was attacked and killed. Keeping chickens safe from these predators is an important part of learning to care for a happy backyard flock but it’s vital that you fully understand the threats. We leave the door open so the hens can get to the nesting boxes; I don’t know how to protect them as we can’t be outside with them all day every day. Click here to learn more! There are quite a few predators that would love to sink their teeth, claws, or talons into your chickens. His head was severed and all the flesh was eaten from his neck. Chicks that disappear could have been eaten by a snake or by a house cat, domestic or feral. Keep a few roosters around to protect your hens against hawks, and small predators. A rat may be small, but they will kill your chickens, especially the tiny young chicks and baby chicks. Apparently the chicken was outside of the coop, although there was chicken wire around the coop so it seemed relatively safe. The wing feathers still on the body and it was picked clean! I was researching about feeding my chickens because i feel that they are under weight. Sounds like several dogs. Bites in breast or thigh, abdomen eaten; entire bird eaten on site, Deep marks on head and neck, or head and neck eaten, maybe feathers around fence post, Entire chicken eaten or missing, maybe scattered feathers, Chicks pulled into fence, wings and feet not eaten, Chicks killed, abdomen eaten (but not muscles and skin), maybe lingering odor, Head bitten off, claw marks on neck, back, and sides; body partially covered with litter, Backs bitten, heads missing, necks and breasts torn, breasts and entrails eaten; bird pulled into fence and partially eaten; carcass found away from housing, maybe scattered feathers, Birds mauled but not eaten; fence or building torn into; feet pulled through cage bottom and bitten off, Bodies neatly piled, killed by small bites on neck and body, back of head and neck eaten, Birds killed by small bites on neck and body, bruises on head and under wings, back of head and neck eaten, bodies neatly piled; faint skunklike odor, bobcat, cougar (aka catamount, mountain lion, panther, puma), fox, hawk, owl, Fence or building torn into, feathers scattered, Small birds missing, bits of coarse fur at coop opening, No clues or empty shells in and around nests, maybe faint lingering odor. In the United Kingdom, the number one predator for chickens is of course the fox but did you know that some people also have badgers killing their chickens? The first time I was wondering what was killing my chickens, I needed to look close to home. Conduct regular maintenance on your coop or pen. There are NO feathers so they eat all but the bones. We haven’t found any bones or anything else left behind except feathers. Later found one body head and neck gone. Did my chicken die during the day, or did it happen at night? Weasels are crazy like this; if they are really hungry, they will feast. My silky rooster was killed. 2 nights later, I caught it coming back again and “relocated” it. If you notice empty eggshells around the nest or near your house, it is a good chance a crow got to your eggs. What took my girls? Coyotes are the most cunning animals I’ve ever encountered and preventing them from getting your livestock is a full time job. We heard a chicken scream and went running out. Now i can feel their bones. We have listed some of the most common predators below to make sure that you know why you need your coop built so sturdy. I thin the chickens might've been attacked at day. I just don’t know what to do. We have a fence around our coop but no netting over top of the yard. What we can’t figure out is… there was no blood…at all?? This way, you will have the means to prevent this from happening or guide a friend who is into raising chickens about preventing chickens from being killed this way. I just lost 5 last night and I couldn’t imagine what could get all 5? To develop an exclusion plan, you need to determine which type of animal is preying on your birds. We actually skin a lot of our birds for his sake. Did you find out what it was? I found the 3 of them & sent them to another incarnation. Jays and crows may carry empty shells quite a distance from where they found the eggs, while a ’possum or ’coon leaves empty shells in or near the nest. We know we have squirrels and raccoons and possums. The other chicken was taken in the same manner during the day. One of my hens was killed last month and I thought it was a neighbours dog as Id seen it in the garden before showing interest in the chickens (it was a terrier) and she had not been eaten- just biten on the neck. If you don’t take the precaution of running chicken wire a few feet outward from your chicken coop, your chickens will be vulnerable to an attack. Now 2 months later same thing only a hen this time. Which animal could have killed my chicken(s)? We had over 100 chickens killed in one night bodies scattered all over the yard feathers all over the coup and the yard. It worked! For the most part, they eat the meat out of the chicken and leave the rest for other predators to eat or rot. We live on 3 acres, with the front acre being open to our house and a yard. They were up in a tree. Like dogs, weasels and their relations (ferrets, fishers, martens, mink, and so forth) also kill for sport. I lost all my 25 chickens last night .i have no idea what it is , no blood no feathers laying around all the bodies were there .some where in piles . If anyone has an idea, would love a response. Then some on the other side of the road in the thicket. I have had one chicken just to disappear, no feathers, bones, nothing. They climb and ground kill. Our 4 chicks are more like pets. When each one came they were plump and you could not feel their brest bones. My chickens actually prefer potting compost, and many people use wood ash - but, as I said above, if using wood ash make sure it is completely dry. Get about 4 Great Pyrenees dogs, a few Guineas and put a goose in each pen. My next encounter with a weasel occurred 10 years later and didn’t involve actually seeing one — dead or alive, but waking up to find half my chickens dead. by David The Good October 3, 2016 January 15, 2017. The chicken that died was the bravest in the flock . Welcome; About. They’re searching for food and may have found it within your chickens’ coop. Whether you’re looking to protect your chickens or livestock, preserve your harvest or stock up on supplies – we are committed to ensuring your homestead grows the way you want. Well we had to send one away to the farm down the toad as it HE found his voice and we can’t really have roosters. My chickens were free for the day and one was killed. However, don’t let that cute little face fool you. Nov 29, 2017 - Keep a flock for long and someday you’ll be asking yourself, “What killed my chicken?” How your chicken was killed is a clue to the culprit. Whatever got in had to climb up wire mesh mesh 8 feet and squeeze through a 3 inch by 8 inch area that I neglected to close off up where the sides meet the roof. Their sense of smell and eyesight is keen for hunting at night or during the day. And you and your chickens will be less stressed too. If your coop is near water, a mink may be the culprit. Most inexperienced people will think a fox has visited however this isn’t always the case. The following information is based on my, monthly “Eggucational” presentation on different problems and issues that can arise when keeping backyard chickens. Owls are similar to hawks but slightly different as they attack at night, making it impossible to catch them in the act. We think at night, found later in the day and ALL the meat had been striped from the rib cage, head and guts were missing. All the time they say, “My sweet ol’ pup would never harm a flea.” Then, half the time a chicken gets got. One thing for sure is that cats are very messy eaters. So I made one myself. We lost a chicken last night right after dark. Their sharp claws come out during the hunt to make the kill. Rat snakes mostly eat freshly hatched chicks or eggs. Rats, skunks, and snakes make off with the entire egg. The best you can do is try to examine where, how, and when a bird turns up dead or missing. They’ve done that around this area in the PNW. 12) Rat. If you find bloodied bodies surrounded by scattered feathers, you were likely visited by one of them. Typically, leaving no bones behind. Looking for a cat, but also concerned that a cat would see the chickens as prey too, so want to find kittens we can raise around them. We have kept 3/4 chickens for a number of years now, the hens We recently had we're about a year old and very healthy. What killed my chickens? No traces of anything. Took 24 adults off roost. What do you think did that? Homestead Supplier  has items for the beginning homesteader, as well as those veterans who’ve been living in self-sufficiency for years. For as long as I can remember before that, my parents used to keep 40 or so hens at the bottom of our garden. Also, no animal hair found in chicken netting or wire. Hawks mainly attack during the daytime. We think it was also during the day. The photo to the right shows a duck that was killed and part buried. Did put a hole in my chicken wire too. Your email address will not be published. We’ve had one fairly large but young rooster (no spurs yet) disappear a little bit ago and a full grown but young red hen last night. It’s important to introduce only one because otherwise, geese will bond with each other and not your chickens. After setting up our large ‘humane’ wild animal trap upon the very spot we found him (for the added scent to lure him in,) I securely tied a fresh piece of gizzard inside at the end of the cage with strong twine. Just read your post of just finding feathers. 1. It looks as if something is killing it instantly and then carrying it off to eat it. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. Not even a paw print. Hawks leave no traces behind as they can carry their pray away. While Mad-Eye Moody’s barking of Constant vigilance at our young wizard-ing heroes (sorry, big fan of Harry Potter) could be construed as verging on major paranoia, the words of the grumpy Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher can be sage advice when dealing with the issue of predators and our chickens, constant vigilance. The neck had all of the meat eaten off of it and there was a chunk out of the breast. We think that when my sister went to take out our dog that she scared whatever was killing the chicken away. The best long-term solution for protecting your flock is preventing predators from getting to it. Also, if they only eat the eggs, you will know it’s them by the slimy, mushy mess that they make and leave behind. What can you do to stop them? Couple of months ago found my rooster dead in hen house. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to protect your chickens from weasels. Wondering what killed it? A few were still alive but appeared to have a broken back no puncture wounds or bite marks just a little blood around their beaks what could have done this??? We have everything here, so refrain from telling me I am an idiot for letting them out. They also don’t leave any traces behind in the coop or pen area. Even the doors or sides of the coop will have been forcefully removed. What Killed my Chickens (UK)? Don’t make the mistake of leaving your coop open at night. These EZ Fit chicken coops have runners that attach to the bottom so you can move it across your pasture or land easily! The only evidence that it had been killed was a giant pile of feathers on the back side of our woods. The next morning we saw that it had been sleeping next to the side of the wire and a raccoon had somehow reached its hands through the wire and ripped apart the chicken, taking only a small morsel of meat. My daughter lost three last night. The most common kill style is a bite to the throat. My mama hen and two of her 8-week old chics were killed two nights ago. We never found our girl. One way to tell foxes apart from coyotes is that they swallow their food whole. No other parts of chicken appear to be touched. Originally published in 2015 and regularly vetted for accuracy. I can’t figure it out. If a black bear comes around the great Pyrenees dogs will make quick work of the bear up to 600 lbs, believe me.

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