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Author Topic: Missing chicken  (Read 11093 times)
BjornBee
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« on: November 29, 2010, 06:55:05 PM »

Not sure if one of the chickens did not get back in the coop before the door was closed ever evening, or one of them got taken during the day when they are all all free ranging.

We have fox, raccoons, and hawks. We searched the property and found nothing. No feathers, blood, etc.

Based on not finding anything, what are the chances of it being one thing or another. I have heard of entire flocks being killed, and situations where one hen is gone every day.

The chickens are only out during daylight. They are closed up and protected in a shed at night with no possibility of predators.

Could one of the chickens be off brooding eggs somewhere? We do have outbuildings and plenty of hiding places. Can that happen at this time of the year being so cold?

Anyone got a guess or comments?

Thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 07:02:24 PM »

A fox will normally run off with the chicken but you should still see at least a few feathers where it killed the bird.
A hawk will kill it then flip it onto its back and eat the breast meat out before leaving it there for you to find.
A raccoon will normally run off with it as well but will normally stop at the nearest water source to clean it leaving a large pile of feathers.

I'd say if it's not brooding some place you have a fox. Foxes usually hit about every 2-3 days once they've found a banquet.

Scott
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2010, 07:03:47 PM »

Hate to be negative but it sounds like something may have taken it off or away. I could be wrong but this sounds like it could be a bird of prey thing.

Even down here my hens aren't laying as much, are yours laying at all? I wouldn't guess one being broody this time of year.

Sure you counted them more than twice?


...JP
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2010, 07:04:05 PM »

dang raccoons will come back every night, though.  there's usually more than one of them around.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 07:09:05 PM »

We are getting 7-10 eggs per day.

The chickens are locked down every night. So the missing chicken got taken during the day, or is off brooding.

Anything take chickens during the day?

And knowing we are getting 7-10 eggs a day, could this be a chicken off brooding?

Thank you for the comments.
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 07:24:52 PM »

How many chickens do you have?


...JP
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2010, 07:46:05 PM »

Hawks and foxes will hit during the day.  Foxes are usually more of a problem in the Spring when they have young to feed.  Foxes will also leave the least signs at times.

I had a mink get into the coop the other night and kill 4 guineas

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 08:01:45 PM »

In my experience, the foxes and coyotes run off with them.  The hawks often eat them where they are.  The skunks take a few bites and leave them alive... I'd lean towards foxes or coyotes.
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AllenF
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2010, 09:19:20 PM »

My money is on coyotes or a dog.   Seen it too many times.   And now they know where food is, they will return. 
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2010, 09:29:22 PM »

A few well placed 1.5 sized footholds ought to snag that fox and it's mate.
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2010, 10:00:32 PM »

In my experience dog will kill all of the chickens and leave most just lying there.

Scott
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2010, 10:06:38 AM »

I gave this much thought and have come to the conclusion that this is the culprit: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.cryptomundo.com/wp-content/MessinWithSasquatch_3.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.cryptomundo.com/bigfoot-report/messin-with-sas/&h=600&w=381&sz=60&tbnid=8uJJFEihdQGHVM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=86&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpicture%2Bof%2Bsasquatch&zoom=1&q=picture+of+sasquatch&usg=__UN2C7PPVc2thlAoeZ1wqo8-EMeA=&sa=X&ei=XhL1TNX8H8Gclge3sbGnBg&ved=0CB8Q9QEwAg


...JP
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danno
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2010, 12:52:44 PM »

over the years I have had many chickens killed by just about everything.   I had 75 birds killed one afternoon in a late season snow storm by 2 dogs.  Knew they were dogs because of tracks and a big pile of dog food puke in the hen house.  Hawks have gotten a few but even a big redtail will take a few days to finish one off.  They will be back very morning.  Weasels are the worst.  They just kill to kill.  They wont leave a single bird moving.  About a month ago one of my bird came up missing.   It was there at lunch but gone at dusk.   No sign of anything.   3 days went by and she was just written off as a mystery unsolved when I heard a strange noise in a corner of the tool shed.  Moving closer I heard it again by a old rolled up blue tarp.  I unrolled it and there she was. She had squeezed in but couldn't back out.  She ran for the water first, then food. Within a week she moulted completely and looked pathetic but now has a whole new set of feathers.  
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winginit
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2010, 10:30:33 PM »

When ours disappear without a trace during the day we think coyotes. Guess it could be a fox, though.

Kathy, you're not kidding about those dang raccoons. We had one that figured out how to get into the chicken coop. He killed one chicken a night for 2-3 nights before my BF finally wrapped a GIANT chain around the coop. It was a hoot, wish I had a picture. Now I wonder if there aren't good raccoons and evil ones. The good ones are happy with the compost pile.

One of my neighbors claims that possums will get chickens, too.
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winginit
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2010, 10:57:27 PM »

Oh, and sorry about your missing chicken Bjorn. First one sucks (especially when you named her after your grandmother). Then it becomes a battle of the wills, man vs. beast, predator v. predator, homosapien v. sasquatch.

Cool video Robo.
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JP
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2010, 05:11:54 AM »

I know a young lady who lost 25 chickens to possums.


...JP
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BjornBee
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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2010, 07:01:46 AM »

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BjornBee
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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2010, 07:04:20 AM »

Thank you for all the suggestions. So far, the chicken has not come back. And we are on watch for when the next one goes.

JP,
At the moment, we have 13 hens and 2 roosters.
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« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2010, 08:28:18 AM »

Cool video Robo.

After the first night I found one dead in the pen.  Didn't really pay much attention to how it was positioned, but it wasn't torn to shreds, so I just assumed it died. Besides bear,  I have never had anything get into the pen,  and it surely wasn't a bear unless they have learned to open and close the door behind them.  Wouldn't have been the first time I had found one dead of what would seem to be natural causes, just figured it crawled into a corner to die.  After the 2nd night I found 3 more dead and this time it was quite obvious.  Two had been wedged head first under the coop and one wing first.  It was clear something was trying to cart them off.  Out came the traps and after the 3rd night I had the mink.....
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2010, 12:07:44 PM »

I saw an osprey take a fish that was a little too big for it - not really a major problem if s/he had some time to rest and eat a little of it - the bald eagle accross the bay  had other plans - overpowered the osprey and took the fish back accross the bay (a "speckled trout" - for those of you who might be interested).
so what I'm getting at is it may be any of the above answers or predators. - if a predator thinks it may be harassed for its kill (even if it's still alive depending on urgency) if it can carry the kill it will flee with it.
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