chicken just gone

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mandyebrain

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chicken just gone
« on: November 20, 2009, 11:51 »
Hi everyone, 
just wondered what everyones thoughts are on my missing chickens.  I had two pekins which had the run of the garden on a village street with 6ft fences and surrounded by other gardens on three sides and the street at the front of the house.  About one month ago one pekin disappeared, absolutely no trace in the daytime.  I have replaced her with two more pekins (now totalling 3) and once again given them the run of the garden in the day.  This morning at about 10am I heard a commotion outside (which they do when a cat comes in the garden) and looked from the windows and saw nothing.  When I went out about 3/4 hour later one girlie was missing. 

I am obviously now going to keep them locked up in the run, which is a shame and put a roof on it too, (I know shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted), but really I wondered if people thought it was a fox.  I hear about carnage, etc, but both times there has been no sign of anything, no blood, no feathers and today with it being muddy, no footprints on any wet mud. 

I know there are quite a few buzzards down the other end of the village - could it be one of those, or another bird of prey, or do you think foxes do take them in this way?

I feel like I have really let them down, but they are always so much happier in the garden.  I shall just have to let them out when I am in the garden now.  We do have a dog and puppy too and actually me and the puppy are in the garden about every hour throughout the day.

All comments most welcome.

mandy

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too many girls

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Re: chicken just gone
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2009, 12:56 »
sorry about your loss :(, not all foxes leave carnage, we had Hurley taken by a fox right under my daughters nose, she was playing with her polands and just happened to look up as a fox leapt through the fence, she hadn't even got to her feet before the fox and Hurley were gone, no noise, no feathers, nothing, it may well have been a fox that took yours a month ago, i know penning them up sounds awful when they're used to their freedom but sometimes you have no choice if you want to keep them safe, and now he knows they are there he'll be back >:(

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gowing238

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Re: chicken just gone
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2009, 13:31 »
Maybe a different option you could consider would be a human helping themselves to your juicy free range chooks?

Believe me, anythings possible!!
Start at the beginning, and finish at the end!!

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mandyebrain

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Re: chicken just gone
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2009, 13:46 »
Thanks for the replies.
Has anyone seen a small hen taken by a bird of prey? 
Its just like she has been lifted off the face of the earth, I just feel I would see something if it were a fox, but maybe I am just niaive.  Never seen a fox in our area, though I am sure they are about, there are allotments about 1/4 mile away with chickens on there so I suppose the fox would be attracted to this area.  The ones on the allotment are very well protected, so I suppose mine are an easy option. :(

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LittleRedHen

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Re: chicken just gone
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2009, 15:26 »
I'm sorry that you lost those hens.  Don't feel guilty about putting them in the run though.  Better safe than sorry again - at least until you figure out who was taking them!
When I die I will slide in sideways, a glass of wine in one hand and chocolate in the other, screaming, "Whooo hooo!  What a ride!" as life is to be enjoyed to the fullest!

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karlooben

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Re: chicken just gone
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2009, 20:45 »
it sounds like a fox attack to me they are silent an very deadly . theres no harm in leaving your birds in a run 24/7 as long as the run is large enough if your worried about them getting bored u can make different perches an toy like items for them to stop them getting bored .
"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened."

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IMOmimey

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Re: chicken just gone
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2009, 23:18 »
A hawk, or other bird of prey is a likely candidate, do you have any in your area? A good sign of one being around is that allt he other birds, sparrows and the like, go quiet and hide, or fly away in a panic.

C'mon you birds of prey experts....wotdaya think?
Pets:if you don't love them like family, don't have them

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Foxy

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Re: chicken just gone
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2009, 23:25 »
I think it was a fox....buzzards might take one, but only a very small bantam, they have never taken any of mine and we have a lot of buzards. If you have cover ie hedging they are probably safe.
Next door lost a whole flock over a week or two to a fox, we knew he was around, but never saw him take one :(

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viettaclark

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Re: chicken just gone
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2009, 23:52 »
We've got a new visitor to this area...a pretty large bird of prey with squared off wings and a loud cry. He circles and glides overhead and the girls just stop dead. No movement at all, wherever they are, for minutes. When his cry fades they shoot into the bushes. The deathly hush round the garden is eerie. Don't think there's a meal here for him though, too many trees and bushes.
However, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a worry. I know they're around.....The Common is up the road and the gardens round here are big. I also know that at least one person in the road FEEDS them!
I can't watch the girls all day...they have from 11/12 to 4 in the 6' fenced garden then I get them in, A fox would find it difficult to get in the run, and once the pop-hole is shut there's no way he can get in the cube.
It's just those 4 hours of freedom...... paranoia rules ok.:unsure:

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Alby

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Re: chicken just gone
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2009, 11:33 »
My bet would be on the fox. I lost a single bird a while ago through a hole it( the fox) had chewed through some thinning wire that I had missed  :mad: just a single feather by the hole and nothing else other than the tracks .

Got lots of hawks ,birds of prey around up here and never had a problem with them. There are some chaps who regularly hunt around my plot ( it is very isolated ) and they assure me that thier Harris Hawks will not bother my birds , so far they have been good to thier word .
wish I was a cat



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