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Vacationing is Hard Work

04 Jul

WARNING: the linked last picture address is of the remains of a dead chicken killed by a wild animal. (Not trying to be gross or anything but I just looked for some pictures to try to aid me in trying to identify what killed my chicken and maybe the identification process I use could (hopefully) aid someone in the future). Sorry.

The dawgs are beat after a 3 day vacation..chasing hundreds of squirrels made for a sluggish Loki and Jango..it would also appear that Loki needs some boundary training.
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Out for a canoe trip to find an appropriate midstream rock for the Canada Day fireworks display..

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A very fun trip on a beautiful weekend. We took a leisurely drive home along some new routes and got home in the early evening. We were going to be gone for 3 days so we loaded up the chickens and since the chicks were @ 5 weeks we decided to let them out fulltime like the rest of the chickens. With our regular chickens we keep them penned in (except flying Hoppy). With the chicks and Ma hen we put out extra food in a couple of locations and opened the gates to their pen..we have never had a predator problem with the other chicken pen having been left open fulltime so 3 days should be fine…

Returning home from the trip and everything appears ok, the penned chickens are all OK. Checking on the chicks and they are all in the penned in portion of their mini-coop..but there is a tuft of feathers near the entrance to the outside where I opened up the pen to let them roam..then 4 ft away a larger group of feathers..then 15 feet away some more feathers and then I cannot see anymore feathers..by this time Loki has a scent and I follow her 50 feet further in the woods to find the remains of a chicken. Ma is no more.

Sooooo..after a very fun but tiring trip we resecured everything chicken related for both pens. Gates glosed, coop entrances closed and lit up. We moved the mini-coop and put 2 solar directional lights on it so I can see it at night and we put the motion sensitive security camera on the mini-coop instead of the road so we can identify whatever it was that did this.

The chicks are almost 6 weeks old and should be fine now…and as I finish entering this post (@11:30pm) I hear a sound which I have not heard in months..an owl hooting..and it is also louder then I have ever heard it..curious.

If you do want to see a picture of the remains, go to it by cutting and pasting the link if you would like to see it:

(Graphic gross description: whatever it was ripped open the chicken body cavity and ate some of the breasts but the chicken was found breasts down, the top eaten off from the base of the tailfeathers right up to the top of her head. No real teethmarks or anything..nothing to make me think it was an owl either.)

..could an owl do that?

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8 Comments

Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Animals, coop, Fowl, Wildlife

 

Tags: , , , ,

8 responses to “Vacationing is Hard Work

  1. kymber

    July 4, 2012 at 10:57 am

    ahhh…i am sorry that you lost Ma! but glad that everyone else is fine! and glad that you guys got out and did some vacationing and canoeing!

    your friend,
    kymber

     
    • eagergridlessbeaver

      July 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      yeah, nice to sit back and relax for a change..then onto the summer rush!

       
  2. jambaloney

    July 4, 2012 at 11:15 am

    glad you got your canoe out finally and had an awesome vacation!! looks like you were in a super sweet spot – i goggled that park – looks like some good fishing ??!??

    i checked out your pic – your culprit appears too small to carry ma off and too small to finish her off.

    i THINK your nemesis might a small predator from the weasel family… most likely a stoat or martin on account of the fact you found a pretty big leftover…anything the size of a fox would probably have carried it off further… ditto with an owl…owls usually fly away with dinner. it could be a red-tailed hawk – i have seen them eat on the ground, but they wouldn’t have dragged ma into the woods where they would be more vulnerable.

    if you have ravens nearby, there is an outside chance that a raven did it, there is also an outside chance it was a raccoon.

     
    • eagergridlessbeaver

      July 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      ..I think I have identified the culpret..post coming soon..I think you are on the right track ( especially the raccoon part! )

       
  3. Scott

    July 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    It is heart breaking to find your chickens like that. It looks like a hawk or maybe an owl by how neatly the flesh was picked off. A chicken is too big for a hawk or owl to fly off or at least very far. I’ve also had a hawk return the next day to finish off the carcass. If it was a raccoon or something in the stoat family you would have more dead chickens. Both are notorious for going on killing sprees. We lost 12 chickens in a single night to a weasel. They bite the neck, drink the blood and continue along the roost until they are full.

     
    • eagergridlessbeaver

      July 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      thanks Scott!..yeah, it was tough to find Ma all torn up..she was the only broody hen in the batch so it looks like the days of us raising chicks is done….but it is much easier finding it after the fact then it would have been if Ma was on her deathbed. thanks for stopping by!

       
  4. Robin

    July 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    That looks like a nice and fun vacation. When you said you loaded up all your chickens I thought you meant you took them with you. I started picturing the dogs and chickens riding in the backseat and then a little chick pen set up at the camp site.

     
    • eagergridlessbeaver

      July 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      no..loading up the chickens to take on vacation would be crazy..I was only feeding them vodka to load them up! ..might have been the reason Ma hen was eaten, she stumbled outside to puke and a raccoon heard the noise and grabbed her..damn vodka..rye only for the chicks from now on

       

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