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josielowe

Buzzard or fox attack?

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I've just returned home and checked on my chickens to find 3 missing and 3 separate piles of their feathers on the ground-no blood. I've lost a bantam cockerel, aracuna and hybrid. There were the smallest of my group of 17 which include a maran cockerel, sliver grey dorking and black rocks. They free range in 2 acres on a southwesterly aspect hill which is surrounded by arable farmland and in five years I've never seen or heard a fox. We do have buzzards which fly overhead and were over the hill at the time. Can buzzards carry away a chicken let alone 3? If it was a fox attack, would a fox have attacked the remaining chickens and left a scene of devastation? I've decided to bring the chickens closer to home and fence off an area which incudes a coppice of trees. I dont want to enclose them as I've just bought the Omlet 48m fencing! I'm so sad - I appreciate wildlife, but these were my chickens. Oh no the kids will be home from school soon and Boots the Bantam belonged to my daughter. I'm north of Newark Notts. Has anyone else experienced the same?

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I am sorry sorry to hear of your loss. I would expect a buzzard to take only one bird. Foxes often kill as many as they can and either leave headless corpses or bury then nearby to revisit later. There are cubs around at the moment and so there are hungry mouths to feed. I saw a fox stalking voles at 9.30am this morning in a nearby field which is usually unheard of around here.

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I'm afraid it sounds like a fox attack. A buzzard would likely only take one, and not return for the others, they don't store food in the same way that foxes do.

 

You'll need to 'up' your security now, as I'm afraid he'll be back. Best not to let them free range whilst you are out.

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Thanks Chicky Mama,

It gets worse. I've just returned from the garden (in the vain hope of finding the chickens) and I've found the feathers of a baby pheasant. We have a family of pheasants that had raised 3 chicks and were out in the garden last weekend. It seems I have some hungry predators around my garden. We do have sparrow hawks in the garden that attack pigeons, but they tend to just remove the breast meat and leave the bird -that's a horrific find :shock: My chickens are in shock- I've let them out of the fenced area and they are all just following me around for safety. They are in shock. I've told Hubbie and we'll re-fence them inside the tree area for cover and safety. Don't know what to do about the birds of prey :(

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Thanks

I thought chickens would have killed all of the chickens and have left a bloody mess. There's no sign of blood. We have 4 buzzards which nest nearby. We are surrounded by farmer's fields so I thought foxes wouldn't be attracted to the area. I may be wrong.

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Thanks

I thought chickens would have killed all of the chickens and have left a bloody mess. There's no sign of blood. We have 4 buzzards which nest nearby. We are surrounded by farmer's fields so I thought foxes wouldn't be attracted to the area. I may be wrong.

 

Oops I meant foxes. I wonder if Omlet would swap the 48m fencing for the electric fencing. I bought it a month ago!!

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I agree with the last post. Buzzards are not proficient at killing large prey on a regular basis and would much rather eat something that someone else has killed and left. Carrion, frogs and even worms are more their thing. If you are seeing them in the air, soaring round and swooping in the afternoon, they are often displaying mating behaviour and not hunting. Still, doesn't make you feel much better about your poor loss. Maybe keep them more enclosed until you have worked out the problem. :(

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Many thanks for all the kind words and advice. Unfortunately the problem is a fox.

We moved the chickens closer to the house, right under the bedroom window. However we lost another chicken this morning. My husband let them out about 6am and whilst we were looking out of the window and a fox grabbed one (Bluebell just POL) and ran off. I ran out in my pyjamas straight into the field and followed the feathers. No chicken, but I could smell the fox - it was disgusting , a smell I wont forget.

I've put the word out in the hope Mr Farmer and his gun will take revenge, but have to think about security. I've posted a 'Wanted' item on the forum for a run so I'm hoping some one will contact me if they have one to sell. My husband is also upset and has been looking into getting a trap or worse. It's very frustrating but I know it's part of living in the countryside.

Has anyone ever heard of foxes taking cats? We have three very laid back cats who sleep all day in the garden - that is my next worry.

All advice on foxes is appreciated. I'm busy checking out all info on this site.

JO

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Many thanks for all the kind words and advice. Unfortunately the problem is a fox.

We moved the chickens closer to the house, right under the bedroom window. However we lost another chicken this morning. My husband let them out about 6am and whilst we were looking out of the window and a fox grabbed one (Bluebell just POL) and ran off. I ran out in my pyjamas straight into the field and followed the feathers. No chicken, but I could smell the fox - it was disgusting , a smell I wont forget.

I've put the word out in the hope Mr Farmer and his gun will take revenge, but have to think about security. I've posted a 'Wanted' item on the forum for a run so I'm hoping some one will contact me if they have one to sell. My husband is also upset and has been looking into getting a trap or worse. It's very frustrating but I know it's part of living in the countryside.

Has anyone ever heard of foxes taking cats? We have three very laid back cats who sleep all day in the garden - that is my next worry.

All advice on foxes is appreciated. I'm busy checking out all info on this site.

JO

 

Sorry for your loss :(

 

I chased a fox out of my garden this morning - my neighbour feeds them in her garden and they've bred in there for years. In the 11 years my cat has lived in this house he's never been attacked that I have seen - I think they leave cats and dogs alone for the most part, as they can fight back and can outrun/climb them.

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Hey guys, I am a wildlife photographer & as such have seen many a buzzard kill hen pheasants by waiting on a branch above where they know the pheasants feed, normally after a buzzard strike the tell tale signs are a concentrated ring of feathers - it may not be that many if the buzzard decides to carry it's meal off, during the shooting season and afterward these "learned" birds will often take chickens however I have only seen them do this when they have a high enough drop point ie a telegraph pole or nearby tree!, if the buzzard is disturbed before it eats or removes a chicken there will normally be an open wound/laceration on the back of the chicken & often a small amount of blood around it's head/beak!, I know that their are an enormous amount of people that will say buzzards are not capable of such things, it stems from the point blank refusal to acknowledge that something that is protected is a "baddie" in the same manner that no one cares what becomes of a rat because of our repulsion to them, I hope this helps, I have images of buzzard kills of chickens but on the advice of the local "buzzard friendly" gamekeeper I do not relase images of them killing pheasants as many would use them as an excuse to persicute buzzards when in actual fact it's us humans suppling the food to the buzzards in pheasant populated areas! Good luck : )

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Has anyone ever heard of foxes taking cats? We have three very laid back cats who sleep all day in the garden - that is my next worry.

All advice on foxes is appreciated. I'm busy checking out all info on this site.

JO

 

Sorry to put a spanner in the works but on a lampost round my way someone posted a big photo of a fox onto a lampost with the words WANTED - CAT KILLER written on it. I guess their cat was very unlucky :(

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Has anyone ever heard of foxes taking cats? We have three very laid back cats who sleep all day in the garden - that is my next worry.

All advice on foxes is appreciated. I'm busy checking out all info on this site.

JO

 

Sorry to put a spanner in the works but on a lampost round my way someone posted a big photo of a fox onto a lampost with the words WANTED - CAT KILLER written on it. I guess their cat was very unlucky :(

yeh, but you don't know that they know that for sure... I have watched the fox chase my neighbours cat in the day time I have also seen cats threatening the foxes at night on a local housing estate at night.

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Hi there

 

I'm new to this forum but I thought I would like to add that last year my own very laid back cat was killed by a fox and I found him dying in my neighbours garden. Although I never seen any in my garden and I have 6 chickens that free range all day. I have also live where there is loads of buzzards and have seen them swoop down and lift large rabbits from the field but I believe it's quite rare for them to do this. Even after this I still love wildlife and wouldn't like to see it killed off its just part of nature.

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I have seen a fox take a very old stray cat from outside a house in my parents street. This cat was a stray male but had been fed and looked after by a neighbour for many years. He used to sleep outside their front door and never wanted to go in the house despite being invited and one night a horrible noise was heard and we all rushed outside to see the fox carrying off the poor old cat. :(

 

He was very old though so as long as any cats are kept in at night there isn't normally a problem. There are also a lot of foxes where my parents live - you will see several every evening if you are out so competition must be a problem. Thats why they don't have chooks.

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Incase anyone is reading this thread for information in 2020, I’m currently breathless from chasing a buzzard off one of my hybrids. Two have been taken this week and now this is my second injured bird thanks to the local buzzards (I don’t hold it against them, will have to up our security). We thought it was a fox at first, although it was an odd time of day that it was happening so it didn’t sit quite right that it was a fox. Buzzards do take chickens! 

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We have free range hens, quite a large garden with some cover from trees. Yesterday there was a great deal of noise and we went outside to find the hens and cockerel very distressed and noisy. We found four separate piles of feathers and then the body of one of our hens. There were no obvious wounds on her and it seems unlikely she could have got away from a fox four times and still not be taken. We are inclined to think this might have been a buzzard who couldn't quite manage her. Any ideas? 

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On 2/7/2013 at 7:26 PM, sandyhas3chucks said:

yeh, but you don't know that they know that for sure... I have watched the fox chase my neighbours cat in the day time I have also seen cats threatening the foxes at night on a local housing estate at night.

 

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On 6/9/2021 at 9:55 AM, Jamiz said:

We have free range hens, quite a large garden with some cover from trees. Yesterday there was a great deal of noise and we went outside to find the hens and cockerel very distressed and noisy. We found four separate piles of feathers and then the body of one of our hens. There were no obvious wounds on her and it seems unlikely she could have got away from a fox four times and still not be taken. We are inclined to think this might have been a buzzard who couldn't quite manage her. Any ideas? 

Foxes and buzzards feed differently. I can't recall how one rips and shreds the other chews. A fox I'd have thought would have carried her away. ..sorry for your loss. Try researching how they feed differently . it sounds very unusual whichever ... 

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On 6/28/2011 at 7:14 PM, josielowe said:

Many thanks for all the kind words and advice. Unfortunately the problem is a fox.

We moved the chickens closer to the house, right under the bedroom window. However we lost another chicken this morning. My husband let them out about 6am and whilst we were looking out of the window and a fox grabbed one (Bluebell just POL) and ran off. I ran out in my pyjamas straight into the field and followed the feathers. No chicken, but I could smell the fox - it was disgusting , a smell I wont forget.

I've put the word out in the hope Mr Farmer and his gun will take revenge, but have to think about security. I've posted a 'Wanted' item on the forum for a run so I'm hoping some one will contact me if they have one to sell. My husband is also upset and has been looking into getting a trap or worse. It's very frustrating but I know it's part of living in the countryside.

Has anyone ever heard of foxes taking cats? We have three very laid back cats who sleep all day in the garden - that is my next worry.

All advice on foxes is appreciated. I'm busy checking out all info on this site.

JO

Please do not blame the fox, animal husbandry is about protecting, giving safe space. It's like leaving a child to play on the side of the motorway and then blaming the traffic for killing them. Try a radio, radio 4 is good, lots of talking, different voices. The fox will only take prey that is easy, so stop making it easy for them, please.

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