Originally Posted by barkerg
Here in central texas fox and coyotes nab go without leaving a trace. Coons will eat the bird through the wire. What your describing sounds like a possum or skunks if you have them. Skunks normally eat the head and the nutrient rich liver and gizzards for protein. Keep us posted im interested.
We got skunks, had em take 30 babies a few years back... but like I said, one bird was killed in broad daylight. The birds come out at 10 am, I put them away at 4:30, and the carcass was already fully cold and in rigor mortis when I found her so I figure a couple hours from death at least. That puts the killin at 2 or 3 in the afternoon.. and I've seen plenty of coyotes and opossum driving our roads at night but never during the day.
Originally Posted by chickengeorgeto
There are other birds of prey besides the three species of chicken hawks. Some are very well adapted to hunting in chaparral like you have.https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=goshawk%20video%20footage
However I still don't think that you have a problem with a bird of prey.
If the chicken was eaten or hollowed out behind the ribs, or in other words in the abdomen than a possum is likely your predator.
Could be a skunk. A bobcat will leave little meat behind returning to feed again and again. Therefor a bobcat likes privacy so they carry off their prey.
I've seen a red shoulder and a peregrine falcon out here. But like I said, two of the birds were taken in the night, so I agree Hawks ain't the problem. (Hawks seem to be the smartest predators around here actually, they followed my two strike rule - you get one freeby meal and if you come back you get a trap or a shotgun!)
"Hollowed out behind the ribs" is exactly the way to describe the eatin. I'm still having a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea of a opossum out during the daytime though...
Nice signature by the way, that's hilarious.
Originally Posted by hayley3
Could be a possum found the carcass and something else killed the chickens. I would think a possum would eat the entire bird. They are like vultures, scavengers of dead flesh.
So one chicken just vanished right? And the other two were killed at night while roosting in trees?
Opposite, two vanished at night with feather piles left, one was killed mid afternoon and half eaten through the abdomen.
Originally Posted by aart
I think the reason folks are saying possum as it's often stated that they usually start eating at the rear end...tho I have no idea if that's accurate.
I have also read that a bird of prey will follow a target on the ground into the underbrush or wherever it goes, like right into a coop.
Even if you catch something in a trap, it's not necessarily going to be what killed and/or ate your birds.
I understand the sentiment, but we don't get many predators around here. We have 4 dogs and so far this little critter has been the only one brave enough to go after my flock since we got out GSD (well, besides the GSD herself). Even the Bears stay away nowadays. So I'll be betting whatever I get in the trap is what killed the birds... I leave it out a bit longer afterwards, just in case.