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What killed my chicken? - Page 2

post #11 of 17
This sounds like a raptor issue then. If completely dark then owl, as hawks rely on keen eye sight to target their prey. I have heard redtails around my property at dusk but never an hour after.
Interesting story about owls, a large barn owl opened my screen door on my porch to come after my wood duck in the middle of the night. I can only assume that he had been watching my cat pry it open, there are quite a few claw marks at chest height in-between frame and door. My duck is fine but that specific owl is never going to go near a broom again in its life. smile.png I really should have gotten some pictures, I mean this thing was trapped and looking at me like what the heck as I was beating it back out the door.
Hope your chickens are doing OK.
Attimus

live grow and learn.

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live grow and learn.

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post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by attimus View Post

This sounds like a raptor issue then. If completely dark then owl, as hawks rely on keen eye sight to target their prey. I have heard redtails around my property at dusk but never an hour after.
Interesting story about owls, a large barn owl opened my screen door on my porch to come after my wood duck in the middle of the night. I can only assume that he had been watching my cat pry it open, there are quite a few claw marks at chest height in-between frame and door. My duck is fine but that specific owl is never going to go near a broom again in its life. smile.png I really should have gotten some pictures, I mean this thing was trapped and looking at me like what the heck as I was beating it back out the door.
Hope your chickens are doing OK.
Attimus

I'm continually amazed at the ingenuity of wild animals.  Our coop is completely contained, with 3/4 inch flooring, an oak front door and a gift-wrapped run attached on the back with a pop door. But I'm still weary and watch constantly.  We lost our one and only barred rock two nights ago during the night.  She was in a molt, and nearly completely bald.  I think she froze to death. I found her in the coop under the roosting bar.  She has no signs of trauma.  That's five in the past 7 months to die of old age, egg bound or unknown.  At this rate, between illness/genetic issues and predators, we won't have any chickens left by summer.

RSL, Buffs, RIR, Amber Rocks and GLWs. Three turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One GLW Rooster crowing over them all.
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RSL, Buffs, RIR, Amber Rocks and GLWs. Three turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One GLW Rooster crowing over them all.
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post #13 of 17
That's terrible news, I worry about my flock through the winter months getting to cold when they are molting, some molt pretty hard. To top that off I have a very heavy rooster who needs spurs taken down a bit who has added a bit to the feather loss.
Do you have a rooster? We got one so we could hatch out our own chicks to help bolster the flock every year in case of the inevitable. I try to keep around 50 or so birds and they are spread out in age from 9mo to a few years.
Be diligent and don't be discouraged by a few setbacks
Attimus.

live grow and learn.

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live grow and learn.

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post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by attimus View Post

That's terrible news, I worry about my flock through the winter months getting to cold when they are molting, some molt pretty hard. To top that off I have a very heavy rooster who needs spurs taken down a bit who has added a bit to the feather loss.
Do you have a rooster? We got one so we could hatch out our own chicks to help bolster the flock every year in case of the inevitable. I try to keep around 50 or so birds and they are spread out in age from 9mo to a few years.
Be diligent and don't be discouraged by a few setbacks
Attimus.

Thanks!  We HAD a rooster, Prettyboy, a RIR who got pretty irritated that I got pregnant and started attacking me every day I came down to the coop.  We ate him.  I just ordered 15 Gold laced Wyandottes and one of them is a roo.  I'm hoping to make my own, as you say, on case of the inevitable.  We're not fond of the crowing, but we did like the way Prettyboy managed our girls.

RSL, Buffs, RIR, Amber Rocks and GLWs. Three turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One GLW Rooster crowing over them all.
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RSL, Buffs, RIR, Amber Rocks and GLWs. Three turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One GLW Rooster crowing over them all.
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post #15 of 17
I did some experimentation with my Great-horned Owls. They would not fly any distance with prey items weighing more than 2 lbs. Actual weight flown with usually less than 1 lb. None attempted to fly with 4 lb gamehen. They would drag larger items they would fly with to an elevated location from which they would launch. Flight thereafter was down hill with longest at most 200 yards. Slope may have been very important and distance limits may not have had much to do with physical limitations of owl, more likely owl had a place in mind. They had to have afterburners on to stay up. They also consumed about 1/4 lb per visit to the carcass. I had some fun devising ways to tie carcass in place although binder twine they tore apart fairly easily although it seemed it was not done intentionally.

Owls to best of my knowledge were mostly juveniles although adults likely involved as well. Females very much looked bigger than males when standing on same carcass (never at same time).

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

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post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lelilamom View Post
 

Last night 1.5 hours after dark we found one of our RSLs dead out in the middle of the fenced chicken yard.  Feathers scattered, head and neck partially eaten and crop torn open but still attached.  She wasn't stiff yet.  We figure we interrupted whatever got her.

 

We checked the coop, which was still open and everyone else was safe.  We closed it up and did a perimeter check.  The 5ft. fence was intact- no holes dug underneath and no fence torn down except one spot about 20 feet from the dead chicken was leaning over a bit - either pulled or pushed.  It could have been like that for weeks or months or just happened.  No tracks near the dead bird but plenty of prints around the coop - mostly rabbit.  So many infact, overlapping, it's hard to tell if any could be another animal.

 

This morning I went out to check on everyone and spooked a very large hawk who was sitting on the ground a few feet from the kill spot.  I've seen the hawk before flying over the fenced yard.  Once of our Amber Rocks ended up with her comb torn nearly off and I had her up to the house for a night because the bleeding was so bad. I suspected the hawk.  Could a hawk kill a chicken and then eat right there at the kill spot?

 

Right now everyone is locked up in the fully enclosed run.  We're not taking chances.

My money would be on the Redtail you saw near the kill site. It could be an owl, but my chickens come in before dark so the owl would have had to attack during light... which they will do, but since you saw that redtail, that is the better suspect. He probably got it earlier and then you found it later. He ate some of it. They return to their kills if they think there is still food to be had. Someone asked if you had a rooster. A rooster is a good flock guardian against hawks.... they are always watching... but even with a rooster this can happen.


Edited by happyfrenchman - 2/13/16 at 9:08pm

Happy Frenchman

Macon Ga.

45 years of keeping birds

 

Currently keeping

Black Copper Marans

Fischer Lovebirds..

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Happy Frenchman

Macon Ga.

45 years of keeping birds

 

Currently keeping

Black Copper Marans

Fischer Lovebirds..

Reply
post #17 of 17

to your rescue i come im an expert on this when the head is malled or partilly eaten thats means it was a wheasel or ferrit they d this all the time they can get trough small holes in fences. they dont eat them they just kill them answer to your problem is trap and kill it

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