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Cat? Oposom? Something else? Day time kill of our 8 Month Barred Rock hen. See PICS.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

We just lost our best layer a few days ago at around 8 months of age.

 

The crime scene:

-Day Light Hours. Next to a road side barbed wire fence line of cedar trees and brush where the chickens like to hang out during the day

-There was a bite to the neck for the kill and a pile of feathers. The crop was eaten and part of the breast.

 

 

Suspects:

-we've been seeing Oposum lately (several of them. killed one with the pellet gun a month ago).

-we have an outdoor tom cat that lives off of the land. We do feed him scraps but he is pretty much a wild cat and regularly kills mice and birds. He stalks the chickens at times but usually loses when out in the open (what we see of him). He's very sneaky and a good hunter.

-hawks have been hanging out near that same fence line

 

 


Edited by 777funk - 2/3/16 at 7:49am
post #2 of 10

Im gonna say this was the work of a hawk. Theyre the only predators that will take birds during the day. The breast being eaten is typical of a hawk.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

That very well could be. All the feathers were right there next to the bird. We've had a few that were drug at night (as evidenced by a trail of feathers) which would more likely be a fox, coyote, or coon. Whatever killed this did it by the fence line and camped out right where it died to eat it.

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 777funk View Post
 

That very well could be. All the feathers were right there next to the bird. We've had a few that were drug at night (as evidenced by a trail of feathers) which would more likely be a fox, coyote, or coon. Whatever killed this did it by the fence line and camped out right where it died to eat it.


X3 on the hawk.  Hints, the explosion of feathers means an areal predator.  A fox or canine would have carried the bird away and eaten it.  A hawk will eat at the attack scene.  Opossums seem to be night time opportunists, not good at taking chickens down during the day and raccoons should be out only at night.  They will tear a chicken apart.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I take it if I want to keep my birds, I'd better say no to free ranging. Bummer!

post #6 of 10


Lost 3 birds to red tailed hawks in past years an your photo reminds me all to well of how they operate. Raccoons and opossums are egg suckers and wont usually eat you chickens. Kill them possibly, but not as likely as the hawk. Something must have startled the hawk or he would have eaten more than just part of the breast. You would have been looking at a pile of feathers! Hawks are a protected bird.

Throw caution to the wind when making choices in life. Use good common sense and sleep on your thoughts. If it still feels good in the morning. Go for it! John d. muldoon
Reply
Throw caution to the wind when making choices in life. Use good common sense and sleep on your thoughts. If it still feels good in the morning. Go for it! John d. muldoon
Reply
post #7 of 10

I just lost a drake last night to a red-tailed hawk. I'm sure of that because this morning he was still hanging out in a tree over his kill. The duck looked almost exactly what your chicken looks like. He got him on their way into the coop in the evening. 

post #8 of 10

Looking at the picture, I'm going to guess C-4.

Well it's, alright now,

I learned my lesson well. See ya,

can't please everyone, so ya,

gotta please yourself.

 

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment. ~Warren Bennis~
 

Reply

Well it's, alright now,

I learned my lesson well. See ya,

can't please everyone, so ya,

gotta please yourself.

 

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment. ~Warren Bennis~
 

Reply
post #9 of 10

Agrees tho about hawk eating crop first.

 

Free raging certainly carries the risk of losing birds.

Good to have a secure run for times like these, doesn't mean you can never, ever range your birds again tho.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by chickencoop789 View Post
 

Im gonna say this was the work of a hawk. Theyre the only predators that will take birds during the day. The breast being eaten is typical of a hawk.

Hawks are not the only daytime predator......just about any predator will kill during the day if it's hungry and opportunity knocks.

....and wandering dogs, well....

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

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

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

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

Reply
post #10 of 10

Agree with other posts, hawk. Carcass looks exactly like our light Brahma that was killed. I witnessed the red tail hawk flying away from her when I went out to check on the chickens. We didn't lose anymore chickens after that, I think we just had a desperate hawk. We have a decent pine and sycamore canopy they would rather not come under. Sorry for your loss!

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