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Predator Identification

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

One of my hens was killed last night around dusk.  It was in an enclosure with livestock fencing and it looks like it was first attacked in the open barn which had a light on.  A good bunch of feathers were pulled out in there, but none showed any blood.  The body was left outside the barn, surrounded by feathers.  It was laying on its side and it's innards were entirely removed through large openings along both sides of its spine.  I could not find another wound on the bird other than the openings on the back.  We had what I'm convinced was a racoon totally maul another bird last summer.  The bird kept getting away and I was able to scare the away the racoon before it finished her off, but she was too far gone to save.  This last one seems like a very different predator.

Is this a mode of attach or feasting that sounds familiar to anyone?

Thanks

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennA View Post

One of my hens was killed last night around dusk.  It was in an enclosure with livestock fencing and it looks like it was first attacked in the open barn which had a light on.  A good bunch of feathers were pulled out in there, but none showed any blood.  The body was left outside the barn, surrounded by feathers.  It was laying on its side and it's innards were entirely removed through large openings along both sides of its spine.  I could not find another wound on the bird other than the openings on the back.  We had what I'm convinced was a racoon totally maul another bird last summer.  The bird kept getting away and I was able to scare the away the racoon before it finished her off, but she was too far gone to save.  This last one seems like a very different predator.
Is this a mode of attach or feasting that sounds familiar to anyone?
Thanks

Sounds like a raccoon or opossum.
post #3 of 4

99.9% sure that you have a chicken killing possum on your hands.

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Wow.  Not what I would imagine from a possum.  What specifically are the tell-tale signs?  I forgot to mention that, aside from the apparent struggle in the barn, it looks like there was little struggle outside the barn.  It looks like it was caught or brought to a spot outside the barn and not moved at all (rolled, dragged or anything) once it was in that spot.  How does a possum typically kill the bird?  Are they typically on the hunt before dark?  Any protection ideas other than getting them in earlier?

Thanks.

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