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Help with mystery predator - Page 3

post #21 of 22
I have just had a similar experience to the OP. Lost my 2 Buff Orpington hens, one yesterday and the other the day before. Definitely a predator attack, but of unknown origin. Both happened in the middle of the afternoon, I'm guessing around 2-3 pm.

Both carcasses were inside my tractor, which is in a fenced in run. I open the tractor of the morning to let them free range in their pen then close them up at night. Been doing this for almost a year with no problems.

The fence was never intended to be 100% predator proof, just mainly to keep the chickens from wandering off...

Anyway, whatever it was clearly chased them into the tractor, killed a hen, and ate part of the carcass. [Sorry for the following graphic details...] All of the feathers and flesh were stripped off of the necks of the chickens from the bottom of the beak to the top of the breast. Nothing else was touched.

I know there are feral cats in the area, and I have seen a hawk hanging around recently. From other posts I've read, missing head/crop sounds like a raccoon, but it was the middle of the day. After reading this thread, I'm leaning toward the hawk... There were no animal tracks of any kind in the mud, and no signs where anything crawled/dug under the fence.

My other question is why my rooster wasn't able to fend off whatever it was before it had time to eat what it did (especially since he periodically takes such delight in flogging me...)?

I sat outside in a hidden spot near their pen all day today ready to defend the remaining flock and dispatch the offending predator, but of course, it didn't show...

Any opinions?

BTW, I'm in northeast Tennessee.
Edited by archtct2be - 3/9/17 at 2:46pm
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 

sorry to hear about your total loss. How did the raccoon get into the coop?

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