any ideas?


10 Years
Jun 24, 2009
Sunny Seminole County, FL
Well i had my fist predator related casualty today. I lost my 5 month old ameraucana cockerel to an unknown animal. I got home late last night after dark due to hurricane Sandy blowing thru and the bids were up in the coop already. I couldn't see anything so I hoped they were all inside. This morning as I was leaving for work I realized that he was not in the coop. Tonight I came home early to look for him and found him under a small stand of trees in the back corner of the yard. :(

Something had eaten the meat from the bone after pulling off most of the feathers. His skull was about 5 feet from the rest of the body along with a few delicate bones, like the wish bone, pretty much intact. That tells med that it was likely a bird of prey. Wouldn't a raccoon or possum have the jaw strength to eat the bones?

Based on the maggot infestation & the crop contents i am guessing he died sometime Wednesday morning after eating.

Does this sound like a hawk? We had one ( Red trail i think) swoop down 2 weeks ago but it was deterred by my dog.

I had to let my beautiful old dog go on Monday & now I'm closing out the end of the week with this. I am afraid that whatever it is will be back for more.
It's hard to say. They have tendencies but all predators don't act like they are supposed to.

It does sound like a bird of prey should be high on your list, a hawk or an owl. It's also possible something like a weasel killed him and just ate some of the head then some scavengers ate the rest. A raccoon would also be very high on my list of suspects. I haven't lost one to a raccoon yet, but that sounds a lot like what I'd expect a raccoon to do.

Will it be back? Possibly, maybe even probably. They have tendencies but don't always read from the same book. It kind of depends on what it was and why it was there. Sandy may have had something to do with it. I think I'd set a trap baited for a raccoon just in case.

I've handled this type of thing before when it was a fox by leaving the chickens locked in the coop and run for a two or three weeks. The fox learns that there is not a free meal here and does not come back. If you can, you might try something like that. But I'd still set a trap for a raccoon.

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