any ideas?

MyTDogs

Songster
10 Years
Jun 24, 2009
255
6
128
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 tail 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 week with this. I am afraid that whatever it is will be back for more.
 

BantamFan4Life

LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 15, 2012
84,500
4,813
686
Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Its probably an owl they tend to take the bird apart and stuff. If you've seen a hawk around it could still possibly be a hawk.
Sorry for your loss. If you want further information click the learning center,then click the Maintaining a Healthy flock, then click
predators and pest (This is on of course backyardchickens.com). This should give you all the predators that might of killed your ameraucana.
Click the animal and the methods of kill will help you find the suspect.
 

littleoak

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 26, 2010
161
1
89
Ashmore IL 61912
Possibly an owl but probably a hawk. An owl eats meat, bones, and feathers. The hawk leaves bones and feathers and does the damage described. I use netting and cheap weather vanes to deter hawks and they are the only thing I have found to work.
 

MyTDogs

Songster
10 Years
Jun 24, 2009
255
6
128
Sunny Seminole County, FL
Yes, the more I think of it the more I suspect the hawk. I bought a fake owl and some big eyeball balloons with streamers today. Will hang them up tomorrow morning. Also I will get another set of wind chimes too. The birds free range in the day so some losses are to be expected i guess.

Thanks for your input, i appreciate the feedback!
 

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