Can you ID this predator by MO?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Wisher1000, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I found one of my hen's body and need to know what killed her. She had no feathers and very little meat on the entire length of her neck. The top of her skull was attached but the bones below where gone. There was meat missing along either side of her back bone (the area between the wings) but not into the internal organs. Her crop was intact. Anyone know what does that? She was taken during the day and had been missing since Tuesday.
     
  2. patty12

    patty12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    anytime I see bird with wound in the neck I think skunk or some type weasel cause they are blood suckers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  3. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Bird of prey, sorry for your loss[​IMG] be aware it will be back
     
  4. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you see any bite marks anywhere on the carcass? Sometimes that can help to ID the predator.

    I'm going to vote for BOP, as well.
     
  5. Nslangton

    Nslangton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for the loss. Minks and weasels wouldn't eat meat along the backbone, they only go for the neck and head. They usually kill more then one chicken. Raccoons and skunks usually only eat the head and neck. Opossums usually go for the abdomen. Bobcats, coyotes, foxes, and birds of prey usually take the bird with them; however, a small bird of prey could have trouble carrying them and could do what you described. BOP gets my vote.
     
  6. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    We do have small hawks in the area, and I think she (the dead chicken) was nearby for a couple of days and my dog must have located the body and brought her up. This is the third loss in the last 2 1/2 weeks and it is the smaller birds that are being taken. I think ya'll are right, bird of prey is making the kill and eating on the body until the dog finds it and brings it to me (I blamed the dog for the first two, even though it didn't make sense, oopsy.) What was unusual to me was that the head and neck was just about bare bones and the smaller bones were the only ones not intact. The meat was taken with delicate precision. I saw no bite marks except for what my dog did, he likes to chew the feet and legs off. I knew when I saw that head and neck that it was not the dog. Poor boy, his past transgressions caused me to place blame too quickly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  7. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well everyone makes mistakes, and at least now you know that he's only been scavenging. I definitely don't think it was anything like a raccoon now - something like that would have left a lot of damage on the feathers, and those kinds of predators seem to like to go after the guts, at least the ones around here do.

    Do your birds free range or are they in a run? If they're in a run, I'd consider making sure the top of it is meshed or covered somehow to keep predatory birds out.
     
  8. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I let mine free range all day and I know the chances I take doing so. i believe the benefits outweigh the risks.
     
  9. wvtim

    wvtim Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds like a cooper hawk - this same thing has happened to me. This type of hawk is too small to take a chicken with him.
     

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