Cause of death?

sofie kahn

Jun 22, 2015
A few days ago I lost one of my beloved chickens. I found her dead, body intact, with her back and neck feathers missing and flying around the yard. I'm not really sure how this happened. My theory is that the other chickens did this. I was gone that day(with a friend watching after them) so I could not say if I heard or saw anything. This chicken was loosing feathers around her neck for the past week, so I'm guessing that the other chickens pecked her to death, maybe she had a cut and where attracted to the red blood. I'm a new chicken owner so I don't have an idea of what else it would be. We do have raccoons and other predators but I'm assuming they would take/eat the whole chicken. Anyone have any ideas so this could be avoided in the future? Also, I wanted to add that my neighbor saw a somewhat large bird passing by the house. I don't know if this could be the reason of her death. Again, I'm assuming that the bird would take the whole thing and I do not think the bird my neighbor was describing is big enough to kill my fat birds. Thank you for your help


Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 3, 2009
New Jersey
What you are describing sounds very much like a hawk kill. A Cooper's hawk (somewhat smaller than a crow) can readily kill a full sized bird. They kill, pluck feathers, and eat in place - returning until the meal is completed.

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