Chicken eaten, nothing left but the beak...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by araceli, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. araceli

    araceli In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2011
    Sad news this morning. My husband forgot to lock up the chickens. Having a newborn at home, I count on him to get it done. This morning I wake up and decide to let the chickens out extra early, 15 minutes after sunrise. I thought that would be a treat for them. Then the bad news... they are out. They are walking around making a news sound, a sad sound. As I get closer I see feathers everywhere. The feathers are mostly from the ones who survived. One by one I find 4 of the 5. And the fifth one... I only find her beak hanging from a bit of fat and a few of her wet feathers. Basically nothing is left of her. The girls are so stressed.

    There is a new friendly cat hanging around the neighbors. We do have fox, but do they jump low fences? Of course there are raccoons, and I have seen a striped tailed cat in the neighborhood. I believe coyotes would of killed more than one. Owls would take their prey? She was eaten under the big tree next to the coop. What would eat a chicken down to the beak?
  2. captcayanan

    captcayanan Chirping

    May 19, 2013
    I am so sorry about your chicken!
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Bummer. Not sure what would everything. Doubt it's a cat. Fox can climb most any fence, they might eat the whole thing right there, and they usually defecate near the remains. Could be whatever it was ate part of it there leaving the beak and carried the rest off somewhere.
    1 person likes this.
  4. cgmccary

    cgmccary Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    First, it is NOT the cat. Probably a coyote as this is their M.O. (I have seen them take only one bird per day.) A coyote usually eats close to where it captures it and leaves almost nothing.

    NOT a raccoon either as they would have killed more than one and eaten only certain parts. The fox would have taken the bird off to eat it (and not stuck around) & so you would have found only a fluff of feathers, if anything.

    You don't say what kind of owl. Only the Great Horned Owl (GHO) is a threat (so if you have Barred, Screech or Barn Owl, then not a threat) & GHO would have only eaten the head or the breast & left the rest so NOT a GHO.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Farmer Brian

    Farmer Brian In the Brooder

    Nov 28, 2012
    Eaten under a tree? Not sure, but I would look up to see if there are any more remains in the tree.
    I agree, fox would run off with it. Coyote too IMHO. Weasel and mink go for the head and couldn't eat the entire bird anyway.
    I've seen coon eat them on site, as well as take them away. Do you have bobcats? Red tail hawks?
  6. araceli

    araceli In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2011
    now that I have researched more, maybe only the head was eaten because the amount of feathers there would of been of the eaten one would have been much much more eaten under the tree. Maybe ate the head, left the beak, and ran off with the rest.

    Here is my new worry. Been checking on the chickens. One came close to being eaten,more than the others. She has marks on her where the predator broke skin. On her right leg, and her left thigh. She is walking, not scratching, and I notice her what may be her crop is different than normal. It's too the right and hard, immovable. The other girls have a normal squishy moveable crop. Any knowledge of what may be going on?
  7. araceli

    araceli In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2011
    Mystery Solved. Almost 3 a.m. and the evil culprit give themselves away. Racoon. They are messing around on my back porch tonight making all kind of noise. I go out to see and chase them off. I look over balcony and see the remains of my chicken. Loads of her feathers and even a piece of what's left of her. Racoons are what would only leave you a beak. Horrible creatures!
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I've seen hawks and the only thing they left was feet and a beak

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