Chicken killed by????

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by pjfarm, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. pjfarm

    pjfarm New Egg

    Aug 27, 2009
    Today I found my hen near the hedge around my house dead. It was in the afternoon. Both breasts were picked CLEAN. There was tiny feathers about 2 feet away. I have a fence all the way around my house. Does anyone have any ideas what might have done this? I have seen hawks in the daytime, but do they do such a thorough job? I have seen possum (rarely) at night and skunk at night. Please help me figure this out!
  2. maplesky7

    maplesky7 Flock Mistress

    Jun 14, 2008
    N. IL.
    every one usually guess coon.... so i'll say coon since i just read a similar thread and experienced something of the same nature.
  3. proudmama88

    proudmama88 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2009
    Central Kentucky
    A hawk or a possum either one could kill a chicken and pick it clean, but I thought normally hawks carry off their prey. I doubt it would just leave the body behind for you to stumble upon.

    I'm very sorry about it, too. I know it's hard to lose them, as well as frustrating. [​IMG]
  4. Kennyog

    Kennyog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Oak Grove
    Typical coon kill.
  5. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    So sorry for your loss. Usually a racoon will rip the heads off of chickens; possums eat the breast and side meat. At least that is what has happened here in the past. Sounds like you may have been visited by one of the latter.

    Never had a hawk attack, although several are always around. Maybe lucky because of all the crows and blackbirds that hang with my chickens around their pen.
  6. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    possum, coons will eat breast meat, but not usually first.
  7. HLAC

    HLAC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2009
    Central Utah
    The meat picked cleanly off the bones and that it happened in the afternoon points at a hawk as your chicken killer.
  8. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    I would guess hawk, too. While they often grab and carry, they aren't opposed to eating right then and there. Especially if nothing frightens them away.

    Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
  9. BantyRooster

    BantyRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2009
    A hawk will eat the breast or the back out first depending which side is up when it kills the chicken. A coon or possum usually will drag off a bit first, if possible, and will start on the innards. The head will generally be mangled if it is a ground predator. A hawk kill with have a 3-4 radius of feathers and will usually eat the bird right on the spot where it was killed. An owl will usually take the bird off and eat it on an elevated platform.
  10. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2009
    I agree with those who say hawk.
    A few years ago we were driving through an area here in town. Small houses close together. There was a large piece of what I thought was yard art under a tree in the front yard. When it suddenly moved, I realized I was looking at a large hawk that had caught a robin. It was ripping out the breast feathers, and they were in a (probably) 3 foot circle around him. He proceeded to pluck vigorously, until he decided we had been to close for to long. He flew away with the bird, but up until that point, had been comfortable trying to eat the breast of that robin at the intersection of roads in a suburban neighborhood.
    A chicken is an even bigger target.


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