Chicken killed- why and how????

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by beejay86, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. beejay86

    beejay86 In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2007
    Western Massachusetts
    I came home today to find one of my RIRs killed in the run. It's neck and head was stripped of feathers and head mostly gone. There was no breach in the security of the fence or door. What happened here? Was it killed by a flying predator? Was it killed by one of it's own? After I removed it, the others came to the area and began to peck and scratch where it was laying, eating it's blood. I find this death very strange and suspicious. Does anyone have any ideas?? Thanks for the help. -Brian.
  2. cadman68

    cadman68 Songster

    Feb 15, 2007
    Middle TN
    Sounds like a hawk to me. I have had a larger chicken killed by a hawk which was too heavy for it to carry off so it ate part of the breast and neck. Also had a small chick killed by the hawk and i disturbed it's meal. It had eaten the head of the chick. Could be wrong but that's what it sounds like 2 me.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I agree, bird of prey.
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Wait a your run open on top? If it's fenced over the top, seems odd to me that a bird of prey would be able to reach anything in the said there was no security breach.....?
  5. beejay86

    beejay86 In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2007
    Western Massachusetts
    There is no cover over the run. It is 6' high, about 20x20 with wooden bottom. I have seen a hawk flying over in the past, but the hens usually scatter and bolt into the house when they see it coming. I guess one didn't make it this time.
  6. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    Now that the hawk knows where his next meal is, you better get busy and put netting over your run. The hawk will be back for more! [​IMG]
  7. beejay86

    beejay86 In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2007
    Western Massachusetts
    It was a hawk. We found it yesturday eating a secong hen. We walked up on it, it kept eating and finally flew off. If I had my 22, the hawk would be done. Anyway, we put up a net over the run. The hawk found it's way in!!! I've got to go down again today and secure it better. Darn thing. It was caught under the net this morning and I charged down there with a heavy stick, but it got away before I could get there. So, that solves the mystery. Just need to secure and protect.
  8. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

    Feb 24, 2007
    Central Massachusetts

    hawks are a protected bird so techinically we cannot kill them. cover your run is your best bet. ErinM
  9. crazy4chicsinBC

    crazy4chicsinBC Songster

    Nov 22, 2007
    Abbotsford, B.C.
    My run was not covered and a Hawk got one of my birds..Sounds like just what happened to your hen. I wasted no time in covering my run, because as someone else mentioned they found a food source and would be back soon for more.
    This happened maybe 4 weeks ago and since I covered the run I havn't even seen the Hawks flying around.
  10. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I almost lost Obelisk to a juvenile Redtail a month ago. I thought it was Penny sitting on the fence and wondered how she got up there and then I realized Penny was hiding in the thorn I went running out and scared him off. A couple of days later he was back again, sitting in the Hawthorn not ten feet from my front door. I haven't seen him recently so maybe he's back to pigeon nuggets.

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