Could a Screech Owl Kill a Chicken?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Happycowdog, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Happycowdog

    Happycowdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Friday at about 3:30 pm I went to work and my husband came home at about 4:30 pm and found our first dead hen at the back of the property. She had her neck broken and a chunk of flesh torn out of her side. It was one of my wonderful black copper Maran's and I was pretty upset...

    That night I heard an owl in back of the property. It sounded like a great horned-owl and I thought that was what may have gotten her. Today, I was feeding the chickens their treat and my cattledog was in the yard with them. I went inside and looked out window and I saw a sceech owl swoop down once and the chickens ran into the coop. The screech owl swooped down again to try to get a sparrow (the birds are attracted by the treat too) and my dog ran it off.

    Anyway, I thought screech owls only went after small prey. Could a screech owl have killed my standard size hen?

    I have already decided no more outdoor feeding because if flocks of birds are coming around, first of all, so does disease. Second, so do predatory birds who feed on small birds, and maybe chickens!
     
  2. ntink17

    ntink17 Out Of The Brooder

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    Screech Owls are very small, and definitely cannot kill an adult chicken. They are also nocturnal.
     
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a dog to me...
     
  4. Happycowdog

    Happycowdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, this screech owl was hunting at like 4:00 today....I thought that was weird. It was definitly a screech owl. Yeah, I thought they were totally nocturnal too. It sure was beautiful.
     
  5. joebat

    joebat Out Of The Brooder

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    Screech owls like bugs, lizards, small mice. Just be glad you have an environment that will support them and your chickens!
     
  6. Happycowdog

    Happycowdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I wondered that...we don't have any loose dogs running around here, but like a doomis, I did leave the gate open when I left. I sure would like to know what killed that hen.
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    That night I heard an owl in back of the property.
    It sounded like a great horned-owl

    Owls have distinctive calls and a Screech Owl sounds nothing like a Great Horned Owl​
     
  8. Happycowdog

    Happycowdog Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2010
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    Yes....it was definitely a Great Horned owl I heard, there were two calling to each other. I know what a Screech Owl sounds like too! I was just surprised and exited to see a Screech Owl on the property as it is my favorite raptor.[​IMG] I haven't seen one since I was a little girl when I took care of one at the wildlife center. I knew they were coming back, but to see one in flight hunting....I can't tell you how exited I was to see that! [​IMG]

    I was curious though, if it would be possible for them to kill a hen, which, I have never heard of, that is why I asked on here since we all raise chickens [​IMG]. I am going to place an outdoor camera there and see what is out while I am away....if there is another attack, I will know what it was.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  9. Ibicella

    Ibicella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A screech owl definitely could not kill a standard hen. I think it was happenstance that you saw him.

    Owls will come out at dusk before it becomes fully dark. I guess this one thought he'd get an "early" start!

    Good luck in tracking down your predator!
     
  10. NYboy

    NYboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A hungry animal will hunt anytime day or night.
     

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