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Dead Chicken - what killed it?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rmonge00, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. rmonge00

    rmonge00 Chirping


    Sad day yesterday. One of my hens was killed at some point and I am wondering what did it. The beak, skeleton, and feet were all still intact, but the rest was completely stripped.... Any ideas? It looked like it was dragged all over the yard. 7 of my chickens were safe in the coop last night, but 3 were roosting up in the trees, however there were no feathers anywhere near the trees, so I am wondering if it was a morning kill. I did let them out right at dawn before I left for work and I am thinking now that my wife should let them out when it is fully light. Does this sound smarter?

    Also, I forgot to mention that I have a 4 ft fence around the property so I think that rules out dogs or coyotes. There have been some small houe cats hanging around, but I don;t think that they are big enough to make a kill.

    What are peoples thoughts?


  2. SilkieBantams

    SilkieBantams Songster

    Sep 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Could have been a hawk.
  3. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Crowing Premium Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    New York State
    My Coop
    I'd say either hawk or racoon . I scared a hawk away when I went out this morning. They usually leave some feathers when they make the kill. Were there any feathers around -- like near where your bird was killed?

    If your wife can let them out when it's fully light, that would probably be a good idea.

    Sorry you lost her too. [​IMG] It's always hard.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Hawks strip all the meat off the bones
  5. rmonge00

    rmonge00 Chirping

    I would have thought that a hawk would have taken it away with it.... We also have bald eagles - maybe it was one of those. Do raccoons strip all the meat off as well?

  6. mrpekinduck

    mrpekinduck Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Ducky Land!
    Hawk possibly raccoon I'm so sorry thats terrible! [​IMG]
  7. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Crowing Premium Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    New York State
    My Coop
    Quote:A full grown chicken is too heavy for a hawk to take away with it. They will kill it and eat it there (if given the opportunity).

  8. rmonge00

    rmonge00 Chirping

    Upon further investigation, I found some white feathers from the bird up in the trees where they sometimes roost, so now I am leaning towards a raccoon or a bobcat... I have heard though that raccoons will typucally twist of the heads and leave the rest of the body and this body was picked clean with the skull still intact - any ideas?

  9. rjchicks

    rjchicks In the Brooder

    Oct 9, 2011
    I think it was the Grand Siberian Tiger
  10. geoff40

    geoff40 Chirping

    Aug 4, 2011
    Boonies, NH
    Eating around the bones, and leaving the skeleton intact, its a bird. A raccoon does not have that finesse, it would tear the carcass apart and eat it. Same for a cat. The latter 2 will likely eat smaller bones, while the bird will just pick around them all and leave them behind. A bird could also bring it up in to a tree.

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