Dead large black brahma hen

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jacquiearnold, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. jacquiearnold

    jacquiearnold Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    Hi everyone . My hens are nearly 2 years old. They free range all day, but this is the first predatory death. I should note that our dog passed away last May, so i am guessing all traces of her smells are now gone from the yard and the snow just recently melted, so the hens are out more. I live in the Okanagan. We have bears, coyote, weasles and martins, wolves, cougar, hawks and eagles and owls for major predators. I have not seen any evidence on the ground as far as predatory mammals, but i do know that we have coyotes, a great horned owl, eagles and an osprey near us. There was an urban cougar sighting recently. We have a 5 foot chain link fence around our 1 acre yard. The hen was found in the run in the very early morning. There were feathers all around the kill. I did have the run door open. She had her head attached still and her entire body cavity including breasts and internal organs and breast bone was eaten. There was one whole egg exposed and 1 unshelled egg just sitting inside her uneaten. She was opened fron neck to anus with head, legs, wings and back uneaten. I know there are lots of possibilities, but any guesses? Oh. No tracks found since ground was frozen this morning.

    Thank you in advance for any opinions.

    Jacquie
     
  2. animalwild

    animalwild Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would assume that the animal that killed your chicken was a bird of some sort. I have had weasels killed my entire flock once and they decapited all the chickens. I also would assum that an animal similar to a cougar would take the bird away from your house and take other birds with them, I hope you can find what ever killed your chicken.
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    A photo would be nice but from the description I would say possibly a bird of prey but some things just don't add up. I will guess a great horned owl.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    With the run door open...
    was the coop door closed?
    did this bird get left out over night?(I'm assuming so, since so much was eaten).....
    ......it could have been anything too small to carry off the carcass.

    Securing run and coop at night is going to be paramount, as whatever ate the bird will be back for it's next meal within days.
     
  5. jacquiearnold

    jacquiearnold Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    Oops. I should have said run door closed and small door from coop to run open. No the hen was not left out, but evidence of commotion in the coop points to an intruder inside the coop. I spoke with a biologist from forestry and wildlife management and he suggested a marten or fisher weasel. I did find a bit of the run wire unburied and about a 5 inch space pushed up this morning. Another hen dead. Small flap door from coop to run nosed open feathers scattered in coop and dead bird with breast area plucked and eaten in the run.

    I have now got a heavy brick holding the small door closed and heavy landscape ties around bottom of coop wire. I am ready to camp out and confirm the identity of the predator. Wish I could rent a live trap.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ohhh, ok on doors....... you don't want to live trap.
    Might want some good latches on your door and block any gaps on coop.

    How big is mesh on your run?
    Is it run covered?

    Apron on run can deter diggers.
    Scale on corners is out of scale but don't forget the corners:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. jacquiearnold

    jacquiearnold Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    Yes. I think we will do some tweaking of our run once the ground thaws. Thank you very much for your suggestions. Ya. I know. I will not trap it. It sure would be nice to know what it really is though.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Live trap....you can use, but then kill it f you catch it, don't relocate it.
    I'd want to know what it is too.
     
  9. jacquiearnold

    jacquiearnold Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    I am too much of a softie to kill something. I even live trapped a mouse at work years ago. If it did not create bad habits for the predator I would have rather it finish eating the chickens rather than throwing them in the garbage. I know some will think me nutty.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016

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