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Do Black Vultures take Chickens? HELP!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chikinwing, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. chikinwing

    chikinwing In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2009
    I am so angry and frustrated because in the past month something has been taking my chickens. I have just lost 3 more today. They have a run and coop, but I have been letting them free range due to the extreme heat. I have not seen a fox, racoon, skunk, nor possum at all. The chickens just disappeared, sometimes a feather or two is found but that's it (poof) there gone! Today my chickens were hanging out under the trailer to keep cool but when I looked 2 of my hens and 1 pullet was gone. I heard something in a tree nearby and I looked up and there was a HUGE black vulture low in the tree. I went to look closer at it and it flew away to a neighbors nearby roof. There is an over abundance of these vultures living in my area of Virginia and I know they are responsible for killing newborn calves. Will they kill chickens?[​IMG][​IMG]

  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I'm no predator expert but if you aren't finding feathers I would think it's more of a ground predator that's snatching them. I wouldn't put it past a vulture to take a live meal but I don't know that they have the ability to strike from the air like a hawk or to take a full grown bird away with them. If it had been a vulture I would think there would be piles of feathers. Just my two cents.
  3. dufus

    dufus In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2011
    you are entirely correct chikenwing, buzzards will kill new-born calves, if their mother isn't there to get them off it. i've had a good many buzzards flying above the house last fall, [ during deer season, i live in rural MS] but they never offered to bother my chickens in the yard. i have wondered this same thing myself,, hope for a knowledgeable reply to this.
  4. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ
    I think I would suspect a different predator as well so keep an open mind as it is very rare a vulture will catch and kill live prey, disabled animal perhaps, but not healthy in my experience.
  5. chikinwing

    chikinwing In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2009
    I am so frustrated with whatever it is. It always seems to come in the middle of the day. Any ideas on what predator would come during the day? I put up a trail cam by the coop, but nothing on there. The chickens stay pretty close to my house during the day, and my dogs never growl or bark like they hear or smell anything. Could it be a hawk? Whatever it is, I really want it dead![​IMG]
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Sorry about your losses. If it makes you feel better I hit a buzzard with my car last week. [​IMG]
  7. crj

    crj Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    I do not believe a buzzard will take a live chicken. They want dead rancid animals. It could be a dog or cat doing this as well. Something got 5 runner ducks and 1 pekin that were free ranging. I still have not figured it out. I think it was night time but I can't honestly say but it did get into my duck pen because I found a dead duck. Whatever it was climbed into the pen. Needless to say I now have it covered and bought a game cam. No signs of a predator since. No feathers were seen either. I did find the guts that were left behind. I did find 3 of the carcasses in different places each time. The animal ate all the meat and left the wings and back in tact and no feathers anywhere. Very strange. A neat eater to say the least. So, whatever it is must be similar to what got mine. I still free range but they all get locked up at night. I hope you find the culprit.

  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Turkey vulture rarely kill live animals; black vultures will kill live prey as often as they will scavenge dead animals.
    Mamahenning10 likes this.
  9. goldfinches

    goldfinches Songster

    May 6, 2011
    I've lost one chicken to a predator. I thought it was a hawk, but I have only seen hawks once since. I've seen buzzards, however, multiple times daily, circling my yard. So, I wonder if it was a buzzard that got my girl.
  10. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    If it is a turkey vulture then I would say no too.I have had them the past few summers when the smell of a dead animal is in the air.They have never bothered my chickens,but lol they sure make them run for cover.They are very pretty soaring.Ugly heads though,lol. I recall reading they pee on their legs,but I forget why they do that.Wish they would chase the hawks away!

    Hope you catch what is getting your chickens.

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