Do raccoons actually eat whole chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by benthere-donethat, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. benthere-donethat

    benthere-donethat Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 8, 2011
    I woke up at 4 am to the sound of panicked chickens. By the time I got outside, there were 2 dead - but the rest (13) were okay. I assumed it was a raccoon. We have a light fence around the garden area and the chickens themselves are in moveable A frame coops. I know what happened with the coops, but here's my question: After I put the 13 safely into our barn (a new coop that is almost finished), I left the bodies of the two dead ones in the garden thinking I would clean them up this morning. Neither one of them were missing any parts, but looked as if they had been bitten on the neck. This morning when I went out, they had disappeared. Everything I've read here points to racoons eating the crops or a head or leg. Would a raccoon have come back and eaten the whole things?
    Or should I suspect something else?
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    If they were in an uncovered area, anything could have come and carried away the carcasses. Raccoon, dog, hawk, vulture, cat etc...
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    From most likely to lest likely to carry the body away. Bobcat, eagle, coyote, fox, dog, GH owl, coon (with much mutilation) then mink, weasel, skunk, possum, hawk, and so on.
  4. Coralietg

    Coralietg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2010
    Opelousas, LA
    +1 to what the previous posters said. When we've had chickens die (car squished, dog attacks, etc) we usually leave the body out over night in a field 1/2 mile away for some other creature to take. Very rarely is the body there the next day.

    Sorry about your chickies :(
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    To answer your question- Yes.
    Raccoons will eat the head, crop, meat, entire body (leaving a bone & feather mess) or take the whole body away.

  6. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    Not always. I had two large raccoon's climb into my coop through the window, and they ate what they wanted from two of my hens and climbed back out the window. I was mortified by what I saw when I walked into the coop the next morning. My coop is 300+ feet from my house, so I never heard their cries for help [​IMG] The raccoons tore almost all of their feathers out and ate most of their backs. The hardest part was seeing that one of the hens was still alive...[​IMG] We caught one of the raccoons and killed it, and the other got hit by a car. These raccoons had the option to take the hens with them, but they didn't. It may or may not have been a raccoon that got yours. My advice would be to set a trap and catch it ASAP. Once a predator gets a taste of chicken, they won't stop until they catch more of them.
  7. downhomelady

    downhomelady New Egg

    Oct 26, 2013
    Son of a MOFO SLIMEY SON OF A MFB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT THING USED ITS THUMBS TO OPEN THE LATCH GATE AND I UNDO THE HINGE LOCK ON THEIR COOP!!!!!My sweet gorgeous black indian runner geraldine who was JUST ten weeks got taken last night 300 ft down to the creek....all I found were a handful of her feathers :hit Either that fu## ate her whole sweet little self or stashed her away. I live on forest land and I have heard at least two other chickens get eaten in the night. Disturbing......we got lockS and nailed the nesting lid shut....I should trap it....then what? Make a hat for my son? Hhhhhmmmm...HATE UM.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  8. SaltyPaws

    SaltyPaws Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 6, 2013
    Totally feel for you. I just heard one not twenty minutes ago on my shed roof chirping. I have juvenile bantams in there in quarantine.

    Hubby is outside keeping watch with the gun and dog.

    We are going to review our security and .make improvements this weekend.

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