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do turkey vultures eat live chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ladybuglives, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. ladybuglives

    ladybuglives In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2010
    humboldt county
    I live where there are a lot of turkey vultures. I thought they only ate dead things -- being vultures and all -- but now I'm feeling paranoid as I see them flying over my yard when my girls are out foraging...

  2. GrumpyOldMan

    GrumpyOldMan Chirping

    Jun 7, 2010
    SE Louisiana
    Quote:I’m no expert but I’ve never heard of turkey vultures attacking a live animal other than trying to run something off so they could eat off something already dead.
  3. Ang

    Ang Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    West Central Illinois
    I wouldn't worry overly much. They have the best sense of smell in the avian world and are looking and smelling for carrion. There is always the outside possibility but it is pretty slim.
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    They would prefer dead and rotting, but will settle for alive and kicking if they are hungry.
  5. andythescot

    andythescot Songster

    Nov 29, 2009
    Central Mass
    Turkey vultures have very blunt, or even fowl-like claws ans relatively crow-like beaks. they even have a hard time tearing into carcasses. I would expect that they could kill and eat chicks and young birds, but nothing much bigger than that.
  6. TCollier

    TCollier Chirping

    Jun 22, 2010
    Franklin, Ohio
    Now maybe it was a rare occurance but I saw 2 turkey vultures trying to get to some baby geese. They kept coming down trying to seperate them from momma. They did not get any but to me it was very obvious they were trying to get them. The babies were only a week old and very small so not sure if they would try for full size chickens but I bet they would try for young chicks.
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Around here I sometimes see them flying around/near our red-tail hawks. I think they sneak around behind the hawks trying to grab what the hawks kill.

    So . . . whenever I see vultures in the sky, I take a good look around for the hawks too.

    Good luck, and keep your birds safe! [​IMG]

  8. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    We have Turkey Buzzards and now a new comer, the black headed vulture. They cruise the skys all day here and the crew dosen't panic like they do at the silloutte of a hawk. But you really never know when it comes to nature.
  9. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    I have never seen them after anything that is alive, but then again I don't know it all...nor have I seen it all. just keep an eye on them, but I am pretty sure you are safe.
  10. luvmychixandducks

    luvmychixandducks Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    Danvers, Massachusetts
    I had a pen of a dozen RI Red and leghorn chicks recently out of the brooder and safely housed for the night, and had a visit from my mom who called me at work and asked if the chicks could be released from their house to the pen . Assuming she would stay with them, I told her to let them out. She returned to the house, and minutes later saw a pair of turkey vultures in the pen feeding on the babies.
    She ran to the pen, but the dozen chicks were now just feathers and feet. She scared them off, and they dropped the last chick outside the pen, and it was found wandering and returned by a neighbor's grandson. We replaced the missing birds with a couple of older birds, for company, and named the sole survivor "lucky chick" . She grew to be the boss chicken of the flock. Having no rooster, she took it upon herself to fly to the top of the pen fence and announce the sunrise as loudly as any rooster we've had.
    Turkey vultures are opportunistic feeders, and sadly, dead or alive, helpless chicks unattended are just as desirable a meal as something already dead. My current pen has a chicken wire roof to protect the resident ducks .

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