First lost bird. Warning: graphic pictures

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by DJHoss, May 22, 2016.

  1. DJHoss

    DJHoss New Egg

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    May 22, 2016
    Hello all, first off my wife has been obsessed with and references your site more often than i can keep track of. Y'all are so Informative i have not had a reason to post here until now! So thank you for that. Unfortunately the wife and i left today for less than an hour, still daylight. As dusk came around the wife went to lockup or coop and noticed one bird missing, her favorite. :-( she located the body and i looked for signs of what took her. Unfortunately i did not consider taking pictures until after i had consoled the wife and it has gotten dark. There were two locations i found feathers, the first only a few small feathers. The second where the birds body lay. Not much damage to the bird at all with the exception of missing feathers where i found two holes in her back. I immediately thought someone had shot her, however i didn't find any lead in the wound on her side/back. I'm attaching two pictures, one up close of the wound. I assume a dog attack would have done more damage. Also i couldn't locate any prints in the area she died. We love in western Michigan so big cats are not option. Again thank you all so very much for the helpful site and i look forward to your input![​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    So sorry! in daylight, outside of the run/ coop, could have been a dog or fox, or a hawk. Your predator will return!!! Keep the flock in their safe coop for ten days or more, to discourage any hawks, and try a live trap for the possible fox. Maybe a game cam? Good luck, Mary
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I would like to add, if you do live trap, please kill if it's a fox, raccoon, or other predator. Don't relocate a now trap-wise animal to be someone else's problem.
     
  4. DJHoss

    DJHoss New Egg

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    May 22, 2016
    Mary,
    thanks for the options and condolances. The first place it was attacked was under tree cover. Where she ended up was wide open. I assume a hawk would have carried her further or at least attempted to consume her?

    Bobbi,
    No worries here about making it someone else's problem, the ONLY thing that is allowed to mess with my food supply and survive is my wife herself! [​IMG]
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    x2! It's also illegal to relocate those critters, and isn't doing them any favors either. Mary
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It looks like there was blood on her head. Was there any head damage? Many critters go for the head first. Perhaps it was frightened off before it could get very far.

    At dusk I’d certainly include an owl in the list of possibilities. Like hawks, owls tend to go for the head to kill but will grab hold with their talons. You mention two holes that look like they could have been a gunshot. That sounds like talons to me. A bird of prey tops my list of possibilities. I had an owl go into the coop and drag a bird out once. It was undisturbed and removed the head.

    I’d think bobcat as my next choice. Those puncture marks could be from claws holding her. Bobcats normally eat a bit and then try to hide the body but maybe it was frightened off.

    I certainly would not rule out a .22 either or something similar. A shotgun would probably leave some pellets behind but I killed a squirrel once with just a couple of pellets hitting it. Still that looks more like a single shot weapon. Does that photo show both puncture marks? Kind of looks like an entry to the left and an exit to the right.

    With what looks like blood on the head I just can’t rule out a critter though. Not all predators always act the same. Just because a weasel normally goes for the head doesn’t mean it always will. It’s possible those holes could be from a dog’s teeth (or some other predator) but you’d think a mouth full of teeth would cause more holes. As you can probably guess, I think whatever did it was frightened off before it could go very far.

    You can contact a moderator to ask them to close the duplicate post or edit it and put in a new title, something like Sorry, duplicate post. You could also put a link to this thread in it to redirect people here.
     
  7. Cooper589

    Cooper589 Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you have any Roosters? My rooster cut a large wound on the back of one of my hens. It was a cut and not a puncture. A puncture could be fangs or talons.

    Did this chicken not make into the coup and is it possible to happen in daylight? Most predators come during the dark hours. Owls hunt mice. Daylight would be a bird of prey if chickens are free range or no top to coup.

    Maybe you could perform an autopsy. Sounds crazy but it may tell more the cause of death.

    Once you find out who the culprit is then you can engineer a solution.


    Good luck.
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I respectfully disagree - predators can and will attack at any time. My last raccoon kill (a couple of years ago) happened at noon. A mother coon and her babies were out and about and she killed my best broody in the coop. (Dog alerted DH, and DH removed the problems) Owls hunt more than mice. They will pop a chicken's head off if they're roosting in the trees. (I have experienced this one.)
     
  9. DJHoss

    DJHoss New Egg

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    May 22, 2016
    She did not make it into the coop, she was found dead just at dusk. So the attack happened during the day. Sorry for my lack of catching up with you all, I do appreciate the help however I work at an amusement park that is getting ready to open. 13 hr days. I did find some new evidence tonight though, the wife found another area of feathers where I believe she was first attacked, and I noticed this thing...
    [​IMG]

    I then went to where she was buried and find a similar clue.
    [​IMG]
    Whatever it was came back for the Caracas and attempted to burrow for it. Again sorry for the dark pictures, however hopefully they she'd some light (pun intended) on what attacked our girl. Thank you again for everyone's time and assistance!

    -Miles
     
  10. abelardo

    abelardo Just Hatched

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    it could be a dog that killed that chicken
     

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