Found my hen dead in chicken run....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by NewBostonChick, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. NewBostonChick

    NewBostonChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sad.. I came home from work and went to close my chickens up for the night and saw feathers.. I thought, oh no! I found my hen dead and chewed upon out side the hatch door, blood in the snow... :-( We have lots of snow here in NH and they have a path shoveled so they can walk outside. My run is over 6 feet high, wire and posts.. I only open the little door during the day.. what could have scaled a 6 ft fence and killed my girl? I am now down to 6 hens and a disabled rooster.. I lost my barred rock hen 2 weeks ago to old age... I am sad.... RIP sweet girl......
     
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry. I hate to ask this but if you could be a bit more descriptive about "chewed upon" that may help ID the culprit. Small marks could indicate weasel. If certain parts were missing, that could indicate others. If it was literally chewed on it could have been a dog.
    So sorry for the loss. I've been there and it stinks. [​IMG]

    I had a hen and a roo killed this morning, 30 minutes after I let them out, by a neighbor's dog. It came back later in the day to grab the carcass of the hen (which I hadn't found as it carried it onto our neighbor's property) and I saw it running across their pasture with her in it's mouth. Followed it home and turns out its the same dog that killed some of my chickens a few months back. Sorry, venting again.
     
  3. NewBostonChick

    NewBostonChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, so sorry for your loss too... It does stink to lose a chicken... This is the first time I have lost a hen like this.. They are in a secure chicken run, so no dogs could get in.. but the wire covering on the top of my run had fallen in from heavy snow, so the run is now open from the sky.. The hen was chewed on each of her sides, down to the flesh.. It was getting dark so I could not tell if her neck had been bitten, but there was blood under her.. I have seen a gray squirrel running out of their run when I come out in the morning.. do squirrels harm chickens? I am also wondering if it is a weasel? All the other chickens seem fine.. I will not be opening the hatch door now for awhile as I am nervous something will come back for more....
     
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It wouldn't be a squirrel. But it could be a cat, weasel, raccoon, opposum etc.

    It is odd that your other birds weren't upset. When I've had losses, the others usually act very nervous for a while. I suppose that it could have happened early and the others "recovered" from the ordeal. I'd leave them closed up until you can repair the top, just in case. If you can in the morning take a look around to see if you can find any tracks, holes etc.

    Again, sorry for the loss.
     
  5. NewBostonChick

    NewBostonChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you.... and the same to you for your losses today.... I was gone all day at work (8-5pm) and my hen was pretty stiff, so it probably happened early. They were probably terrified when it was happening and makes me wonder what creature would just kill one and not others? It seems it would have had to have grabbed her from right inside the coop.... Yes, I will need to get the top fixed as soon as spring arrives... would a hawk have just flown in and taken her off? Not sure what hunts in the winter time..?? Do weasels climb posts? I heard they suck the blood and then leave... oh, I just feel sad... I thought my chickens were so safe with a 6 ft wall.. now I am nervous.. thank you again..
     
  6. NotableNancy

    NotableNancy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry for your loss. It must have been awful to find her like that.
    Do you think it could have been a hawk or another type of bird of prey. Hawks, fox and raccoon will be my 3 biggest threats.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    A body + feathers with little meat missing means mink or bird of prey. With a lot of chewing and other bodly damage look for raccoons and dogs both of which make a feathery mess.
     
  8. NewBostonChick

    NewBostonChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was a Hawk!!! I came downstairs this AM and looked out the window and the darn thing was sitting on the post of my run!! I was livid!! I went to get my camera and he sensed me and flew off before I could get a picture... Oh man! The top of my run had fallen in with heavy snow, so it is not covered, but I did not think a hawk could fly in to a small area, but I see he did.. Makes me mad! Once I can get around the entire run if our snow ever melts, that will be number one to have the run cover repaired! Thank you for responding... :-(
     
  9. memechick

    memechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going through the same thing! The hawk came down and killed my Maggie Mae ........ my DH was only about 50 yards away ....... the hawk was fearless. We freerange the girls in our fenced in back yard ....... now we just purchased 2 10x10 6ft dog kennels that we will be putting up as soon as all this snow melts ..... and I will be getting something to cover it ..... deer netting? Ugh ..... more snow in NH this weekend. I want all this snow gone so that I can secure my yard ladies. I'm a nervous wreck too now ..... this hawk knows where I live!!
     
  10. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    I have two guesses to what it might have been. It could have been a hawk, or a raccoon. Raccoons are amazing climbers, and they can easily climb a fence. I had this happen last spring. A raccoon climbed the fence to my chickens run, and climbed in the window of the coop and killed my two hens who were sleeping in the nest boxes. You might want to set a trap if its a coon. Get a live trap and put a whole egg (shell and all) and some cat food in the back. Works almost every time. If its a hawk, I would leave your chickens inside until you can get the top of their run fixed.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013

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