GRAPHIC- ID ATTACKER

mpoland33

Songster
Mar 16, 2016
231
130
131
FREDERICK COUNTY MARYLAND
So I have a bit of a story- My girls free range and I haven't had a single problem all year. Tonight I get home and I'm one short on roll call. I had been dreading this day since I've never lost one before....anyway....I turn around and my speckled sussex is caught in the fence. It's a farm fence so it has squares that are large....the chickens head can fit through and apparently her wings can too because that is what was stuck....both of them at different heights. At any rate, she died and it wasn't until I got her free that I realized the damage in the picture.

Theory 1 would be she got stuck and died (hopefully before this animal started at her)
Theory 2 would be that the animal attacked her and she flew into the fence where she got caught.

I'm leaning toward theory 1 but there is something about theory 2. I've seen the girls trying to get through the fence before and they dont come close and dont come close to getting caught.

Anyway, trying to figure out what you think it could be. We have fox, racoon, opposum, skunk, groundhogs, hawks (nest at the top of the property), owls (nest at the top end), eagles and vultures

attack 1.jpg
attack 2.jpg
 

Bird maniac

Chirping
Oct 11, 2016
92
159
96
Olympia, WA
im so sorry, losing a bird is always horrible. I can't help you with exactly which predator it was but I do know that it was not a bird of prey. I have experience with them and I do not think they would go after an already dead creature (except for the vulture) also they do not like eating in the open. I also don't think they would eat something that was not touching the ground. lastly they do not target that area of a bird, they'd go after its breast. sorry thats all I could help you with, hopefully someone with more experience with land animals can help more.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,969
37,524
1,096
southern Michigan
So sorry for your loss!
She could have been dragged into that fence by a predator who couldn't get her through it, and you will likely never really know what exactly happened. Plan to keep everyone in their safe coop and run for a while.
Set live traps out there next to your coop, and shoot any predators that you catch.
Game cameras are very helpful in identifying problems that you have too.
Good luck,
Mary
 

mpoland33

Songster
Mar 16, 2016
231
130
131
FREDERICK COUNTY MARYLAND
Thanks for the response. You may be right- but this is down near the cover of the woods and was wedged in the fence a couple rungs high but the body- the eaten part- was on the ground. The rest I can't argue with. I was really just hoping it was a bird of prey. The hawks circle quite a bit with their nest being there but they've never bothered with them. I almost would have rather it been a bird getting a taste of a dead carcass than an animal/fox getting a taste of blood if that makes any sense.
 

microchick

Enabler
6 Years
Dec 31, 2014
9,622
42,762
1,157
NE Missouri
I'm so sorry, it's never easy loosig one of your birds but not knowing what has happened is just a bummer.

You have quite a buffet table of preditors kinda like we do here in Missouri. In the spring during migration we will find 'rings' of feathers in our pasture where the many hawks and owls we have take down a bird and presumeably landed with it, pulled out feathers and left with it's kill. We never find blood or remains, just these rings of feathers. So I have to agree with the previous posts about ruling out birds of prey.

Fox? Maybe. We had a fox problem last year and flocks were decimated by the female who fed her kits from the area chicken and Guinea flocks. Fox will carry their kill to another location to feed. Strange though, whatever killed her has to then be small enough to fit though that fence. Could be a young fox. Doubt if it's a raccoon.

I hope you find out what but IMHO I would be doing the live trap route and putting up game cameras. Birds should also be confined until the perp is dispensed of using extreme predjudice. Good luck!
 
Nov 2, 2018
3,784
54,148
1,042
NSW Australia
If it is a ground animal then you have a problem
Foxes are definitely one of the worst predators in Australia but it would usually carry the whole body over the fence but it appears that it may have been something smaller
I would say you can rule out birds of prey cause normally they can carry the carcass over the fence, so that leaves you with a few options
It will depend on what predators you have in your area? I will leave it there seeing as those sort of narrow it down
 
Nov 2, 2018
3,784
54,148
1,042
NSW Australia
We had issues with foxes earlier this year also
I'm so sorry, it's never easy loosig one of your birds but not knowing what has happened is just a bummer.

You have quite a buffet table of preditors kinda like we do here in Missouri. In the spring during migration we will find 'rings' of feathers in our pasture where the many hawks and owls we have take down a bird and presumeably landed with it, pulled out feathers and left with it's kill. We never find blood or remains, just these rings of feathers. So I have to agree with the previous posts about ruling out birds of prey.

Fox? Maybe. We had a fox problem last year and flocks were decimated by the female who fed her kits from the area chicken and Guinea flocks. Fox will carry their kill to another location to feed. Strange though, whatever killed her has to then be small enough to fit though that fence. Could be a young fox. Doubt if it's a raccoon.

I hope you find out what but IMHO I would be doing the live trap route and putting up game cameras. Birds should also be confined until the perp is dispensed of using extreme predjudice. Good luck!
Sorry for your losses
 

mpoland33

Songster
Mar 16, 2016
231
130
131
FREDERICK COUNTY MARYLAND
Thanks everyone. With birds of prey ruled out my only hope is that she got stuck on her own and died from her injuries or struggles there....then a opportunistic animal came to start eating. It's weird that its just that round spot that they started eating. With her being stuck in the fence, the predator could have come from the farm side. There are a lot of holes in the fence for a good mile worth of fence so we see a lot of pass through of animals on the trail cams. Nothing seems to sniff around the coop at night though. Thanks for all the insights and responses!
 

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