Gruesome demise. 2 hens in 2 days.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Cringer74, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Cringer74

    Cringer74 Hatching

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    Jan 20, 2019
    We have lost 2 hens in 2 days. The hens were partially feathered and their insides were mostly eaten. Our dogs are not aggressive had were indoors with us at home both days. We have a very aggressive rooster that I have now separated from the hens. Is it possible that a rooster would do such a thing? Only other thought would be a hawk but the girls were not taken from the area. Maybe too heavy for the hawk?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    I would suspect the hawk. They will eat them in place. Cannibalism in chickens generally happens on the backside or by the vent.
     
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  3. pineapple416

    pineapple416 Songster

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    Really sorry to hear about this. This is always horrible and sad to find.
    As for what did it I'm not sure. I highly doubt it was the rooster. I have never heard of a rooster doing something like this. Roosters can occasionally kill hens if they are extremely aggressive but a rooster would not eat their insides like that.
    It depends a lot where you live as to what type of predators live around you. I also doubt that it was a hawk as from my experience with hawks they usually carry the body away and eat it elsewhere, and there is usually not trace besides a few feathers unless you see it happen.
    We have had raccoons attack ducks and do similar behaviors like leaving part of the body uneaten, and have also had a cat do something like this to one of our bantam hens.

    Here's a link to a website that has much more knowledge on predators than I do, hopefully it helps you identify what happened.
    https://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chicken-coops-housing/what-killed-my-chicken/

    Best of luck to you hope the rest of your hens remain safe!
     
  4. Silkies for life

    Silkies for life Chirping

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    Sounds kind of like a possible raccoon attack :(... keep an eye out for these terrible predators! Wishing you luck with the rest of your flock!
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Most likely a hawk. I've lost 4 birds to hawks; 2 Barred Rocks, a Speckled Sussex and a Silver Spangled Hamburg. Only the Hamburg was carried away by a hawk. The others were eaten on the spot.
     
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  6. Eggscaping

    Eggscaping Enjoying Life!

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    Lost 4 chickens to a hawk? How horrible! Were they free-ranging (meaning, to me - outside a protected coop/run either all the time or when you were close by and keeping an eye on them) or was there a run without a cover? You have my greatest sympathy! Right now, my partner and I are in a bit of disagreement about letting them out of a run at all...she wants to let them out 'when she's outside working in the yard' whereas I would build a really BIG run and not let them outside. We are going to be in an area when we move and start to keep chickens, and it has woods all around. We have seen one hawk and we know there are mink, foxes, and so on around. But we will see...
     
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  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    They were free ranging and these attacks didnt occur all at once, I shouldve mentiond that lol.
    That's the risk we take when we let birds free range. It's open season for predators.
    By the same token I've lost quite a few chicks, cockerals and pullets
    to snakes over the years. The chicks were in the brooder located in the garage and the cockerals and pullets were in a grow out pen.

    Since you have all those predators, it would be a full time job to keep an eye on your birds while outside. Predators attack without warning and can snatch a chicken up before you know it.
    If you decide to pen them; ensure that you lay an apron down on the ground, outside the pen, all the way around the base of the pen. This will prevent "digging" predators from burrowing or digging under the fence/chicken wire to get at your birds. I use field fence tied in at the base of the pen going out 15 inches. Nothing can dig through it.
     
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  8. Cringer74

    Cringer74 Hatching

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    Jan 20, 2019
    Thank you all for the stories and advice. I have seen a new female hawk in the area. She is one of two. My chickens are free range but have a coop that they go home to. I was hoping it wasn’t the rooster so thanks for confirming. The Americanas are way too big and haven’t been affected. Our Batam Silkie and Bantam Cochran where the 2 killed. I still have a Bantam Frizzle hen and rooster. I’ll have to spend some time securing them more properly. Thanks again everyone!
    BTW, I’m in Chino CA. We have white barn owls, hawks and opossum. Haven’t seen a raccoon for years but they do exist. Both deaths happened during the day while we were at home. I’m surprised the roosters didn’t make more noise. No more Bantams for us. It’s just too sad.
     
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  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Keep in mind that female birds of prey will be hatching hungry chicks in the spring. They'll be looking for fresh prey to feed their chicks and chickens are on everybody's menu.
     
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  10. Cringer74

    Cringer74 Hatching

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    Very worrisome. I found a small hawk on the shed next to the chickens today. I’m guessing she’s the culprit. The larger hawk in our area has never been a problem. The size of the hawk would help explain why my girls were not taken away. I’ll keep looking for updates and advise. Thanks again!
    Tim
     
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