1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Hawk or fox? *graphic*

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mak24456, May 2, 2017.

  1. Mak24456

    Mak24456 Out Of The Brooder

    142
    16
    41
    Aug 24, 2016
    NC
    Today I got home this afternoon and was informed by my neighbor (also a chicken person) that Red, one of our 3 suburban backyard hens, had been killed. They are a small flock and are our pets, so in between tears I ask for someone to help identify what happened to to her.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    As you can see, her back has been plucked and there is a single deep puncture connected to the gash, and a less serious scratch below those. There are a couple small piles of feathers outside where it happened, I assume. Her neck is intact.

    The neighbors said it happened at around 8 am. It is already light out by then. They heard a huge amount of crows and their dog barking, so they went out to check on their own chickens and saw ours instead. The predator was already gone. They think it was a fox because of their dog's reaction and the fact they had seen a fox yesterday. I'm leaning more toward hawk because of the time and the crows. Can someone ID the wound or give some insight? It'd be much appreciated.


    Little story of our flock:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-case-of-the-missing-eggs
    She wasn't even a year old but I think she had a good life.


    Do you think we should keep the remaining two locked up for now? I really don't want this to happen again, but I feel it's unfair to them since the coop run is very small compared to the yard that they're used to.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  2. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am not sure, I am very sorry for your loss. If you put twine over the top of your run, spaced 1 foot apart, that will eliminate hawks.
     
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,182
    255
    211
    Jul 18, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    Of the two choices I'd say hawk. The chicken appears to have been hit from above leaving a pile of feathers. Most foxes would just pick up a chicken and carry it away and you wouldn't see a trace. Our two biggest predators here are foxes and hawks and with foxes they just disappear. The body isn't found. Usually a large fowl chicken is too large for a hawk to carry away and they just eat what they can at the site. Sometimes you may get double predation. A hawk will kill a chicken and eat part of it while a fox comes along and either carries the remains away or eats on site.
    We know that happened once. A hawk picked up and carried a small bantam hen and dropped her out back, partially ate her then a fox came along
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  4. Mak24456

    Mak24456 Out Of The Brooder

    142
    16
    41
    Aug 24, 2016
    NC
    Unfortunately the run is the entire yard, so that's not really option. We may get a bigger enclosure for them, not sure yet. Thanks for the kind words.

    Thank you for the insight. Hopefully we can use this information to better protect the remaining two.
     
  5. Minnowey

    Minnowey Chillin' With My Peeps

    406
    44
    81
    Dec 30, 2016
    Northwest Oregon
    I would say hawk. Foxes and coyotes carry off their prey, and often the feathers aren't near the actual attack site. It is differ with hawks.
     
  6. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Put a stone/plastic owl facing the chickens. Make sure it is in sight of the chickens so when the hawk comes he sees it. This worked for my friend.
     
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,221
    798
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    The "large" amount of crows raising cane is a sure sign of hawks. Also hawks don't have jaws and teeth with witch to gnaw, chew, rip, and tear off large amounts of flesh, crack bones, and dismember their victims, a hawk tends to eat chickens like a 5 year old eats spaghetti, one noodle at a time.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by