Hello all. What is killing my chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by KatDawson, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. Rooster

    1 vote(s)
  2. Owl

    5 vote(s)
  3. fox

    0 vote(s)
  4. bobcat

    0 vote(s)
  5. skunk

    0 vote(s)
  6. racoon

    3 vote(s)
  7. combination of killer and other

    1 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. KatDawson

    KatDawson In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2018
    Magnolia, Texas, USA
    Hi all. I am Kat Dawson. I am from Magnolia Texas. I am a diagnostic medical sonographer, working at a local hospital. I started this chicken flock in 2013 with a kit coop from Tractor Supply Store and mail order chicks in a dog create in my sewing room. My husband set the posts for my yard and house around my kit coop and we stretched the wire together. Together we hung the ceiling joists and I attached the roofing slats before he screwed on the metal roof. I finished it out while he was out of town. I built a coop in the corner of the fence and moved those birds into a real chicken house soon enough. The kit coop has come to be known as the guest house. Since that time I have built two chicken coops, a tractor, added a duck house that is being used as a rabbit barn, built some rabbit cage stands and a hutch and turned my dog run into a duck and rooster run with miniature pigs. How is that for chicken math? I have added my moms rooster and two hens to a large enclosure and chickens started popping up dead. I think her rooster is killing my chickens. All alpha female chickens. There are three roosters in there getting on fine. But no bird goes in the coop during the day when the new roo remains there. The victims have meatless, bloody cervical spine and scull with displaced beak attached to a fully feathered body, found up against a wall or fence as if cornered. Two were found in the house and one in the yard. has to be killed from inside for from a predator that came over the fence. Not sure if it was day or night. The pop door is automatic. No parts missing except the meat and feathers from the head and neck. Feathers every where. Found a fourth dead bird but it was hidden and somewhat processed so no clues remain. The business started within a few days of introducing the new birds at night. What predator leaves this type of carcass? Roosters?
    BirdGirl2004 and KikisGirls like this.
  2. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!
    :yesss: We are glad you joined our flock!
    I am sorry for your loss. Any hungry predator can do that, I would look for raccoon foot prints.
    This video will help you learn how to navigate this site:

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    eta....once the bird is dead it is very common for it's flock mates to eat what they can on the dead bird so you may be seeing some of this, the birds eating each other.
    Pork Pie Ken and BirdGirl2004 like this.
  3. BYC910

    BYC910 Crossing the Road

    :welcome Sorry for your lose .A hungry coon would eat the whole bird .Even come back the next night for more . If the run isn't covered could be any flying or climbing predator .If the rooster is suspect lock it up . Chickens most of the time kill other chickens from the rear . Not always but most of the time . they draw blood and keep going . Some breeds are worse than others about doing it too.
    Pork Pie Ken and BirdGirl2004 like this.
  4. hayley3

    hayley3 Songster

    Aug 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    Raccoons normally eat the head and neck area, from my experience, and leave the rest of the body. Did you see any opening that a predator may have entered?
    Pork Pie Ken and BirdGirl2004 like this.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I need to see picture of carcasses. Some details I need missing. Raccoon not likely to be consistently eating only certain parts. A specialized predator with limited gut capacity more likely to be your foe. Since predator very size selective, first guess is an owl.
  6. BirdGirl2004

    BirdGirl2004 Crowing

    Nov 19, 2016
    Huntington, Indiana
    First and foremost...:welcome! I hope that you enjoy this site as much as the rest of us do! I have learned SOOO much from this sites and hope that you do too! Secondly, I hope that your section post on BYC isn't so gruesome!!
    Good luck!:thumbsup
    happyfrenchman likes this.
  7. ChickenyChickeny

    ChickenyChickeny Songster

    Jul 10, 2017
    sorry for your loss :( hope you catch this predator!
    Pork Pie Ken and BirdGirl2004 like this.
  8. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
    Hi and welcome to BYC. I hope the above advice is helpful to you.

    Good luck
    Pork Pie
  9. I must second centrachid's post and suspect that the vermin killing your birds is either an owl or quite possibly some other raptor or bird of prey.
    happyfrenchman likes this.
  10. OlePainless

    OlePainless In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2018
    Newnan, Ga
    Ours was a hawk.
    Found dead chickens occasionally with a neck that resembled an eaten ear of corn.

    We witnessed this once.

    Raccoons normally leave a mess of feathers and a destroyed corpse. (from our experience)

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