Help Identifying Predator

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In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2020
I went out to feed the chickens this morning and immediately noticed my favorite blue egger was missing. Usually, she greets me at the backdoor and pesters me to pick her up, so it was quite obvious something had happened. I was hoping she was just laying an early egg, but sure enough, something had gotten to her between last night and 8 a.m. this morning (about an hour after sunrise here in Michigan). All of my other chickens are accounted for, but I'm looking for some insight on what predator attacked so I can keep my other chickens safe.

I found her body near the coop. However, she usually insisted on sleeping in the tree above the coop. There was a large pile of feathers right underneath where she usually slept, and then a pile of entrails not too far from the feathers. I found about 6 feet away on the other side of the coop. It was mostly intact, just missing her head.

Any ideas on what got her and how to prevent more of my chickens from the same demise?


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Sorry for your loss. It may very well have been a Great Horned Owl or a raccoon. Both tend to eat the head first. Feathers scattered around the kill site is frequently a raptor. To keep your birds safe it is essential to lock them in their coop at night. Whatever it was - it will return. Good luck.
Sometimes after a predator attack birds will instinctively start sleeping in the coop. More likely you will have to catch and lock them in the coop until they come to regard it as 'home'.
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