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Help me figure out what killed this hen.......GRAPHIC PICS!!!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by willkatdawson, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Ga
    I let my small flock free range, and I knew I was taking a risk. I haven't lost any chickens to predators since I've had them (2.5 years) I normally have 3 big dogs out on the farm with the chickens, but it's been cold and they're wimps. So they've been spending a lot of time in the basement. I'm hoping you can help me figure out what killed this hen.
    Thanks,
    Caroline
    this was the scene when I got there. My husband had turned her over, but I wanted you to see the feather pattern around her.
    [​IMG]
    her head was severed, and completely missing.
    [​IMG]
    there were 2 piles of feather about 9 feet from her body
    [​IMG]

    any help you can give would be great.
    Thanks
     
  2. BlakesFarm

    BlakesFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2011
    Upstate SC
    Looks like a coon or a Hawk could of done this.



    ps
    Sorry for your loss! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,359
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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I'm guessing Hawk, a coon would have torn it to shreds and would have eaten much more.
     
  4. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Ga
    Thanks.
    When my husband described the scene to me over the phone I thought hawk, but it looks like to me the ribs were eaten. And her head was no where to be found. Plus the 2 other piles of feathers have me baffled.
     
  5. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
    Looks like a hawk kill.
    [​IMG] So sorry you lost her.
     
  6. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I saw a hawk catch a dove once. The dove was too big for the small hawk to carry easily so the hawk just perched on top of the dove and began grabbing beakfulls of feathers and pulling them out and dropping them as fast as possible. Over and over it plucked, feathers flew all over until it got to the skin and meat. It looks to me like that happened to your bird. A racoon will usually kill it with a bite then eat the head and/or carry it away. They don't pluck prior to eating.
     
  7. junebug7334

    junebug7334 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2008
    another vote for hawk. I have had hawks here in Va recently too.[​IMG]
     
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,359
    148
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    A coon or something else could have come along and taken away the head after the hawk killed it....
     
  9. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Ga
    Quote:So am I correct in thinking the hawk wouldn't/couldn't remove her head, and eat it?
     
  10. MamaChic21

    MamaChic21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Jackson, NJ
    out here in Jackson NJ, we have a lot of hawk and vultures. 3 years ago when I let them free range, I've found one of my Rhode Island hen dead in my front yard and it was similiar to what you've found. The sad part of it all was, it had an egg inside her still, and it probably interupted some how because it didn't complete eat the chicken. The whole front part of her body was torn off and feathers everywhere. I don't think it's coon, I agree with willkatdawson. I'm sorry for your loss [​IMG]
     

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