I have not seen a predator do this before

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by herbalwriter, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. herbalwriter

    herbalwriter New Egg

    Sep 26, 2011
    Hello all,
    I have been keeping chickens for 5 years, and thought I'd seen everything in terms of predators - but this is a new one. I had a sick hen isolated in a dog crate overnight (stupid - I should have brought her indoors). Anyhow, this morning a nightmarish scene awaited me inside the crate - the hen's body was mutilated and mauled, every bit of meat off the bones and a bloody mess with legs and back feathers still there. The feet were pulled through the cage bars, making me think raccoon; but the killing took place inside the crate, so it would have to have been something that could squeeze through the bars, which makes me think weasel. But this kind of mauling and consuming of the chicken's body is not usual with weasels at all, and a raccoon couldn't get through the bars. Any idea what I am dealing with here?
  2. violetsky

    violetsky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    Huntsville, Alabama
    It probably was a raccoon. They will manipulate the chicken through the bars rotating and eating
    as they go along.
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Coon. Wiley little buggers they are.
  4. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    oh ugh!! sorry for your loss![​IMG]
  5. startingover

    startingover Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    So sorry for your loss, but my vote is coon. If they can get their legs through something they can kill and eat even if they can't get dinner out.
  6. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    My vote is for coon. One pulled and devoured a chick through a 2 inch gap. Coon was in the nesting box and chick was on top.
  7. mrpekinduck

    mrpekinduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Ducky Land!
    Oh thqt stinks! Sorry but my guess is coon.
  8. herbalwriter

    herbalwriter New Egg

    Sep 26, 2011
    Thanks for the advice, all. We have a big raccoon problem out here, so that may well have been it. I have lost many a chicken to coons. I wonder, though, how it could have gotten hold of the chicken...I think she was sleeping in the nesting box, and the opening was facing well away from the sides of the cage. Another odd thing is the lack of disturbance to the cage itself - I had placed a light plastic cover over the top of the cage in case of rain, and it was not out of place by so much as an inch, and it was slide-y too (the slightest tilt would have caused it to slide).

    I set a trap tonight. I baited it with raw chicken (from the store) and set it next to the crime scene. Let's hope the little blankety-blank returns. My other two girls spent all their free range time this afternoon in hiding!
  9. herbalwriter

    herbalwriter New Egg

    Sep 26, 2011
    You all were right! It was a coon. Caught the little booger in the Havahart last night. I'd post a picture but I don't know how to yet. [​IMG]

    I have caught who knows how many raccoons in my years of chicken keeping. I just didn't know one could do this. I learn something new about those wily creatures all the time. I don't want to learn any more. ha
  10. user104534

    user104534 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 23, 2011
    Drown that sucker. (Or shoot if you're allowed to.)
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011

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