Ideas for this predator please...

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,455
5,444
502
NW Oregon
The back run gate got left open and we had an opportunistic killing...lost a hen who was brooding in the nest box....but JUST the one hen.

It caused quite the ruckus as the other birds were all huddled in the opposite coop (I have 2 coops with a run in between them)....some odd feathers here and there as they must have panicked out of the right coop to huddle in fear in the left coop.

Weird thing is the dead hen was in tact from what I could see....but her feathers were in a huge pile. Something spent quite a bit of time plucking her in the nest box. She was killed from the backside, which would have been facing the predator, as she was in her broody trance, as I saw blood traces on the back.

BUT her head was in tact, so were body entrails...clear, clean, plucked breast...I really couldn't see anything other than blood on the back from the kill.

Ideas?

I have known hawks, owls, coyotes (very rare), fox (rare), skunks, coons in the area with possum possible but haven't seen one of those in years.

...or neighborhood cat?

Domestic or wild? Wild but young?

I've made sure the hens are locked tight at night and no other killings to report for the week. No recent sightings of anything hanging around. No traces of tracks or fur or anything I could see.

TIA
LofMc
 
Last edited:

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,455
5,444
502
NW Oregon
Follow up for any who may find this and have a similar situation.

I'm pretty sure it was a stray neighborhood cat. Saw an unfamiliar one later in the week walking the fenceline across from the coop.

The way the chickens were scattered as if something went into the flock and chased then caught the one that was in a trance, killed, then plucked but didn't eat...naughty nightime kitty.

LofMc
 

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