I'm devastated and want to know what predator buries extra chickens?


14 Years
Sep 19, 2007
Mid Hudson River Valley, NY
I want to know what animal(s) may have killed my chickens

I was away and came home to find 4 of my chickens killed and 3 missing. I am devastated.
A perfect storm conspired against me last night and there's nothing I can do now but learn from this.

Here are the only clues that I know of to give you

3 chickens are missing and their are places where I've seen their feathers in large clumps - I assume they were eaten and/or taken somewhere
2 chickens appear to have had their necks broken and were left whole
1 chicken had her head and neck eaten and was left
1 chicken had her head eaten and was buried under dirt, leaves and a couple of twigs
The rooster survived - he's in shock and lost all of his tail feathers... many feathers.
A small pullet survived, though her head is hanging low and she's in total shock. I don't see any wounds on her body, though she lost many feathers.

I got electrolytes for their water and she did take some that was cupped in my hand. I hope that's a good sign.
I have seen no signs of blood anywhere

Help from you is soooo appreciated!!!!!!
I'm guessing Raccoon because of head and neck issues, but were they cooped, free ranging? I know raccoons stash food.......... But need a little more information.
As far as I know....

Only large cats and some canine species would bury a chicken for later (wolves, bobcats, mountain lions, etc.).

But no idea which would be in NY and how urban/country we're talking, hopefullt someone out there can help.

Edit: Also I am sorry for your loss.
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you know, i had to reread that. Bury not stash

One of those nights.
I'm in a suburb of NY. I see red fox, coyotes, raccoons all the time. The guy at the feed store (before I found the buried one) thought raccoon, but I find it amazing that a raccoon could get them all.

Oh, as for their set up, they are semi free range and their coop was not secured last night... long story, but I broke down on the road on my way home from Vermont and had to stay at a motel... not even my own car... helping someone else out and now I'm devastated.

I think that the attack was this morning, but I really can't be certain. The dead birds were realitively stiff and I discovered them at about 11am. Not sure how much time would have had to pass before they become stiff. And their were flies on them.

thanks for your help. HOpe I answered your questions.
I'd say a fox. They hunt during the day as well as at night, especially when they are trying to feed their kits. They also bury their prey and will go on a killing sprees, taking an entire flock down.
Sorry for your losses.
Protect your remaining birds well. Whatever did it will come back.
What's the difference between bury and stash? Not sure. This chicken was buried under leaves, dirt and some sticks. Amazing. I don't know why I noticed it... I guess the pile of feathers a couple of feet away and then I saw the disrupted ground. Oh course, there are a lot of leaves and such in the woods here in NY.
Oh I could certainly be wrong, I was giving a textbook answer, but not something I've seen firsthand, and I don't know what part of NY state he's in just giving some ideas of where to start.

Hmm I'd say any of the 3, can you post picks of the pen where it was busted into?

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