I'm stumped at what is doing this.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BreenyBeanie, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. BreenyBeanie

    BreenyBeanie Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Sep 9, 2010
    NC
    We've lost about 5 chickens this summer. They were always inside the completely enclosed run. Heads were on, wings on, legs and feet in tact. The entire torso (the guts) was gone. Just a spine left. Lots of feathers everywhere. All had their necks plucked.

    Went down this morning and found another dead. The thing I can't figure out is that now the last 2 dead (one chick, one roo) was on top of the enclosed run. Left the same way as the others but are now they are out of the enclosure and the carcass is left on top.

    I have pics of today's loss but don't know if it's ok to post them here? Maybe to a Photobucket account with a link? Again - whatever is doing this leaves the head, spine, wings and feet. Just the torso is gone.

    Any ideas???
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    183
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Well, for one thing, your run isn't as enclosed as you think it is. You've got a gap somewhere big enough for a fairly large predator to get in and large enough to carry a chicken back out.

    Something big enough to eat the whole body of a chicken is a pretty large animal.
     
  3. dretd

    dretd Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,141
    222
    228
    Apr 14, 2009
    Ft Collins, CO
    Can a hawk or other bird pf prey (Owl) get in to the run some how? We had one going after the pigeons in my barn and they would usually land pluck and eat the main meal then leave exactly what you are describing. Also am thinking this because the birds are left on top of the enclosure--maybe they were carried and dropped there, but maybe they tried to escape and then were killed. Are these deaths at night or in the day?

    I would get a game camera for starters. And pictures would be ideal.
     
  4. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Try putting a light on at night in your coop. That may show you where the gap is. Inspect your run. Do you have a wire apron around the bottom? Is the top fully enclosed? Something is getting in somehow. And it will be back. Live trap, then shoot the varmint.
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    The entire torso (the guts) was gone

    Possums will feed that way.

    Hawks strip the meat off the bones and pluck the feathers

    I'm betting there's a gap in your fencing somewhere near the top​
     
  6. BreenyBeanie

    BreenyBeanie Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Sep 9, 2010
    NC
    Thanks for the posts.

    I don't know if the attacks happen at night or in the day. We bought this farm and are renovating the house but aren't able to live there yet. So that's the problem I have not knowing the details on things.

    Obviously I have a gap somewhere. What I was wondering was what kind of critter I was dealing with....land or air.

    The camera is a good idea. Gotta stop this buffet!!!!
     
  7. smarsh2

    smarsh2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    298
    10
    131
    Sep 1, 2009
    if the access hole isn't evident, then it isn't likely a bird of prey. it has to be something squeezing in a space that doesn't look large enough or closes behind them. what surprises me is the time lapse between killings. usually easy meals are preferred and they repeat the killing until there is none left.
     
  8. KiraCookie

    KiraCookie Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    Jul 20, 2011
    Maine
    Well, weasels are small enough to slip under somewhere. They eat the chickens head off and eat whatever is inside ( [​IMG] ). I have lost 3 chickens because of a weasel, and 2 from a fox.
     
  9. MysticScorpio82

    MysticScorpio82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Maine, USA
    Quote:Possums will feed that way.

    Hawks strip the meat off the bones and pluck the feathers

    I'm betting there's a gap in your fencing somewhere near the top

    I agree with Bear. I am sorry for your losses!
     
  10. Cockadoodledon't

    Cockadoodledon't Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with this post. My thought is that this is the calling card of a mink or a weasel.


    Quote:
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by