Only feathers left...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by darbella, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. darbella

    darbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I went to look for my black cochin a little while ago because I realized I had not seen her all day. I found only a pile of strewn feathers and a foot and what appeared to be her skull left on the other side of my fenced yard. The free range group does occasionally get thru a small space in the fence but by dark they are in the coop and I close the door. i did notice that they were hesitant in coming out this morning, and I am not sure if she was in the coop overnight because it was dark when I locked it andd I did not wait for them to come out this morning because they took so long hesitting and peeking out the doorway! I remember reading here that each predator has a certain way of identifying itself by what is left behind...so what one would have taken the time to pluck rvry feather and eat all the bones and meat??? I would think racoon becuse of their hands...but am I wrong??? She was a pretty bantam cochin and I will miss her, but i do realize that sometimes there is a price to having a happy free range bird.
     
  2. darbella

    darbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Perhaps I posted in the wrong place with this??? Not a reply yet???
     
  3. juliechick

    juliechick Transplanted Hillbilly

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    I can't say for sure, but I did have a possum get in my pen once and eat a Silkie hen. All that was left was her feet, wings and head. If she was left out all night, then that might be your culprit.
     
  4. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North of Nashville
    If she was killed between dawn and dusk I would bet it was a racoon! Better watch closely because it will be back for another chicken dinner....

    So sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    I had an ongoing battle with racoons here for almost a year. Haven't had a problem with them in awhile now but eventually more will come. My chickens are no longer free ranging and are locked up tight at night. Last racoon was so angry that he couldn't get one that he killed my old pet cat. [​IMG] I got that one though the next night. Now am dealing with possums, killed 4 in the last 2 weeks. Never ending battle to protect the precious chickies.
     
  5. darbella

    darbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I am racking my brain trying to remember if she came out of the coop this morning...yesterday morning when i opened the door, they were all peeking out the door and i thought it was because 3 of the crows I had raised last spring were squaking in the tree above the coop. i thought they were begging to be fed, but now i think they were warning the chickens. When they all were taking their sweet time coming out, I just went ahaid to the indoor cages and never noticed when they all decided to come out! I just remember seeing on this thread a listing of what each predator seems to leave behind after they kill a chicken, and i cant seem to find it again. i think it was : dog usually leaves the body cause they oly run the chickens to death and maybe play with the body, raccoons favor the heads and chest, foxes eat....etc, etc
    It was very interesting to read to know that each predator seems to have a special part the like and parts they dislike! Although I bet in the dead of winter any predator would eat the whole chicken!
     
  6. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    My experience with racoons is that they usually just eat the head and leave the body. I read this once about chickens, and experienced it with my koi (little headless bodies all over the yard [​IMG] ). There are probably exceptions, but that's what I have learned. Maybe a coyote?
    I'm very sorry about your loss. That stinks.
     
  7. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    Hey - found your list of predators. Go to the home page...chickens 101...Chicken care after first 60 days...click on predators link.

    Won't fix it, but at least you'll know what you're looking for.

    There is also a sticky'd post at the top of this predator forum...but you probably saw that one. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  8. darbella

    darbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Oh Thanx, I will check that out! Good work! Yes, I also saw the list with the percentage chart on the top of this page..intersting!
     
  9. I think it was a fox.
    That is what a fox did to ours.

    Matthew
     
  10. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Sorry for the loss of your chook. I would bet on a fox or a coyote. Coons usually eat the heads. Free-ranging always has some of this sorrow accompanying it. Traps will always help, and must be checked daily forever. Trap to kill and not release. No good to export your problem to another. Not only that, but many critters have an excellent homing instinct and can return. Expect to have losses with free-ranging. It is unavoidable in almost any case.
     

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