Bad predators, especially Barred Owls. I had one take out 7 of my chickens in two attacks before we were able to take care of it. I was unaware of the problem until the first attack, found a headless body and thought coon. That night when I went to set a live trap using the bodies as bait I found the actual culprit. I was literally just a couple feet from it and poking it with a potato fork trying to get it off the bodies. I set the remaining birds that were housed in that barn up in a different more secure pen. My rooster saved three of his hens by sitting ontop of them in a corner the owl couldn’t easily get intoA barred owl just attacked and killed my adult buff duck in our pen this evening at dusk. Ducks go in their house when it starts to get dark and there are plenty of places to hide and take shelter. Part of the roof on the pen was off due to snow breaking it.. 1/4th we hadn’t repaired it yet. We have not had a problem with predators in a year of having them. The owl was smaller than the duck, I had to practically kick it off my duck to make it let go. Was trying to fly away with the duck. We have a bright solar light in there.. surprised it happened in the pen didn’t realize that owls were predators.
looks like it choked and pecked at the neck of the duck. The owl keeps hanging around..
Several months later a freak storm forced me to move bird back into the barn temporarily. I used heavy bird netting and hay bales to crate a temporary shelter that I though would keep them safe. I lost 5 more birds the next morning and the owl wasn’t even really eating them, just taking off their heads. It couldn’t eat that many birds before they would spoil... it had clearly developed a bloodlust sort of killing frenzy. It managed to climb down and pull the bird betting out from the hay bales.
So, chances are quite good it will keep coming back and killing your birds, especially if it was that brazen with you. Find out if they are protected in your area (probably not as a barred, they are agressive, invasive, and detrimental to most native owls here on the west coast) and what your options are for dealing with them (legally, of course) and then get rid of it permanently however you can. Bad Big Birds!!! Ours was actually extremely small as well, under 2lbs, it was just puffing up when I disturbed it, so they are actually a very small and hard to hit target. Talons are like needles! I’ve seen them out in the afternoon here, and both my attack occurred between 7-8am