Predator ID

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AuroraSprings, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. AuroraSprings

    AuroraSprings Chillin' With My Peeps

    654
    13
    164
    Jun 18, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    For the first time, we have lost a grown hen to a daytime predator. Initially you would think red tailed hawk, but they hunt by sight and in open areas. This chicken was found snug in between several privet bushes, so densely covered we couldn't find her for the longest time. Even walking right by her, within a foot, I could only see her if I was squatting and lifting branches up. Very dense! Not a popular place for hawks. Plus, a hawk diving or falling into there would have dropped a feather or two, but none were found.

    The hen was mostly intact on her side. Head and top of the neck were skinless and meatless. Mostly just connective tissue and bone. Honestly looked "plucked", pecked, or nipped at. Very small chunks ripped out many times.The stomach was torn open under a wing but intestines were still present. The crop might have been gone, hard to tell. Other organs looked intact.

    Any thoughts?

    Did the other chicken eat her? Did they kill her and eat her? These are free range Basques chickens. They have a large pasture, wooded area, and garden to pick through. I doubt they are missing anything in their diet. They certainly aren't bored.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,883
    2,531
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Hawk. I am guessing flock is hen only.
     
  3. AuroraSprings

    AuroraSprings Chillin' With My Peeps

    654
    13
    164
    Jun 18, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    No, we have two roosters, over ten geese and over thirty ducks in the same field.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,883
    2,531
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Partial consumption on sight of kill with parts missing as described consistent with hawk. This time of year my roosters no longer effective deterrents against hawks and hawk will pursue prey into heavy cover if no obvious threats.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by