suggestions on what got one of my hens please.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rhino1, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. rhino1

    rhino1 Out Of The Brooder

    80
    3
    43
    Feb 28, 2015
    around Savannah, GA
    I got home tonight and went to shut the door that leads out into an uncovered run I built. I noticed one of my hens was missing and went looking for her. She was at the other end of the run, something had got her earlier and she didn't make it. I'm trying to figure out what I'm up against trying to make sure it doesn't happen again. I've had a possum that was becoming a regular at night that I caught and relocated. I've never had a raccoonproblem even tho there are a lot if them in the woods behind my house. Plus, she was already stiff, so I'm guessing it happened in the day light. All of her feather on her back had been pulled out and were around her. But the only thing it seemed to eat was the soft, boneless area under her ribcage and some of her insides. I did have a couple of hawks, good size ones, that we saw daily a few months ago. But I've had my hens for a year and a half. Would a hawk pull the feathers out tho?
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,637
    3,261
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Do you have a cover on your run? If not, just about anything can get in there. Hawks, fox, raccoons, opossums... It's hard to say what it could be. If it were my setup, I'd get a cover on that run ASAP. The cover on my runs is 2x4" welded wire. Keeps out the big ones like raccoons, hawks, etc. A weasel would have no problem, and maybe not a mink.

    Please don't relocate your trapped predators. For one thing, it's illegal in most places. For another, I don't want you to bring your now trap-wise chicken-eating predator out to the country. That's where I live. I have plenty of predators without yours. Which brings up another point. You are introducing that animal to another animal's territory. You have most likely sentenced your released predator to a much slower, cruel death than it would have had if you would have just shot it in the first place. Sometimes they survive and come back to where your chickens are anyway...
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. rhino1

    rhino1 Out Of The Brooder

    80
    3
    43
    Feb 28, 2015
    around Savannah, GA
    The run is in a brush area right behind there coop with a handful of bigger trees that would have to be cut down. I have bought some poultry netting to cover one open area that hawks could swoop down into. just havent got around to putting it up. And the hawks never seemed to be a problem. They are usually goo about being in the coop before dark. Thats why Im not sure if it was a raccoon or opossum, I always took them for more of a night predator. We dont have minks or weasels. A bobcat would have carried it off. It was just weird that it didnt eat any real meat. just the soft stuff. From the website above, it looks like either a hawk or raccoon. I set up my trail camera to see whats roaming.

    As far as the relocating, I understand your concerns. But Im not going to shoot something for being born a predator. I hunt & fish, so its not that I am against killing something, but it didnt technically do anything wrong. It didnt kill anything. Kind of like the rat snake I keep finding in my egg box. And I understand what your saying as far as moving it into another animals territory. But that happens naturally and is part of nature. I may have forced this one into that position, but I am better with it having a 50/50 chance than no chance. The area I dropped him is an old industrial area that never got developed that butts up to nothing but woods. There is a 4 mile road in and nothing back there. No homes, no businesses, nothing. I live in the country as well.
     
  4. rhino1

    rhino1 Out Of The Brooder

    80
    3
    43
    Feb 28, 2015
    around Savannah, GA
    Must have been the two hawks I have hanging around that took her down. They came back today and finished some her off. Then a buzzard stopped by. Guess I'll be getting the next up this weekend
     
  5. ronheste

    ronheste New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Nov 22, 2016
    From experience of having chickens since 1995 out in the country of Texas.
    1. When a chicken has been eaten from the head first then inside of the body this is Predator= Barred/Screech/Spotted (OWLs) they will always land and the largest even spot in your tree line and are illegal to trap and or kill. Example if you cut a tree 1/3 of the way down from the top the owl will always pick that location to hunt from. Some purchase an Owl to help with other predators; however, by observations of an attempt to protect my fruit trees this has brought even more Owls to the area.
    2. Takes your chicken 100 yards from the kill location and eats everything except feathers Predators= coyote
    3. Kills at eats at the same location and sometimes will kill more than a dozen at one time probably a = Dog
    4. Missing chickens mysterious predator = several different types of Hawks including blue darter, red tail and swainson.
    5. I have had no experience with raccoons
    6. Missing small chicks and or eggs predator = snake

    Hope this helps save a chick :)
     
  6. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    3,205
    566
    261
    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    I have never lost birds to a hawk or owl, so I have no experience with birds of prey. I do, however, have too much experience with coons, opossums, foxes, coyotes, and especially weasels... It wasn't a weasel I don't think. They usually just suck the blood out of them and just leave limp bodies. But not ruling that one out... Not a coyote either, if it was in the run. Rule out the fox if there aren't any dig holes. Opossums mainly hunt at night, and so do coons, but both could easily climb a fence. Daylight, you may in fact have a bird of prey. Covering the run would be a good idea for sure.

    On the relocation; it is most likely illegal to do so in your area. You might take a gander at the relocation thread in my signature, and if you don't find your state's regulations in there, let me know and I'll add it to the list :)
     
  7. rhino1

    rhino1 Out Of The Brooder

    80
    3
    43
    Feb 28, 2015
    around Savannah, GA
    I sat my trail cam up and saw a possum that night eat on it but then the next day the two hawks landed and started tearing it up. I figured they might have did some the day before then came back the next day. Also had a buzzard land and eat on it. Then the possum came back again the second night to eat on it. So, Im not exactly sure what did it, but I wasnt sure if hawks would land for something that had already been killed to feed.
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,238
    458
    151
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    The original kill was most likely a hawk. Was this a full grown laying hen or a pullet?

    The rest are just helping clean up what the hawk started.

    On trapping and relocating, if you are not willing to kill what it is you trapped, best option is to simply leave it alone and tighten up the coop so it and a dozen of it's buddies can hang around outside all night...every night, but would starve to death as they can't get in. That is the best option anyway. You can be certain that all manner of things that go bump in the night are lurking about after dark, but if they can't get in, it really doesn't matter.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. rhino1

    rhino1 Out Of The Brooder

    80
    3
    43
    Feb 28, 2015
    around Savannah, GA
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These are a couple of the pictures I got from my trail camera. I did have a possum that came in that night and ate on the body and a buzzard. But I think it was one of these two that did they kill
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by