The Savage Flock - Killer Cacklers


In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
Las Cruces, New Mexico
So, I made my way to the coop this morning to let my flock out, the daily routine. I am used to having at least half a dozen dove along with various other small birds feeding in with the chickens, but they always depart as soon as I approach. This time one of the birds didn't fly away. As I got closer I was able to make out that something didn't look quite right about this tiny dove (diamond dove I believe). Then I finally made it out. This poor little dove's head was literally eaten down to the bone. From the neck up it was solid white bone, not a speck of flesh remained. Even it's eyes had been eaten out. AND IT WAS STILL ALIVE! Poor little thing even put up a fight when I was trying to catch it. I of course had to mercy kill the poor animal because there was absolutely no way it would have survived. It was pretty traumatizing, and so very freaky to see an animal skeleton still full if life.
I can't believe my chickens would do something like that. I mean, I can believe it because they are pretty vicious, but dang. Is this common? Do chickens kill other birds for nourishment? Because they were not paying any more attention to the dove and they didn't eat much. I feel like they did it for entertainment, but I guess there's no telling. Has anyone else experienced something like this? Please share.
Chickens are carnivores. They will kill and eat just about any manageable size critter. They're cannibals as well. I worked at a farm years ago that had about 20 chickens. One day while putting the chickens up I noticed one had a limp and was moving pretty slow. I couldn't visibly see any damage so I thought I'd check her again in the morning. So I continued my duties for about 20 minutes or so and went back to double check her before leaving. Surprisingly when I returned the chicken was dead and a 1/4 of her had been devoured already. Just like yours the neck and head down to bone and the eyes gone plus they started working their way down too. So I removed the carcass and disposed properly. VISCIOUS THEY ARE
last summer I witnessed a chicken grab a baby bird out of a nest on a low growing limb on a large spruce tree, run away with mama sparrow chasing and screeming. years ago a frog had the misfortune to get in the chicken pen, it was alternating between jumping and being flung by the killer hens
I have to isolate broody hens because if I don't and a chick gets away from its mother, I'll find it in much the same condition as you've described.

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