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Trying to identify what killed my hen. Graphic puc.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by critterkeeper25, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. critterkeeper25

    critterkeeper25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    One of our hens went missing Monday. I searched for her everyday. This afternoon I found her out in the open, where I looked several times before. I don't know if she went off, hid, and died, and an animal found her, or if she was a victim of an attack. There was no blood, that I could see. Just lots of feathers. It looked like she had been drug out from under a coil of old hose up against a tree. Many feathers under there, and scuff marks and feathers on the ground from the hose to where I found her. Only the meat on her neck, back, and part of her wings was eaten. She was laying belly down, and the only thing missing from her underside was her skin. All breasts, thighs, legs, and organs were intact.

    Any ideas?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you see what looks like an explosion of feathers on the ground it could be a rapture hit. I think a fox or a bigger animal would have carried the hen away.
     
  3. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2 I suspect hawk or owl.
    Soooo Sorry [​IMG]
     
  4. birdmanmax

    birdmanmax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep definitely a raptor.
     
  5. critterkeeper25

    critterkeeper25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks everyone. Those were my thoughts. I'm figuring that she was attacked, managed to wedge herself under some debris, and then was pulled into the open by a skunk I saw running from that direction back into the woods.

    We have Coopers hawks that I see at least once a month, plus a resident population of 20 Bald Eagles. We have a deer carcass along the road, about 100 ft from our house. That may be drawing the Eagles too.
     
  6. weasel killer

    weasel killer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to here but that sounds like a weasel to me i had several over a couple days thats all they ate. Alot of times they if they get in the coup they will kill several they kill just to be killing. I ended up catching them there were three. Good luck
     
  7. birdmanmax

    birdmanmax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I disagree a weasel would have little sign of his kill just sucking the blood and leaving the dead bird. This bird is all ripped apart and if it were a weasel he wouldn't just kill one they love to kill just to kill/fun.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Feathers looked wetted from either saliva or blood. Clumps of feathers, possibly with skin attached. Muscle of neck not picked clean. Head / skull appears crushed.


    Rethink raptor option.
     
  9. critterkeeper25

    critterkeeper25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Actually, to me, it looked like the neck was completely picked clean, all the way to her beak. I could see all of the vertebrae. Her head was intact, but all tissue around and under beak was missing. Eyes were still there. One side of head was covered in dirt. All skin was missing except for one wings, legs, thighs back and tail. An area under a coil of hose propped against a shrub, was covered in feathers. Then another pile of feathers just outside of the hose. Drag marks for about 4-5 feet to where she was found. Right in front of our covered firewood that has a ground hog den under it. Then there was a small trail of feathers for about 3 feet in the direction of the hedgerow. The area around the coil of hose, we use to turn our vehicles around. It's pretty open and partially covered in asphalt. I'm wondering if a hawk got her, she managed to get under the hose but the hawk got her through the opening (think loops, hole in center). There would be no escaping that. I'm hoping that she was dead before being eaten. I can't bear thinking the alternative.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Based on picture, lots of meat still on vertebrate. Too much of victim consumed at single sitting for a Red-tailed Hawk or Great-horned Owl. And the head rolled around in mud / dirt screams raccoon.
     

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