Turkey vultures?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mychickensneaky, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. mychickensneaky

    mychickensneaky Songster

    Aug 27, 2012
    Rescue ca
    Do turkey vultures eat alive chickens? I have like 30 turkey vultures that fly over my flock when I let them free range! It kind of scares me. :( And also It might sond crazy but I cant really tell the diffrence beetween hawks and turkey vultures... do you have any ideas on how to tell the difference between the two for someone who doesn't know what they are doing?;)

  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I don't speak from experience but I have heard they will attack chickens and young, not fully gown chickens, but not adult birds. Again, just something someone told me once. They are generally more interested food already dead rather than hunting it themselves. As far as differences between hawks and vultures - I guess it's mainly about size and coloration - vultures generally have a larger wing span than hawks, are a dark charcoal to black color, whereas hawks have a lot of variation - even within the same species. Vultures kind of have an ugly red head as well.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Two common types of vulture are the turkey vulture (red head and neck) and the black vulture (more dusky/black head and neck.) To the best of my knowledge, the turkey vulture solely feeds upon carrion. The black vulture is somewhat more aggressive and can be a problem with new born mammals. Given the opportunity, I think that they might be a problem to chicks or weak/injured birds, but they should pose no problem with healthy chickens.
  4. Vamvakas

    Vamvakas Songster

    Sep 30, 2011
    North Branford, CT
    No, they wont kill your chickens alive. I had many turkey vultures in my area and they never killed any chickens or chicks. Turkey vultures are looking for decomposing meat, not alive. I think turkey vultures are cool cause they look so mean gliding in the air but they kinda have a heart unlike hawks [​IMG]... Maybe someday vultures may kill living things through evolution by now there're not.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  5. littleoak

    littleoak Chirping

    Sep 26, 2010
    Ashmore IL 61912
    I have three vultures (buzzards) that hang around all summer. They wait for something dead to appear in their feeding spot. They fly over and then land to look around to see if anything has been laid out for them. I have no problem disposing of predator carcasses with them around and they are great fun to watch landing or taking off. Like a clown show bumping into each other and argueing.
  6. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Songster

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    Just a note on spotting them in the sky: hawks tend to move in straight lines while turning their head different directions to scan for prey. Turkey vultures tend to fixate their heads in the same direction they're flying. Hawks often have a red or gold sheen to their feathers, while Turkey Vultures are dull black with whitish tips on the edges of their wings, but that may just be our variety. Vultures congregate in huge groups while hawks hunt alone, BUT I have seen hawks masquerading as vultures before, so beware. We don't say Turkey Vultures, we say Texas Buzzards out here.

    I have to say, the main thing ours seem interested in is the chicken feed, not so much the chickens.
  7. spotsplus

    spotsplus Songster

    Sep 29, 2008
    Franklin, MA
    We have two pairs of turkey vultures that we see gliding on thermals around our house all the time. They never have gone after the chickens. I believe they just eat carrion as someone else said.


  8. zinia8

    zinia8 Songster

    Mar 19, 2011
    Reels Corner, PA.
    vultures wings are more V shaped when they are soaring and their wings have "fingers"
    they also fly in groups.
    Hawks wings are held parallel flatter. usually hunt alone. But at my place the whole dang family group hunts together.
  9. Bitterroot

    Bitterroot Songster

    Jul 22, 2012
    Along with the V-shape, they will often rock back and forth a bit as they soar.
  10. animals1981

    animals1981 Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    turkey vulture dont have the ability to do it they aren't fast enough even if they wanted to, they arent going to ground chase a chicken either

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