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Unknown predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RoomtoRoam, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. RoomtoRoam

    RoomtoRoam Hatching

    Feb 27, 2013
    Geneva, FL
    Hello all. I am a new member but have used the site before to get information when I first considered getting chickens. I'm not sure what to do about my problem so I'm hoping someone has some info. Yesterday afternoon I let my rooster and hens out to free roam in the yard as I usually let them out every morning and they roam all day and go back into their run and coop in the evening. Yesterday afternoon I let them out and left home to run some errands. When I came back, I found my Polish hen in the back yard, she had been killed. This is my first instance of this as I am new to backyard chickens and I have no idea really what happened. There were feathers everywhere and she was a mess. All of her from the neck up was bloody and her feathers had been pulled out and even her eyes were gone. The only thing I saw when I went in the yard was a medium sized bird flew up into a tree as I entered the yard. It was so far away I couldnt even see what kind of bird. We are in a rural area and I know there is also a family of fox that travels the area. It really kinda freaked me out and I was glad my kids werent the ones who went to check the chickens this time. My other hens were very quiet and seemed to be hiding in the large bamboo and one behind my greenhouse. The rooster was on the other side of the fence like he had run into the woods. I have kept the remaining chickens in the run today but I dont know what to do really since I didnt see what happened or what got her. Any advice or insight would be appreciated.

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Bets are that the medium sized bird that you saw was a hawk. The kill scene that you describe sounds like a bird of prey. Keeping your birds penned up and only allowing supervised free ranging would be advised. Now that the hawk has discovered your chickens, it will continue to return.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I agree with sourland's analysis of the situation.
  4. 27strong

    27strong In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2011
    A hawk killed your hen. If you had given it more time..then next thing it would have done was tare off the chickens head to get to the meat. That is what happened to my hen. You just have to watch for those hawks they only way to prevent it is to monitor while they are grazing. Birds kill chickens that are isolated. The hawk that killed my chicken killed her because she was isolated she was also the dominant. They will wait forever and strike when its least expected. Also i noticed land or air a predator will always tear the chickens head off. Birds like to kill late in the day time when hours are in the PM. because the sun is going away and its not as light outside. There is no solution i just chase my hens in when its 3PM since its gets dark now. After 3pm hens get ready for bed. So they get distracted pecking and grazing for the night...thats when the killers come. Next time look around your place you will find 1 of them sitting on a tree overlooking your place.

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