Update (Pics of the Guilty Party) I lost my first hen today, need some advice on what it might be

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dbounds10, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all, I was hoping I would never have to use this forum but this morning I went out to find feathers everywhere and one of my Buff Brahmas dead. My husband actually found the body and would not let me see it. He said everything from her shoulders up was gone. The breast and everything else was in tact. It was very clear that whatever it was chased her all over cause there were feathers in the yard as well as in the run and under the coop. I forgot to close the gate to the run last night and I think when the pop door opened at dawn there was something waiting. I cant believe we did not hear anything as this happened right outside our bedroom window.

    It was apparent that he chased her all over the yard ripping feathers out everywhere. Her body was about 50 feet away from the coop/run under a tree. My EE also has some feather loss but I checked her all over and found no puncture wounds or blood. I applied some neosporin just in case. They wont even come out of the run today, I am sure they are all stressed to the hilt.

    Here are a couple pics of my EE - Please tell me what is the best way to treat her injuries and also how to relieve the stress in my girls. They are all eating and drinking fine. The pic here was taken just a few minutes ago when I gave them a bowl of cottage cheese and tuna fish.
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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  2. Queen of the chickens

    Queen of the chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry that this happened. I have suffered losses to predators and it is always very unpleasant. I don't mean to be gruesome, but was the chicken cleanly decapitated or was it "chewed" on? Great Horned owls decapitate their pray and then pluck them, so that might account for the feathers all over and why you didn't hear anything. If it got scared off, it would have just left it. Foxes tend to kill and run off with their pray, rather than eat it there. Raccoon tend to eat where they kill, but they are more apt to grab a hen off the roost rather than chase it. Could have been a dog, although you would have been more likely to hear something.

    You might put some blue salve on the plucked bird. I had one who lost feathers and skin in a fight with a dog and she was fine. Just a left a red scar.
     
  3. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the reply. Anyone else? There was some kind of chase since the feathers were all across the yard (.5 acre). I am stumped on this one. Going to get a trap and a game camera and see what happens tonight. Whatever I catch will be promptly disposed of!
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Description like with racoon. I had a pet racoon and observed it to do similar. They eat chickens but are pretty inept at making kill once chicken starts running.
     
  5. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could it have been a hawk? Or Owl? Would they chase the bird all over the yard, inside the run and under the coop? And then only take the head?

    I am so upset. They are going on lockdown until I can figure this out. Live trap and game camera set up....
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Along with the game cam/trap pick up a cheap baby monitor. If you are home this is a very useful adjunct for about $20.00 bucks (chooks whine and growl - reach for the spot and rifle).

    Good luck!
     
  7. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Found out what killed my chicken! Well, there could be 2 possible perp's but they shall both be dispatched with extreme prejudice!
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  8. Amy S

    Amy S Chillin' With My Peeps

    So sorry for your loss.

    As I was reading your post, I was thinking that *chase* sounded like a fox. Ironic that just yesterday I viewed a you-tube where a fox stalked and chased free-ranging chickens for more than ten mins right in front of the farmer and his huge rottie. The farmer was on foot trying to chase it away, yet it never left his sight for long - kept sneaking back. Poor chickens ran all over the place with lots of near catches. This fox was bold and gave me new insight to their level of perseverance when it comes to prey.

    Hope your gals feel better soon!!!
     
  9. Charrisse

    Charrisse Out Of The Brooder

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    Is that a coyote and a cat? LOL Maybe the coyote will eat the cat then you will just have to sss one LOL
     
  10. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL - The first pic is a big grey fox and the second is a cat that wondered in sometime later. Not sure which one got the chicken but they shall both be swiftly dispatched!
     

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