Was it a cat? a hawk?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Oneacre Homestead, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Oneacre Homestead

    Oneacre Homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2011
    I found one of my cochin bantams in the dead in the yard yesterday. We have had this stray cat coming around lately, and last night I caught it in a trap. I am going to describe what was done to the dead chicken now..... Just warning you.... The head and neck were bitten off and eaten except for the beak. All my other chickens were hiding quietly in the henhouse, which they do not normally do in the daytime, so I think they must have seen it.
    We have hawks around here, but they are pretty small ones, and there is this cat. Does anyone know if to sounds more like a hawk or a cat? I know lots of people say cats leave their chickens alone, but I have always had these hawks and never had them eat a grown chicken, even a bantam, and the cat just showed up a few days ago, which seems damning for the cat.... It is outside in the trap awaiting sentencing. I could let it go or take it to the pound.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  2. amillecay

    amillecay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2011
    It sounds like a weasel to me!

    I just had a weasel get into my chickens and at first it only took one then about a month later it came back and took all of them. weasels bite off their heads and suck the blood, sometimes you'll find the head gone or like you found it and sometimes it will still be on the chicken but you can tell where it bit them
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  3. puss58

    puss58 Out Of The Brooder

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    Union Vale, NY
    It also could have been a raccoon. I doubt it was the cat.
     
  4. amillecay

    amillecay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2011
  5. Oneacre Homestead

    Oneacre Homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2011
    Yeah, once I had a raccoon do that, too. And hawks bite heads off, also, but I don't know what they do next.
    Are weasels active in the daytime?
     
  6. amillecay

    amillecay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2011
    I didn't know hawks do that, I've had hawks get my chickens before but have never had them bite a head off. Apparently the ones by me are, it happened in the morning probably between 9 and 12
     
  7. Oneacre Homestead

    Oneacre Homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2011
    Thank you amillecay!
    I will try to find out if we have weasels In our area! I found a hawk In my yard once having just killed a pretty small and young chicken and it was not happy that I was chasing it away. It flew up to a tree and screeched. But all it had done so far was bite off the head.
     
  8. amillecay

    amillecay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2011
    You're welcome! :)

    Huh that's interesting maybe they are all different I've heard that they just rip up their pray, maybe it just happened to rip off it's head.
     
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Central Oregon
    It could have been the cat. Cats are capable of killing chickens, especially if it is an abandoned cat and hungry.

    The safe thing to do is to take it to the pound and turn it in. Stray cats can cause other problems besides possibly killing poultry.

    The hawks, maybe. If they are small varieties, probably not, and hawks normally peel back the breast feathers and eat the breast, not the head. If your local hawks have started to kill chickens, then it is time for a safe run for the birds.

    It is possible that it was a different type of predator, too. There are other possibilities. But take the cat to the shelter and wait and see if that solves the problem.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012

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