Was this a hawk attack?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Scalco, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Scalco

    Scalco Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2012
    Gonzales, Louisiana
    This is what I went out to this morning when I went to check on my chickens. What could have pulled out all of my juvenile rooster's tail feathers? He is ok but I want this to stop!
     
  2. Scalco

    Scalco Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2012
    Gonzales, Louisiana
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Scalco

    Scalco Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2012
    Gonzales, Louisiana
    I am wondering if a possible coon or opossum?
     
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Grifton NC
    I'd say a dog, since pouncing with the paws could pull out tail feathers without harming the bird.
    Hawks rarely get feathers WITHOUT causing wounds
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Possums almost never catch birds that aren't confined or asleep.
    They aren't that fast and agile
     
  6. Scalco

    Scalco Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2012
    Gonzales, Louisiana
    He has a bloody spot where the feathers were ALL pulled out.
     
  7. Janet Pesaturo

    Janet Pesaturo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2013
    Bolton, MA, USA
    I don't think we have enough information to say what it was. Were they free ranging? In a coop? In a run without a cover? Something caught him by the tail, but as the roo escaped, the tail feathers came out. Once a hawk went after my hen and just managed to catch her by enough tail feathers to lift her up. But she was too heavy to be carried off by the tail. About 20 ft up in the air, in the talons of the hawk, the tail feathers came out, and the hen came fluttering down. She was totally fine but for missing tail feathers. Hawk was left with nothing but the pretty feathers.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Who ever did does not have chicken catching down. Dog, yes would be first suspect. I have seen fox and even coyote pull tail feathers out. Since bird likely in molt the blood is not all that informative. Even a hawk can pull feathers out if it misses but they will likely be left as a single tight pile hen hawk releases feathers from talons. Raccoons sometimes also do the tail pulling but that would require attack going on at night.
     
  9. Scalco

    Scalco Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2012
    Gonzales, Louisiana
    He was free ranging and we do have hawks. Most of the feathers were in the same space the small feathers were scattered by the wind I think.

    I haven't been able to catch him yet he is staying in my brush filled tree line and in the sand pad under my hubby's trailer. I will get him when he comes to roost under our carport and spray him with bluekote and lock him up. All others except his favorite hen are put up in a protected pen.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    When you handle him to apply Bluecoat you may be able access more. Feathers in image look dominated by body feathers so he does likely have some damage to him beyond feather loss. Show a picture of wounds.

    Feathers are designed to let go to allow bird to escape attacker and they will grow back fast. If he struggle to get under car that may have allowed him to escape. If bites were delivered by a mammal, watch closely for development of infection and be prepared to treat with antibiotics.

    If he and possibly balance of flock do not want to use normal roost, then attack likely started there. I have had fox grab a larger bird then carry it ways before putting it down to deliver a few rapid bites to back and neck before carrying the bird further. Last round of that enabled my dogs to force fox to leave chicken which then ran back to house in dark as dogs went after fox. Same rooster is one of the few that might be showable owing to good feathering now.
     

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