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Weird Chicken Death?!?!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Joker78224, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Joker78224

    Joker78224 Hatching

    Nov 29, 2011
    Well, 2 nights ago, Saturday around 11pm, we heard a ruckus in the back. We have chickens in a area with a 6 foot private wooden fence on 3 sides, and 1 side has a gate just as tall. We did not notice anything at first until the next morning. We were missing 1 chicken. There seem to no blood or feathers that indicate a struggle. We did find a couple of small feathers with little blood. My father in law and I went around the outside and inside of the fence, and to our dismay nothing, not even feathers. I live in San Antonio, Texas, and it was cool. I do not know if I can rule out snakes due to the weather being cool. Just today, around 5pm, my oldest daughter saw the chicken in a tree. About 12 feet above the ground, stuck in between, 3 branches, inside the fence. We took it down, and wow, it was weird. No missing feathers, or not torn apart. Here's the weird thing, it seemed that what ever got to it, had the head and neck in the throat. The head and neck was covered in saliva I think, like how a snake begins to eat its prey. Now the x-factor, half the beak was broken off, like bitten off. I do not believe in chupacabras, so what could it be??

    If you need any more info, let me know, I want to get to the bottom of this.....

    Also, there was no teeth marks or blood. The feathers on the head and neck were matted down as if it was inside a snakes mouth.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011

  2. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    Never aeen such a thing ,hopefully someone will chime in soon.
    Sorry about you chicken [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  3. RingedTeal

    RingedTeal Songster

    Jun 9, 2011
    [​IMG] Never seen it.
  4. geoff40

    geoff40 Chirping

    Aug 4, 2011
    Boonies, NH
    Up in the tree suggests either a cat, or a bird. With your night time attack, I would think a bobcat or a big owl. Something may have scared it off (possibly you at 11pm) before it could eat.
  5. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Songster

    Apr 9, 2011
    Meridian, ID
    My first thought was maybe a raccoon? But it being covered in saliva wouldn't make any sense.
  6. JFW

    JFW In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2009
  7. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    What kinda chicken was it ,like how big?

  8. Joker78224

    Joker78224 Hatching

    Nov 29, 2011
    It was a Black Copper hen, about 3 months old. It was the smallest one of the bunch. People have have mentioned cats, bobcats, racoons, but they do not leave the tell tell marks of those predators. Why would the beak be half gone, no blood, no teeth or claw marks. I have never seen anything like it. I have seen chickens killed by common predators, but this was not common. I was thinking a snake at first, but the beak being how it was, pushes that idea away....
  9. Young Heritage

    Young Heritage Chirping

    Oct 4, 2010
    Monterey TN
    I have heard of racoons eating the beaks before. They will eat whatever they can grab hold of on a chicken. Still not sure about the saliva or matted down feathers.
  10. linben

    linben Songster

    Apr 5, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I have had some coon deaths and they seem to eat the head first but never have taken it up in a tree. I would have to go with some type of cat or owl. What about a possum? They might try to eat a younger hen and go up in trees. Are your hens locked up at night?

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