what anima killed my chicken?

pbr56

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 5, 2014
4
0
7
I have had these chickens for 1.5 years. They have never had any trouble. I have a German Shepherd who loves them as friends, and the two Shepherds next door don't bother them either even when they are roaming. Lucy got out (they are escape artists) and when I got home after dark I found her dead in the backyard (no fence) with her neck broken and some raw areas (maybe bitten or just feathers pulled out). I know I have hawks, fox, coyote, raccoons, etc. I live in Maine. I don't see those 4 legged pests with the 3 dogs around. I was wondering maybe a stray dog? Head was attached and she was left. There were feathers scattered.
Could be be something else?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,318
20,216
907
Southeast Louisiana
Different animals go for the head first so that doesn’t narrow it down as much as you’d like. It’s quite possible that the predator was interrupted before it got to feed too. From your description, I think that is a real possibility.

My first guess is owl since it could have been after dark, but a hawk is also a possibility. They normally go for the head first. Members of the weasel family also come to mind. They kill by biting the head and can move around without the dog knowing better than many other predators. There are other possibilities but those are the ones highest on my suspect list.
 

islandgirl82

Songster
5 Years
Jul 4, 2014
1,426
316
198
Maine
Sorry about your hen. :hugs

Fishers are a problem here in Maine as well but I don't think that is what got your girl. Here's a great link to help narrow down what you may be dealing with.

http://www.raising-chickens.org/chicken-predators.html

I would say it was a domestic dog. Dogs chase and kill for fun. It could have been a predator who was interrupted but with all the dogs you have right around, their opportunities would be a bit limited. I wouldn't rule out your own dog either especially if s/he has access to the yard while you're away. Just because they may be friends when you're home doesn't necessarily mean that chickens don't look like toys. It may have even tried to catch her knowing she should have been with the rest of the flock and it went wrong.
 
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pbr56

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 5, 2014
4
0
7
Well my dog wasn't out so it couldn't have been her. And it wouldn't have been anyway. I finally can leave her outside if I run to the store in the front yard with the chickens because she doesn't get anxious because she has them as company. And she is not a very brave dog, she's even afraid of the woodchucks. she has never killed anything. Her past time is, enjoying for hours, watching the leaves fall from the tree in the fall.
 

islandgirl82

Songster
5 Years
Jul 4, 2014
1,426
316
198
Maine
I'm glad you can rule out your own dog. I'd be keeping an eye out for other dogs in your area. Fox and coyotes would have taken her but left piles of feathers. Birds of prey are certainly a possibility but I should think more damage would have been done to her had it been.
 

pbr56

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 5, 2014
4
0
7
The is a new dog in the neighborhood. They are confined to their large enclosed all sides cage if I am late home. Front yard if I am home but out and about, and free if I have my eye on them or sheba is out watching the leaves fall from the tree. ( she must be a hippie dog)
 

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