What did this to my beatiful Austrolorp? (graphic pics)

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chesapeakechickens, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. chesapeakechickens

    chesapeakechickens Out Of The Brooder

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    We went out to put the ladies up for the night and about half of the flock was missing. After nearly an hour of searching we found all of the missing birds hiding very well and many playing dead. (We've never seen this behavior before) Eventually, Josh found Susan with only her neck flesh eaten. No damage to her head or the rest of her body. Just her neck eaten to the bone from shoulders to her head. This must have happened pretty quickly as she was still warm and we had already been outside looking for more than an hour. Any ideas or insight would be appreciated. Thanks.

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  2. gawildlife

    gawildlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Coon
     
  3. chesapeakechickens

    chesapeakechickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I know it's just anecdotal but I thought Coons generally ate the heads off first. Also this was at around 3 pm. Aren't they generally nighttime hunters?
     
  4. gawildlife

    gawildlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While coons generally move by night they will move whenever hunger or the urge hits them. They don't always eat/consume the head first. Mostly they target the bite sized neck and chew on it and the head first. I think this one was young and/or interrupted.
     
  5. chesapeakechickens

    chesapeakechickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds reasonable. Thanks. Would a fox attack look different? She was within a foot of the initial attack (according to the feathers) and only about 10 feet from the coop door. I do believe that this attack was interrupted as we were searching the area for quite some time and she was still a little warm when we found her. I'm certain that we have coons but we don't see them except once in a while as road kill. We did see a red fox in the yard the other week and that is somewhat unusual. My thinking is that a fox might have dragged her off away from the house and coop although she was a big chunky chicken.
     
  6. gawildlife

    gawildlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fox usually carry their kill off a ways before sitting down to eat. They prefer to eat in safety. They will then cache or bury the leftovers.
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I'm going with a raptor of some sort - probably a large hen Coopers hawk.
     
  8. loftkeeper

    loftkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was going to say skunk did you smell one
     
  9. chesapeakechickens

    chesapeakechickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2011
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    The feathers were very neatly plucked out. Not wet or looking chewed which made me think either a coon or a raptor. Is it typical for raptors to eat just the neck meat like this? I was thinking that a raptor would have torn her up quite a bit more to get to the good bits inside. Her neck was very carefully stripped of any useable meat. seems more of a "chew" type wound but I'm just guessing here. We do have hawks here and Coopers at that.
     
  10. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

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    Oh my, i am soo sorry!! We dont have many predators here so i cant help (we just have hawks, and thye only takew chicks...)!
     

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