What eats guts of chicken entering from behind?

fiddlebanshee

Songster
10 Years
Mar 11, 2010
948
47
191
Frederick, MD
So I found one of my chickens who lost it's tail and a predator had eaten the entire contents of the body cavety. Legs, feet, breast, head were all still there. Only a gaping hole where her tail had been and between the legs. I have never seen this behavior and I have lost my fair share of chickens to bear, raccoon, fox, hawks, and mink. By the time I found her rigor had already set in (this was around 8 pm) so it could have happened overnight, and I didn't notice her when I let them out for the day or during the morning hours. They are locked up at night, and I found the body under the coop, which is totally enclosed with hardware cloth, I didn't see any holes in the fence.

I'm baffled! Anyone know what did this?
 

fiddlebanshee

Songster
10 Years
Mar 11, 2010
948
47
191
Frederick, MD
Possum eat the guts. is your coop and run covered over the top?
Pictures of your aet up may help sorry for your loss.

Unfortunately, I already disposed of her. Did not think of taking a pic. The tail was gone and the soft area of the underbelly, where there are no ribs was torn away and the entire belly cavity was cleaned out. They were not interested in the meaty parts or the brains, as all of that was untouched and I didn't see any wounds on her head, breast, neck or back.

Yes the run is covered in 1/4" hardware cloth. This goes all the way around the area under the coop. They free range during the day, but I always close the door behind them when they come in for the night.
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,936
426
Southern Indiana
Agree, sounds like a possum and you have a hole somewhere, so need to figure out where it is. I've had raccoons tunnel up into a building before that a groundhog had made. I don't know that a possum will go through that much trouble. Something could have killed the hen and the possum found it.

Are your chickens locked inside the coop at night or just locked inside the run?
 

digbychris

Songster
Apr 6, 2017
113
92
127
In my experience that’s typically an opossum. It’s too bad, I don’t mind them being around but I can’t have predation.
 

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