What got my baby????

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by needtohatch, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. needtohatch

    needtohatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2009
    Hart Co
    I just went out to do chores and found one of my aprox 2-3 month olds dead. What I found was a small pile of feathers with a picked clean skull and the top beak and comb (detached from skull) then a few feet away the intestins with another small pile of feathers and then about 10 feet from that the body. The body had the meat eated from one leg, and one breast as well as eaten into the abdominal cavity ( all on the same side of the bird). It was a fresh kill. We have a stray cat that comes around and I have seen it with wild baby birds. Could it have done this? I did lose a bunch of 1-2 week old chicks a while back but that was at night and I have caught a rat since and not lost any more. This is the first time I have ever lost a bird in the middle of the day. If it could be the cat then he will have to go.
    Thanks
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Sounds like a characteristic bird of prey killing. They hit, leave a pile of feathers, then tear away at the meat. Tend to pick the side facing up clean if given enough time. A cat would have probably torn off chunks and swallowed them.
     
  3. Mortos

    Mortos Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2010
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    I agree. I had one killed by a hawk a few weeks ago and when I scared it off of the chick's carcus, the head was gone, the abdominal cavity was comepletely hollow and one leg had the muscle stripped from it.
     
  4. needtohatch

    needtohatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2009
    Hart Co
    Thanks you for the answers, my kids really like the stray cat and I would hate to "get rid of it". This would be the first time I lost a bird to a prey bird in the 2 years we have lived here, knew it would have to happen at some point since they are 100% free range.
     
  5. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Southern Ohio
    Time of year for alot of bird of prey attacks. Good odds they will be back in two or more days.

    Agree think its a hawk, they pick meat off the bones. most will be found breast side up. If to heavy to get in a tree, they eat on the ground.
     
  6. needtohatch

    needtohatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2009
    Hart Co
    Well it was a hawk and it already came back. I went out to the barn and all the chickens were in (odd for this time of day) so I went looking around and saw it on the ground by our garden. Not sure why it was on the ground as it did not have anything. I tried to get a good look at it but it would not let me get to close. I think it was a sharp-shinned hawk or maybe a coopers. It was not much bigger than the chick it killed. Any ideas on how to chase it off? I guess I could use it for target practice, but would rather just scare it off.
    Thanks again for all the replies!
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Covered areas for the birds to run to and they will get wise... target practice = not a good idea on a federally protected animal.
     
  8. needtohatch

    needtohatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2009
    Hart Co
    Quote:They have the barn that they can get in as well as a brush pile. This was a young bird (1out of 7) about 2 months old and none of them seem to think they need to stick close to mom anymore so maybe the others will learn from this. I don't think I need to worry about the adults as they are twice as big as the hawk.
    I don't want to hurt the hawk, just scare it off ( hit the post it is sitting on). I don't like to mess with nature much as I feel every animal has its place, but will encourage them to find a new hunting ground.
     

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