What is killing my hens? ***WARNING*** GRAPHIC IMAGE

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by farmrDAN, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. farmrDAN

    farmrDAN Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    This is my second hen to be taken and the aftermath was the same for both. During daylight, inside the run, surrounded by feathers with heads in tact. No holes in fence or burrows under it. Neck and breasts picked clean. Some of the innards taken but not all. Its only been 1 hen each day. I have put the flock in the coop till I figure out what the culprit is.
     
  2. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    If your pen isn't netted over the top, then it's a hawk...
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I agree - from my experience its almost certainly a hawk attack.
     
  4. farmrDAN

    farmrDAN Out Of The Brooder

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    Looks like I will be putting up netting. The thing that is strange though is that one of the kill sites was in between the fence (6' tall) and the coop (10' tall) which has a gap just big enough for a person to walk by. I don't know how a hawk would be able to shoot through that small of a gap. Also, I don't know if this is also a sign of a hawk attack or not, but both locations had white lines of bird poop. Like if I took a restaurant bottle of ketchup and squeezed it quick, it would like the same except this is clearly white bird poop.
     
  5. Egglady67

    Egglady67 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hawk or owl
     
  6. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Yeah, that's a hawk... get it netted asap, cuz it'll keep coming back now that it has found a reliable food source...

    Gap isn't that small for a hawk, you would be amazed at what they will fit through... know someone who had one last month go through about a 6" gap along the top edge of his coop... took out Silkies and then d'uccles before he got it fixed... :/
     
  7. rides2far

    rides2far Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had a large female hawk in our garage. I took the screen off a long narrow window. She could see the screen was off & she flew out the window. Their eyesight is amazing & they can maneuver through a narrow window. I'm sure the hawk just went right through the space as easily as you do! So sorry about your hens[​IMG]
     
  8. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Hawks are ambush predators. Anyone who thinks otherwise has watched too many Disney fairy tails about nature. What ever ate your hen did not swoop out of the wild blue yonder nor did it have teeth, and fangs, to slash, grind, and tear apart it's victim. Your hen was ate much like a small child eats a plate of spaghetti. One strip or string at a time resulting in a fully articulated skeleton like that one in your image. This is why hanging CDs or DVDs in the trees don't distract hawks. If any thing they are more like Neon signs saying "Eat at farmrDAN's chicken coop."

    The poop is evidence of the hawk watching and waiting for a meal to come to it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    This raptor is a goshawk. Despite the name goshawk, it is in reality a kind of falcon. I guess a poor mans' Peregrine Falcon would be a good description.
    A real hawk (like a Coopers Hawk, a Red Tail or a Blue Darter however is even more maneuverable in tight spots.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. icemanabk

    icemanabk Out Of The Brooder

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    Hawk for sure. Especially since its picked apart. i have my run covered ontop, however, i have little cover areas for my hens to hide under and they used them effectivly here and there. it doesnt need to be anything permenant, i used an old table cut short and ita falling appart but my ladies hide under it when they see a raptor or will hang out under it when it rains. A short plastic one out in the center of the run may help them because the coop door might be a little far when one comes down. once a raptor is on the ground its lost most of its advantage. [​IMG]
     

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