I just lost my best girl to a predator. What kills but just eats the head & neck area? I suspect a raccoon but no other clues. The hawk net seems secure but I found one small area that might have been dug under the fence.
The easiest and fastest place to get the maximum fat from a chicken carcass is the neck. I have seen a raptor, a Red-Tailed hawk, attack a chicken and eat it just like that. A hawk will rapidly yank feathers out -- then consume the fatty neck REALLY fast - then leave the carcass behind if it's anywhere near human activity. Where are all the neck feathers? Were they scattered all around? (SORRY for that loss. It is very upsetting.)
A mammal did your bird this time. Feathers at base of neck look licked and wetted down by saliva. Feathers likely consumed which not typical of hawks. I would most likely have eaten bones as head and neck consumed.
A hawk. That’s how mine are always found after a hawk attack. The whole chicken is too heavy to carry back; so it eats the head and neck bc that’s the most nutritious part. They will be back for the rest of it....
Thanks everyone for feedback. The feathers were all around her. I never thought about the saliva thing. I have doubled up hawk net, as I lost 4 birds in a week one spring to a juvenile hawk. That’s why I was dubious about it being a raptor. I’ve captured 4 raccoons in the past 6 months, so I’m thinking raccoon.
I purchased & returned 2 trail cameras in 2020. One ended up taking specialized expensive batteries & one just didn’t work.