What killed Barbara? (Graphic pics attached)

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tellynpeep, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    The girls were free-ranging today. When I went to put them to bed tonight Barbara (1 yr old Barred Rock) was missing. Went out with a flashlight and the dog and found her remains. She was not far from the coop, under some pine trees.

    I have lost more than my share of birds to dogs (legal issues with crazy neighbors) and have seen plenty of fox and even coyote injuries. This one has me stumped. As you can see from the pics, only a small part of her was eaten (through the breast muscles and ribs into her chest/abdomen. Most of the internal organs were not eaten. Also, the back of her neck has a wound, but it is superficial.... appears skinned but otherwise intact. The only other wounds I found are in the third pic: On the other side of her chest a couple of very small puncture wounds that I only found by plucking a lot of feathers. Her vent was untouched, and there are no wounds on her back like from a dog attack. Any ideas?
  2. TechnoCat

    TechnoCat Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 20, 2011
    Wherever Angel is~
    It could be the work of a coon. I'm no expert, but I have that weird feeling that it's a coon.
  3. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Looks like a hawk to me! Poor thing - I think you disturbed the hawk and it dropped her or she managed to get free. It looks like tallan chunk taken out of her and the small punctures the other side is where the other tallen had her but didn;t grip properly and that is why she got free or got dropped. It also explains why there wasn't much of her eaten. Good to find her at least you know what happened.
    Coons would do more damage than that.

    Oesdog - so sorry you lost your Barbara [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  4. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    Maybe.... She was a big heavy bird, and I don't think she was picked up... She was within a couple of feet of the only feather pile I found. The reason I was thinking NOT hawk is that some of the ribs were missing. I though raptors usually pulled the meat off the bones but didn't eat the bones themselves. It looks like something chewed right through her side. Also, the only only hawk attack survivor I've patched up was FULL of talon holes, and her vent was pretty badly damaged. I guess it could be a hawk though. Anything much bigger would have eaten more of her....
  5. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    Ouch. I'm sorry for your loss: it had to be hard finding your chicken's remains [​IMG]

    I'd say it's a coon that killed your Barbara. Sort of makes sense. Coons don't normally eat the whole chicken when they kill it, or so I've heard. The missing ribs seem to indicate that it was something other than a bird of prey.

    It could've been a stray cat or a bobcat. Foxes might also have done it. But coons seem most likely.


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