What killed it?

Sparrowsong98

Songster
Jun 23, 2017
214
208
101
SW Pa
When I came home from school a few weeks ago, I went to check on my chickens and they all looked fine. About 3 hours later, I went down again to give them some table scraps, and one of them was missing. I looked around a bit, and found it near the woods, about 100 feet from the coop. It was literally just a pile of bones with a bunch of feathers everywhere. There were no internal organs, or even any meat still sticking to the bones. They were picked completely clean. Unfortunately, I disposed of the chicken and shut the other ones up before I thought to take any pictures, but what do you guys think killed it? I am leaning towards an opossum, because we have had opossum problems before, or rats, but I am not sure.
 

roosterhavoc

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Jan 5, 2012
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When I came home from school a few weeks ago, I went to check on my chickens and they all looked fine. About 3 hours later, I went down again to give them some table scraps, and one of them was missing. I looked around a bit, and found it near the woods, about 100 feet from the coop. It was literally just a pile of bones with a bunch of feathers everywhere. There were no internal organs, or even any meat still sticking to the bones. They were picked completely clean. Unfortunately, I disposed of the chicken and shut the other ones up before I thought to take any pictures, but what do you guys think killed it? I am leaning towards an opossum, because we have had opossum problems before, or rats, but I am not sure.
I have had a bird found dead that way. It was killed by a hawk and then picked clean by a cat.
 

Sparrowsong98

Songster
Jun 23, 2017
214
208
101
SW Pa
My guess would be coyote or fox.
We do have a ton of coyotes in our area, but usually they carry things off, and they take hens in the morning or night. It is quite possible though, just the time of day the chicken was killed confuses me, since most predators do not eat things in the middle of the afternoon
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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We do have a ton of coyotes in our area, but usually they carry things off, and they take hens in the morning or night. It is quite possible though, just the time of day the chicken was killed confuses me, since most predators do not eat things in the middle of the afternoon
Coyote do. I had one that would take one out a bit in the field, eat it and come back for another if I hadn't come outside yet. Coyote can be very bold and smart.
 

Sparrowsong98

Songster
Jun 23, 2017
214
208
101
SW Pa
Coyote do. I had one that would take one out a bit in the field, eat it and come back for another if I hadn't come outside yet. Coyote can be very bold and smart.
I haven't had that much experience with those guys, the only time I ever had a problem with them was when one grabbed my Maran hen out of the yard. We are getting rid of them, but there are way too many for us to shoot.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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I haven't had that much experience with those guys, the only time I ever had a problem with them was when one grabbed my Maran hen out of the yard. We are getting rid of them, but there are way too many for us to shoot.
We are surrounded by coyote too. It isn't about being rid of them as that's impossible. We do go after any that start helping themselves here. Otherwise fencing and donkeys, and lots of rooster look outs is how we try to minimize problems. Generally if a coyote is successful it will continue to return until it runs out of food or it meets up with buckshot. Our policy is leave us alone and we will leave them alone. Otherwise,,,,,,
 

chickengeorgeto

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Dec 25, 2012
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Coyotes and other mammal predators gnaw, chew, and worry the body of chickens to no end with their teeth. This results in a dismembered victim.

Hawks on the other hand stand on top of a struggling chicken and rip long strips of muscle tissue off and then swallow it, sort of like how an ill mannered child eats a plate of spaghetti.

Hawks also denude chickens before feasting which results in a pillows worth of small feathers. The feathers are often in a doughnut shape or pile.

Hawks also mostly ignore the outer wing tips or other parts of a chicken that has little meat. While mammals (if they are hungry) will consume these parts of a chicken.

The word HAWK refers to any bird of prey.
 
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