What killed my bird?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cgray111, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. cgray111

    cgray111 Just Hatched

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    We live in central NY and came home today to find our 5 hens hiding in the coop, and one dead outside the run in the open fenced off area we allow them to roam in. It happened during 10-5pm and the bird had been mauled with the chest torn open and intestines out, feathers spread everywhere and the head intact. The water jug in the run was knocked over. My daughters are devastated. We found an area on the fence that had been pushed open leaving a gap. We are going to repair the fence but will now be locking them in the run which makes them crabby. We were discussing setting a trap to see if we catch anything. We are in a rural area and have foxes, coyotes, etc. but incorrectly thought they would do ok during the day fenced in. Any ideas what it could have been?
     
  2. BurntFeather

    BurntFeather Out Of The Brooder

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    That is horrible, I am sorry that your children had to experience that. I cannot tell you for certain what animal it was, but if it left the chicken dead without eating it someone may have interrupted the hunt, or it was there to just destroy and not hungry. We have issue with raccoons in our area and they kill, but leave the bodies.
    To help combat this we dug down three feet and put in chicken wire that we attached to the fence around the run. This it deep enough that we haven't had them get through since. There is often evidence of them trying, but no success on predators part.
    Good luck and hopefully you will never have to experience this again.
     
  3. cgray111

    cgray111 Just Hatched

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    Thank you for your kind words. Yes we are going to re-think how we reinforce the fenced in area we let them play in during the day. When they are locked in the run or coop that is reinforced with hardware cloth all around and underneath. We may have to redo our fencing.
     
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    During the day, 10-5? I would venture to guess a fox or a dog, specifically dog, because if the damage to the fence. Coyote could be likely, too, but rare in broad daylight. The fact that the bird wasn't actually eaten reinforces the dog; wild predators don't usually leave their kill, they eat it. Dogs will kill for the thrill of it and leave the carcass.

    I'm so sorry you had too see that, and the kids :(
     
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't discount a large bird of prey......hawk, owl or eagle. The fence thing may have been there and you just now noticed it when you went looking for a hole.

    Whenever a Coopers or Sharp Shined hawk catches a bird (hopefully a starling) at my feeders, they start eating them by ripping out the breast feathers and going for the flesh, including intestines. If they feel comfortable, they may eat them on the spot. If not, they may carry them off to the safety of an evergreen tree. But where the kill took place they leave a pile of feathers that they rip out.

    Yet another option would be a possum. They will only nab one bird and tend to go for the intestines. Normally nocturnal, but not always.
     
  6. cgray111

    cgray111 Just Hatched

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    Thanks for taking the time to give me your feedback. Going to work on trying to predator proof the open area we were using and do a better job of checking it for openings. Chickens are staying in the coop, though it was rather cold out today. Hoping they get back to normal.
     
  7. cgray111

    cgray111 Just Hatched

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    So I came home yesterday and the chickens were locked in the run that is secure and there was a huge hawk sitting in our fenced in area watching my chickens who were hiding under the coop sqwaking like crazy. So Howard E you were right. It flew to my neighbors roof when it saw me. So my hens are
    Secured until we can get some netting out there over the top of the fence to deter the hawks.
     

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