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What killed my bird???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mikarod, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. mikarod

    mikarod Songster

    Sep 28, 2008
    I have a bird that must have been killed by a VERY large predator.

    The head/part of the neck was missing, as was a VERY large chunk of meat from the thigh. The head/neck told me possum but the thigh confused me. After "safeguarding" the coop...I awoke the next night to my birds scattered EVERYWHERE. I figured it was the full moon spooking them so I didn't worry about it until morning (which was about 30 minutes away).

    I go outside...and there's feathers everywhere, but no dead birds. I found the feather-less rearend of one of my Brahmas. For some reason...this predator has ONLY gone after my Brahmas and ONLY gone after the hens.

    I moved the flock and am locking them up every night and opening them every morning when I get up. We have trapped 2 things. One...a very large orange cat that is NOT ours and was caught by us wiring a chicken thigh into the cage. The second was a pack rat...again...with a chicken thigh wired to the cage.

    So...I suppose my question is...which is more likely? Should I keep trapping for that possum...which we have yet to catch...or should I assume it was the cat doing it the whole time? (The cat is NOT ours and was feral.)
  2. cw

    cw Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    i would guess a coon
  3. mikarod

    mikarod Songster

    Sep 28, 2008
    Nah...a coon would supposedly drag off the carcass...this animal only killed one bird and did not eat the crop and took its dear sweet time about it too.

    Good idea...but I've never seen a coon in this area of our neighborhood. It only seems to be possums. Either way...I got a trap large enough for ALL sizes! [​IMG]

    Small enough for a pack rat...large enough for a large cat! lol
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    It wasn't the cat.

    A cat wouldn't bother with the head and neck, they go right for the breast where there is more meat.

    I don't think a cat would even try to take down an adult hen.
  5. mikarod

    mikarod Songster

    Sep 28, 2008
    Darn...that's what I was thinking as well...

    When do you think would be a "safe" time to start leaving the coop doors open at night? Summer? When there is more food available?
  6. cw

    cw Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    best time to leave the coop door open is when you dont want any more chickens LOL:lol:
  7. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Songster

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Why take the risk?? Why not lock them up every night??
  8. cw

    cw Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    could it be chupacabra?
  9. mikarod

    mikarod Songster

    Sep 28, 2008
    In the summers it is WAY too hot to leave the birds locked up in the coop.

    It only gets to around 60*F at night in the summer and when that sun hits...it gets HOT in that coop very fast. Otherwise I'd have no issue with that, but without REALLY good ventilation (ie. roof over head with chick wire on all sides for enough ventilation during the summer) there's no way I could keep them from over heating.
  10. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    Quote:yes it sounds like one to me! [​IMG]

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