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What killed my brooding silkie hen?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by and-roo, May 17, 2016.

  1. and-roo

    and-roo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a silkie hen raising 5 chicks and I came home to see her ripped apart laying on the ground by my coop. All of her chicks are completely fine though. There are no disturbances in the fence of the run and no other signs of what did it. I wanna know what could have gotten over and killed her so I can protect the rest of them from it happening again. I don't have any pictures but her entire back side was gone and the rest of her body was pretty much intact except for feathers being everywhere. All I have ever seen try and get to them was these two cats that would get over the fence and try and get into the coop when it was closed, but I don't think they could have killed my full grown silkie, right? The cats came from one side of the fence, and on the other side of the run there is the protected wetlands. (We live in the Willamette valley in oregon). I'm wondering what could live out there that could get over the fence and kill a hen but not actually carry it off. What does it sound like it is? All I can think of that live out there are nutrea, coyotes, maybe raccoons, eagles, falcons, and maybe foxes.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Realistically it could have been almost anything, but my guess would be hawk.
     
  3. and-roo

    and-roo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wouldn't a hawk carry it away or something?
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    A Cooper's hawk can barely fly off with a Birmingham Roller pigeon - trust me that I know this. Even a bantam is too large for them - they will pluck and scatter feathers around the carcass and eat the bird in place. A Red tail might be able to fly off with a silky.
     
  5. and-roo

    and-roo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, I'll try and look into that... I also think it could have been a mink or weasel? Because the internal organs were gone but the rest was intact. I'm sure a mink could have climbed over the fence and done it, especially if it came from the wetlands
     
  6. and-roo

    and-roo Chillin' With My Peeps

    UPDATE: something broke into our coop either yesterday, last night, or early this morning and killed all five of the chicks. They were all killed inside the coop and their bodies are laying in a pile in the middle. It seems like they weren't eaten at all, just brutally murdered for sport. It had to be something fairly small to get into the coop and it didn't leave any trace other than the dead chickens... does this sound like anything in specific to anyone? Are there any obvious signs?
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like a weasel to me. If you haven't already disposed of them, check the carcasses on the neck or under the wing for bite marks (kind of like little vampire marks). Weasels will bite them and then lap up the blood that way. They also can get through a hole as small as 1".
     
  8. harley587

    harley587 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I am so sorry to hear about your babies. [​IMG]
     
  9. and-roo

    and-roo Chillin' With My Peeps

    That sounds exactly right.
     

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