What killed my chicken?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Bigbowyer, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Bigbowyer

    Bigbowyer New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2017
    I found one of my chickens dead. I found her was underneath my back steps where she sometimes laid eggs. It was during the day and whatever killed her had eaten her head/ neck all the way down to her chest leaving it attached to the body just leaving bone and skull. Then ripped feathers off of the chest but did not eat the chest. I have a fenced in backyard so dogs are ruled out. But being durig the day and being under my small steps leaves me a little confused? Would a possum or racoon come out in daytime hours?? I don't think a bird of prey would do this?
     
  2. TomGallopavo

    TomGallopavo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like an owl...or a hawk that was scared off before it finished eating.
     
  3. birdmanmax

    birdmanmax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It definitely sounds like an avian predator hawks and owls will often only eat the head and neck leaving the rest of the bird.
     
  4. Banaynaychicken

    Banaynaychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raccoons are well known for eating the head and neck, as they are the most Flavorful" and they have the most protein.

    The brain is full of what predators need to survive, what would last them a day or two instead of an hour or two.

    Do you have a coop that your birds sleep in or do they free range permanently? Perhaps a coop and a coop-in coop-out schedule would help to keep your birds from all falling to the same fate.

    I am so sorry for your loss, and I hope that you can find and resolve the issue.
     
  5. TomGallopavo

    TomGallopavo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And I hate to tell you...it will probably be back.
     
  6. spoikey

    spoikey Out Of The Brooder

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    The last few days I have had a problem with a skunk. Chickens are in their pen so I didn't think it was too bad of a threat. Then I heard the chickens making a fuss. The skunk was in with them getting himself a drink of water. Never threatened the chickens and never raised his tail at me even though I was in the pen. This has been during the day. My 22 rifle is jammed so I couldn't shoot him. Had my son get out his gun and kept it by the door. Yesterday I smelled skunk and was suprised to see a huge possum out there. Grabbed the gun and killed him. By far the biggest possum I have ever seen. not just big but really fat too. All sightings were during the day. I also had a possum kill one of my chickens during the day. Started at the head and worked his way down the body. From what I have observed a skunk will be more inclined to eat the eggs before attacking a chicken but if it is hungry enough will attack at night if given the opportunity. Possums will attack any time it has an opportunity but will only kill one at a time day or night.
     
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  7. Bigbowyer

    Bigbowyer New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2017
    They do stay in a coop and lately because of the weather they have been in the coop more than out. So this was unfortunate that there was finally a nice enough day that the snow had melted then this happened. I have had problems with other preditors in the past. I did see possum tracks outside of the fenced in part. I also did set two traps leaving some of the chicken out (as dusturbing as that sounds) to try and lure him back. And I have yet to catch anything. It has been three days since.
     
  8. Molpet

    Molpet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got a medium possum at 1pm and seen a little at 5pm one day this winter.. and 10 am the next got another medium.. there were tracks in the snow of a couple more.. I tracked them back to a side yard where someone had backed up and it looks like they were dumped... the 2 will not be a problem anymore
    I have had raccoons out during the day too,, and weasels
     
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  9. Banaynaychicken

    Banaynaychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dont know why I didnt think of this option, this sounds extremely likely.

    Definitely would havea good 'ol fashioned ruger by the back door to deal with these.
     

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