What killed my chicken?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by EmilyChickens, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. EmilyChickens

    EmilyChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2012
    Yesterday afternoon i was headed out to do my chores and i saw one of my ladies, doing what i thought was dust bathing under a tree that's just a little ways from my house. I called her and she didn't get up so i walked over to go say hello (she was one of my friendliest hens and loved to get attention) and when i picked her up i saw that her neck and head were eaten down to the bone and all that was left was bone, her comb, and a strip of skin along the very front of what was her neck.

    I'm so confused as to what got her because it was during the day, she was under a tree which is on the shorter side that has branches that provide a lot of cover (some almost lean to the ground) and my dogs were outside and they always scare off predators. I know it wasn't a dog because my dogs have always been sweet to the chickens and have never done anything harmful. We have fox and hawks and things like that around here but i don't see how a hawk could've gotten it from under the tree and there was very minimal feather loss; only what would've been on her neck.. usually with hawks there's a lot more. at least in my experience, and fox never come up this close to the house. So i'm just stumped.
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
  3. chickenweirdo1

    chickenweirdo1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2016
    My Coop
    In my experience with hawks thats all they ate the head and neck to the bone. One of my chickens was attacked under a bush by a hawk so i wouldn't put anything passed them. The same hawk killed 5 of my hens until i finally saw it attacking and scared it away. That hawk came everyday at 3:00p.m. so if it was a hawk it will be back sadly.
  4. EmilyChickens

    EmilyChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2012
    redsoxs, thank you for the link, I'll be sure to check it out. Just to be safe i'm going to leave my chickens in today until a little later (maybe about an hour to two before they usually go back to the coop) and i'll let them forage and do whatever they want while im out there to supervise. Next week though i'll be away from home for a week and they'll be limited to their coop and run so hopefully in that time whatever predator it is will move on, that's what we usually do with hawks and it works well.

    chickenweirdo1, sorry to hear about your chickens, i haven't ever had hawks go for the head/neck area, except until now apparently. All of the times that i've had hawks they go for the belly area.

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