What killed this hen? *caution graphic pics*

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by snipchick, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. snipchick

    snipchick New Egg

    4
    1
    9
    Aug 21, 2012
    Today, in the daylight, something pulled one of my hens through the pen fencing and killed her. The pen is a dog kennel, so the holes are fairly large. I'll be reinforcing the entire thing with hardware cloth this week so this won't happen again. I also set a trap to catch the killer.

    Her body was still in the pen, but her head and neck were outside the pen and picked clean. Feathers everywhere, like they had been plucked out. Whatever it was also ate into her chest cavity, which was still inside the pen. Most recently I've had problems with hawks, but could a hawk grab a chicken through wire and do this? I'm thinking it could be a weasel, but in my experience they only kill and eat the head, leaving the rest of the body untouched. The second photo shows what I believe are teeth marks, but they could be sharp beak marks. What do you think it was?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Cknldy

    Cknldy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,489
    87
    158
    Nov 6, 2012
    Appalachian mtns
    Racoon. Just cuz they're supposed to be nocturnal doesn't mean they always are. You just described a coon attack. Mink/ weasels don't have the dexterity of the "hands" to pull it through the fence and their behavior is different. Definitely coon. Usually strike once a week but if it has found a food source- your coop- it could be back sooner since it didn't get the whole bird.
     
  3. Cknldy

    Cknldy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,489
    87
    158
    Nov 6, 2012
    Appalachian mtns
    [​IMG]
    From Hobby Farms Chickens magazine, September/October 2012 if you can read it. Sorry- I had to take the pic a certain way to keep the flash out of the way.
     
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,885
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I know that hawks will eat the neck of a chicken so, if I had no other info, it looks like a hawk. However, knowing it was eaten through a fence makes me think coon as well. He just ate what he could reach. Hardware cloth is a good call. Sorry for your loss!
     
  5. snipchick

    snipchick New Egg

    4
    1
    9
    Aug 21, 2012
    Thanks everyone for your input, I really appreciate it. A raccoon makes sense. Hoping I can catch him soon!
     
  6. da417

    da417 Out Of The Brooder

    44
    4
    24
    Nov 7, 2012
    I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you catch your killer!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by