What predator killed my 2 hens while free ranging in the middle of the day

clrdogrl

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 4, 2012
50
0
29
We lost 2 of our RIR's yesterday. :-( This is our very first flock and I am taking it quite hard as I've become attached to these dinosaurs.

It happened sometime during the day and they only free range while I'm at home. I found a pile of feathers in the front yard and about 100 feet away, found our dear Wanda. About 40 feet away from her was sweet little Rosie. Both girls were completely in tact. Rosie's butt feathers were gone and that was it. Wanda was a little more mauled. Her back feathers were missing (I'm assuming the feather pile was from her) and a few flaps of meat showing. There was little to no blood, no meat or intestines hanging out, no crop damage, and no head or exterior neck injury.

We live in New Hampshire in a wooded lot. So we do have everything from hawks, to fisher cats, to coydogs, etc. My first guess was a loose dog since the girls weren't eaten but I have NEVER seen a loose dog in this area and I would suspect another dog roaming the neighborhood would have caught the attention of my own dogs. I was home but didn't hear anything which doesn't say much as it is hard to hear anything over the sounds of my 2 and 4 year old. :)

What animal would kill but not eat in the middle of the day?
 

l-o-v-e

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 23, 2012
380
3
91
Missouri
my guess would be a weasel they kill more than they need and come back and eat they extra later I would suggest you dont free range your chickens for awhile and make sure the door to your coop is closed at night cause at night they will kill alot more than 2.
my second guess would be a snake but I dont gt why it didnt eat your chickens . but a weael would be bad they would kill all your chickens then just eat their fill and leave the other dead chickens alone.
so sorry about your chickens .
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Blessedchickens

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 24, 2011
91
3
41
Weatherford, Texas
I would have guessed a dog. I have had one of my dogs decide to "play" with the chickens. It was all slobbered on and missing feathers but otherwise fine. My guess is that he would have played with it to death. Of course coydogs are more elusive and that may have been why you didn't see it. You may have interrupted whatever it was and it slipped away. Whatever it was, it will likely come back if it thinks it can get a hold of your chickens. I am no expert but to me it does not sound like to much else besides canine. A fox might play with it some but they are really shy too. A bird of prey would have just picked it up and left. Good luck with whatever it is. Hopefully you scared it off and it won't come back.
 

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