What predator killed my Silver Spangled Hamburg? May include gruesome pics.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MistyMountain, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had my first loss today. We basically free range, so losses are bound to happen. I mainly want to have an idea of what I am up against so we can prevent or limit further losses. My ssh was 18 weeks old. She was one of three ssh in a mixed flock of white leghorns, brown leghorns, easter eggers, with a slw roo. She was taken between 8am and 1pm. Found near the coop, under a pine tree. Internal organs and breast meat was eaten. I have pictures if anyone would like to see them. Any guesses?
     
  2. PolkaDot77

    PolkaDot77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to hear about your girl! Pictures would be helpful. Specifically, was the head eaten? Do you know how far if at all she was moved from where she was killed to be eaten?
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
  3. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She was not far at all from the coop. Maybe 15 yards? We lock them up each night and let them out each morning. They have a fenced "run" that is only about 4 ft high, they fly over if they want or we just let them out. In short, they do not venture far from the coop, especially if some still have not flown out. I don't know where she was killed, the ground is frozen. The head was not eaten. There was a pile of feathers from her chest and then she was a few feet away. You'll see the damage in the below pics. Her head is bent under her but intact. Of my mixed flock, the ssh are the smallest and skittish of them all. They also could fly the best. In other words... There were mich bigger and slower targets.
     
  4. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    The large pine she was under is in the upper left hand corner, you can see the shadow. The coop backs up to the pine wooded area on one side, tree line and open field on the others. The coop would be at about 1 o,clock in the pic.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  5. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd go with Hawk on this one.
     
  6. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was my first thought when my husband told me about it, but it was under a pretty thick pine tree, back toward a wooded area. The hawk would have had to be pretty low flying to get it in there, and I am not sure why it would have taken it there to eat if it caught her in the open. I should have looked up in the tree to see if maybe it had it up there. I have seen a few hawks here, but they are few and far between. Another thought, has anyone heard of a cat killing and eating adult (smaller) chickens? I know they will sometimes pick up the chicks, but we have seen some big stray cats around here.
     
  7. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And… after a little googling on videos of hawks attacking chickens (a little sick, I know) I think I agree. It was clearly plucked. We also did not see any real "bite marks," she just looked like she had her insides tore out and breast meat devoured. Many may not say this, but this is the best possible answer for us. We have small children and if the culprit was something like a coyote, who now knows where the dinner table is, things would be bad. I guess the good news is, we have been free ranging since October, with no problems. I have seen hawks, but our large number of crows seem to keep them away. The buzzards fill the air space up too. The game cam goes up today.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  8. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea, it is amazing the way they can fly thru thick trees to snag a lunch. Before we got hens again we would see the hawks go after the squirrels right thru the limbs and leaves. This fall have only seen a small hawk watching the girls several times a week; expect that if the girls are daydreaming we'll end up with less. Bald Eagles have arrived in the area, but mostly they have been in and along the fields eating dead roadkills. Friend several miles down along the bay has a awful time with ospreys in the spring taking whole chickens to the nest for the young.
     
  9. Avlana

    Avlana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely looks like a hawk kill.
     
  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    It looks all too familiar to me...hawk.
     

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