What would kill a chicken and then leave it completely untouched?

Noobchick

Songster
8 Years
May 23, 2011
389
11
108
Creedmoor, NC
My thought was either a hawk or a black vulture, either of which got interrupted before it could really start the meal. :( I've been fighting off black vultures for two months now. They've gotten really aggressive in our area (NC) for some reason. I know it's black vultures because I interrupted one attacking one of my hens. :( Apparently they can and do attack live prey.

Edited to add: hawks do attack and kill prey then watch it for hours till they are sure its safe to eat. Lots of youtube videos about that if you're interested in more info
 
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Yoda

Songster
9 Years
Jul 7, 2010
2,068
60
231
Shady Hills, FL
Hi a hawk will kill it on the ground and most likely left the head behind. A black vulture doesn't kill pray, only eats dead animals. They are usually following hawks to steal the prey they killed. You had a neighbor's dog in your yard and it got your rooster. Dog kills are just done for the fun of it. They chase and catch then kill for the fun of it. They get their food in the house so they do not eat what they kill. Hawk or vulture would have eaten something from the dead body, they will not pass up the food even if you walked into the yard they would have been up in a tree or nearby and you would have seen it.
 

MrsBachbach

Songster
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
2,045
349
236
Arkansas
So yesterday I was heart broken to find my sliver laced Cochin bantam rooster, Fancy, dead in my yard. I for the life of me can't figure out what killed him.  The theory that I am currently running with is that a hawk or something tried to pick him up, but either didn't have a good grip or he was too heavy and then dropped him and he landed on his head and broke is neck. When I did my chicken autopsy I could only find one small puncture near his tail that looked like a talon and then a few tiny superficial bloody patches where some feathers had been.  What would kill a chicken and then just leave it? Any thoughts guys? 

Several times his week I have seen 2 big birds of prey (solid dark brown underneath) circling over my backyard. My neighbor up the street who also has chickens has seen them too and thought them to be hawks. But when I looked up hawks and eagles native in Maryland, none of them had a solid brown coloring underneath except for the Golden Eagle. First, may I state that I'm surprised golden eagles are even on that list and secondly, I seriously doubt that I have a mating pair of golden eagles scoping out my house.  If I did, I wouldn't know whether to feel honored or terrified. I also thought they might be vultures, which would fit the size and dark coloring, but these birds were far too majestic and circling low and clearly hunting.

 I live in southern Anne Arundel county, Maryland  if that helps with narrowing down different species.

Oh yeah and for an amusing, dramatic visual, as soon as I scooped up my dear dead Fancy, it stared to pour down rain.


A dog. That's their m.o. A bird of prey would have at least ate some of it where it lay. Lucky the dog didn't kill your whole flock.
 

Sparkleyhead

In the Brooder
6 Years
Oct 14, 2013
66
1
39
I would like to thank everybody for their ideas, help and sympathies :) I'm thinking and agreeing more and more with the hawk people. I'm going to have to rule out dog mainly because no dog could have gotten to him and there are no strays around here. As for black vultures, I don't think they did it, but there are a ton in this area and just this summer I saw one attack and injure a live 300 lb pig. Just a not so fun fact there.
 

foamyownsyou

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 11, 2014
66
2
38
Ramona,California
I would like to thank everybody for their ideas, help and sympathies :)  I'm thinking and agreeing more and more with the hawk people. I'm going to have to rule out dog mainly because no dog could have gotten to him and there are no strays around here. As for black vultures, I don't think they did it, but there are a ton in this area and just this summer I saw one attack and injure a live 300 lb pig. Just a not so fun fact there.



It was not a hawk hawks do not kill for fun and leave the carcass only cats do
 

Wrooster

Songster
8 Years
Apr 13, 2013
163
60
151
Northern Florida
It wasn't a hawk it was a cat hawks do not do that (being a falconer I know) cats are the only animals that will do that


It was not a hawk hawks do not kill for fun and leave the carcass only cats do

I don't disagree that it could have been a cat, but we've had several dead but otherwise untouched chickens clearly killed by dogs.
 

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