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What's eating my Silkies?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Julielle500, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Julielle500

    Julielle500 In the Brooder

    Feb 13, 2013
    Windsor, CA
    Now their pen is fully enclosed and they are no longer free to wander my back yard as they please, but a couple weeks ago something got one of my baby silkies (about three months old). It was in the afternoon and all I found was a bed of feathers behind a piece of wood that was leaning against the fence. Nothing has ever bothered my adult hens before so I just locked the babies away so they would be safe. Three days later it came back and got one of my adult hens. It took her to the corner of the pen and ate her there. The only thing left was feathers and her beak.

    I live in No. Calif. I thought maybe it was one of the feral cats in the neighborhood because I'm not super close to any fields or anything but a couple of people have suggested maybe foxes, bobcats or raccoons. I know that some animals are known to eat just certain parts of the chicken but whatever this is ate the whole thing except feathers (and in the moms case, the beak.) Any ideas of what could it be that would eat the whole chicken?

  2. Kimmi500

    Kimmi500 Songster

    Apr 3, 2012
    Fredericksburg, VA
    My guess based on expierence and what your describing would be a bird of prey. I too found piles if feathers and an occasional body part, then I came home one day and caught the hawk (a big one) in action. So, I ran 20lb fishing line in a 12in X 12 in grid pattern and I haven't lost anymore. Hope this helps, and sorry for your losses :(
  3. What ever it is it has the ability to either move the victim to a secluded area before dinning, or it needed to chase down your chickens before killing them. Hence behind the wood leaning on the fence or in the fence corner. A classic bird of prey kill will usually leave behind the rib cage etc along with a trail of feathers from the spot where the chicken was captured and feeding first began leading up to the spot where the kill was completed. The exception being when the BoP (usually a pair of hawks) is granted enough time to feed multiple times. In that case as the carcass gets lighter and lighter the BoP may be able to fly off with what was once a 5# hen.

    I suggest that it was raccoons.
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Songster

    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    It is impossible to guess, any number of animals could have done this, the best thing is wait for it to come back, I'm sure it will after getting 2 meals, it knows you have more birds. You could try to watch out for it or maybe put out cameras of some sort or maybe set a box trap with sardines or tuna, that would work if it is a cat or a coon. Canines are usually harder to get in a box trap

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