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Who Is The Killer??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lilywater101, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Lilywater101

    Lilywater101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Today I went outside to gather the eggs from my chickens and as I was walking I noticed a odd shaped behind the bushes....
    When i went to investigate, I saw that it was one of my chickens [​IMG]

    The head was missing and the neck all that was left was the actual body and there was a huge hole where the killer had eaten the insides of the chicken.. Im suspecting that it was a hawk, since we have had quite a few circling around the house...but does a hawk only eat the head and the insides? Also there was a mess of feathers around the area...Am i guessing correctly that it is a hawk?
     
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    I would say opposum. [​IMG]
     
  3. Lilywater101

    Lilywater101 Out Of The Brooder

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    would it be a opposum? Because I think this happened in the morning...
     
  4. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Could still be...also could have been killed by an opposum at night (they like heads) and then something else got to it to in the morning...
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If the feathers are scattered around the carcass, I would guess a hawk. It will return looking for the remains and/or another victim. Allow only supervised free ranging in the near future. It's winter and the predators are hungry. Went back and read the original post. Hawks generally strip the flesh from the carcass before entering the body cavity; therefore, I'm not so sure that it was a hawk.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  6. Lilywater101

    Lilywater101 Out Of The Brooder

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    I know this may sound stupid but what do you mean when u say that hawks generally strip off the flesh before entering the body cavity?

    I found my poor chicken with a hole where im guessing her back would be...the flesh was missing and you could see the inside where there was bones and blood....Im thinking of covering the top of the run with wire but which wire would be the best to protect from hawks??
     
  7. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    Any kind of wire would protect them against hawks!
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Hawks tend to strip feathers from the carcass. Then they start eating the flesh from the bones. In other words they take the easy stuff first. Mammals tend to eat the bones in addition to the flesh. Many predators eat the head first since the brain is a rich source of nutrients. Individual animals within a species may develop their own signature method of eating a carcass, but generalizations can be made about every species. GHO when eating poultry tend to eat the head and brains first. When eating a cottontail, they remove the internal organs with surgical precision. They will leave the stomach and intestines eating the other nutritional organs. Again when eating a rabbit they start from the head. If you find half a rabbit stashed in the brush with the head missing you can bet that it is a GHO kill. In the cool weather they will return to the kill and finish it off on the next evening. If the rabbit is small enough and the owl is large enough (females being far larger than the males) they will fly off with the carcass.
     

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