Who Was the Culprit?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lmdengler, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. lmdengler

    lmdengler Songster

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    Hi All -
    Up until today - I have not lost a single chicken to a predator. Today - I cam home to a dead 8 month old hen. There are a lot of feathers - all of them missing from her neck. Her head was "pecked up" (ewwee) and the rest of her was in tact. When I picked her up to prepare to bury her - she was still flexible - and wasn't stone cold. So she hadn't been dead long. I was gone from the house about 3 hours so I wasn't home to see/hear anything.

    Based on this, can anyone guess what may have killed her? I've never seen any of my dogs go after her and to my knowledge my MIL hadn't let any of them out. Although her truthfulness might not be on the up and up since there is a dead chicken involved. The neighbors cat is often stalking the yard and over by the coop and run - but I wondered if that cat would actually be able to take one down. Could it?

    It's a terrible loss - she was one of the ones I hatched and had just started laying.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  2. Melky

    Melky Spring has sprung!

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    Couldn’t say but so sorry!:(
     
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  3. Mammals do not tend to strip their victims naked before feeding begins but birds of prey don't like to get feathers snagged in their beaks. Therefore a bird of prey kill looks like a grenade went off in a feather pillow.
     
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  4. 55fingers

    55fingers Chirping

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    My first thought was that she could've been killed by another chicken. Any chance of that? We once had one of our drakes killed by two drake brothers who ganged up on him.

    It's just strange because if a predator had killed her I would've thought it wouldn't have left her so intact.

    I'm sorry for your loss :(
     
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  5. 55fingers

    55fingers Chirping

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    Sorry to double post, but perhaps a hawk? Hawks have been known to fly off with the heads of poultry since they can't carry the weight of the whole bird. Maybe it wasn't able to take the whole head but still did enough damage?
     
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  6. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

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    It wasn't the dogs or the cat. A hawk is the most likely suspect.
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Agrees, hawk or owl, and your arrival probably scared it off before it could finish it's feed.
     
  8. lmdengler

    lmdengler Songster

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    I did see a bird fly up into the trees when I walked out. That's what actually brought my attention to the poor girl. I thought it was a crow picking on the deceased animal. It seems that hawks are a lot bigger. It was hard for me to see the actual bird though because it flew up into the top branches.
     
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  9. Coop Z-ville

    Coop Z-ville Songster

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    Hawks are the worst!
     
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  10. lmdengler

    lmdengler Songster

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    Want to hear a funny memory story? When I was little, we moved from West Islip Long Island NY to to a very rural town in Upstate NY. We went from "the burbs" to a sheep farm! I was very young so my whole life I really only remember the farm life. My siblings who were teenagers - hated the move! I often joke, the place where I grew up had grass growing down the middle of the road. Anyway - I digress.

    When I was a little girl my dad who built houses would come home at lunch time and I would be waiting for him. We would walk outside and I had on my holster with two little silver cap guns. Back in those days – it was acceptable - and I had 6 bothers - what can I say.

    Anyway – each day we would go out to “shoot the chicken hawks” to protect the chickens. Now my dad was the gentlest man I have ever known. He couldn’t have “shot a hawk” if he wanted to. He was more of a chase it down with a broom kind of guy. I just have the memory of me (I couldn’t have been 5 yet) and him going out each day to chase away the chicken hawks.

    And THIS is my only knowledge of the bugger who got my hen yesterday!
     
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