Wondering what killed “Beth” (one of my hens)

Tiltom

In the Brooder
Oct 22, 2021
16
7
17
Hello everyone!
We have a small hobby farm in North Central Florida. I have had these chickens for a year and a half now. They’ve traveled with us from New York to friends houses (staying on their property) and now we are home! This is my first loss I’ve had and I think it happened either last night or earlier today. They have a very good situation for their coop, so I think maybe she just didn’t make it in last night. I was wondering if anyone knew who the culprit could be? From other research I’m thinking Raccoon or Opposum. We do have a hawk that hangs out in the early morning and around sunset but my one rooster (Scavenger) does a good job. They don’t come out of the coop until about 11 am and always go in before the sun sets. I do a head count every night after they’ve all come in. We have a solar door that closes 5 minutes after the sun actually drops. We’ve never had a problem.
Anyway, I thought this was interesting due to how the body was eaten and nothing else was taken or eaten. The head was about 2 feet away and as you can see, the body and feet are still intact other than all of the “guts” and the insides were just devoured.
I put up a camera to see if I can catch whatever it is, lurking around at night. But would love to see what you all think and if I can make things better on my side for them.
Thank you so much
 

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TOR

Songster
Dec 29, 2020
377
506
173
Wisconsin
I would second possum, but not saying it could not be something else like a racoon.
I have had problems with both, Racoon tend to eat the heads off chickens, eat the whole bird feathers and all.
Possum tend to start at the rear and eat the insides out.
Put up a game camera and you will see what it is.
The animal which killed the chicken will be back.
You also have some automated door. Both coon and possum will move in daylight hours if hungry enough, but mostly move at night.
Possum are rather slow and stupid, coon on the other hand are pretty crafty.
 
Last edited:

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
30,056
32,137
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
:welcome :frow I noticed you are a recent new BYC member. I live near Ocala. So sorry for your loss. It could have been most any predator possibly a possum. I'm glad you're putting up a camera. It will most likely show who the predator is and it will be back. I have several cameras up on my property and see a predator most nights on at least one camera. I know a possum is around here. I have seen it on a camera and some prints in some sand in our barn so I know it's been in there. Also I had been seeing a fox. Lately I have been seeing a couple of her pretty well grown kits now hunting on their own and a coyote. Hopefully you'll get a picture of whatever is lurking. I don't shut my pop doors on my coops but I have electric wires around my coops and pens, good heavy duty netting covering all of my pens and concrete under all of the gates, all due to losses from predators in the past. Lessons learned the hard way. Good luck...
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
30,056
32,137
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
We have a farm swap twice a month. We had our second November swap yesterday. I sold all of the birds I took to sell. Even though it started out quite chilly we still had a good turnout. If your ever in our area on a swap day stop in and say hi. We love to talk especially chicken. I'm the old lady in the Tractor Supply hat. Good luck and have fun...

Next swap Saturday December 11th.
TSCCovid.jpg
 

Tiltom

In the Brooder
Oct 22, 2021
16
7
17
Hello everyone!
We have a small hobby farm in North Central Florida. I have had these chickens for a year and a half now. They’ve traveled with us from New York to friends houses (staying on their property) and now we are home! This is my first loss I’ve had and I think it happened either last night or earlier today. They have a very good situation for their coop, so I think maybe she just didn’t make it in last night. I was wondering if anyone knew who the culprit could be? From other research I’m thinking Raccoon or Opposum. We do have a hawk that hangs out in the early morning and around sunset but my one rooster (Scavenger) does a good job. They don’t come out of the coop until about 11 am and always go in before the sun sets. I do a head count every night after they’ve all come in. We have a solar door that closes 5 minutes after the sun actually drops. We’ve never had a problem.
Anyway, I thought this was interesting due to how the body was eaten and nothing else was taken or eaten. The head was about 2 feet away and as you can see, the body and feet are still intact other than all of the “guts” and the insides were just devoured.
I put up a camera to see if I can catch whatever it is, lurking around at night. But would love to see what you all think and if I can make things better on my side for them.
Thank you so much
Thank you. That's what I was thinking!
 

Tiltom

In the Brooder
Oct 22, 2021
16
7
17
I would second possum, but not saying it could not be something else like a racoon.
I have had problems with both, Racoon tend to eat the heads off chickens, eat the whole bird feathers and all.
Possum tend to start at the rear and eat the insides out.
Put up a game camera and you will see what it is.
The animal which killed the chicken will be back.
You also have some automated door. Both coon and possum will move in daylight hours if hungry enough, but mostly move at night.
Possum are rather slow and stupid, coon on the other hand are pretty crafty.
Thank you. Yes I put a camera that same day. Haven't caught anything on it yet.
 

Tiltom

In the Brooder
Oct 22, 2021
16
7
17
:welcome :frow I noticed you are a recent new BYC member. I live near Ocala. So sorry for your loss. It could have been most any predator possibly a possum. I'm glad you're putting up a camera. It will most likely show who the predator is and it will be back. I have several cameras up on my property and see a predator most nights on at least one camera. I know a possum is around here. I have seen it on a camera and some prints in some sand in our barn so I know it's been in there. Also I had been seeing a fox. Lately I have been seeing a couple of her pretty well grown kits now hunting on their own and a coyote. Hopefully you'll get a picture of whatever is lurking. I don't shut my pop doors on my coops but I have electric wires around my coops and pens, good heavy duty netting covering all of my pens and concrete under all of the gates, all due to losses from predators in the past. Lessons learned the hard way. Good luck...
Thank you. Yes it's been up, nothing showing its face yet. We do have a solar door that closes and opens on its own and I always go check it just in case. Guess we'll have to wait it out and hope nothing else gets them!
 

Tiltom

In the Brooder
Oct 22, 2021
16
7
17
We have a farm swap twice a month. We had our second November swap yesterday. I sold all of the birds I took to sell. Even though it started out quite chilly we still had a good turnout. If your ever in our area on a swap day stop in and say hi. We love to talk especially chicken. I'm the old lady in the Tractor Supply hat. Good luck and have fun...

Next swap Saturday December 11th.
View attachment 2911934
Thank you!!
 

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