Would a Hawk rip a chick apart leaving only feathers and the contents of its stomach?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mrs Clutterbuck, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Mrs Clutterbuck

    Mrs Clutterbuck Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I have numerous potential predators in my area and today I found the remains of a one of our 6 week old chicks near the coop It had been ripped apart leaving the chicks last meal behind and all its feathers. Do you think it would be a hawk? We have dozens that fly around and one had even been sitting on the brooder the day prior to my moving them into the large coop. We free range our flock. We also have possums and the neighbours had issues with Stoats and Ferrets in the past. I'd be interested to know what kind of protection I can give the flock. Our full grown flock have been unaffected.
     
  2. browning6

    browning6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2012
    Winton, California
    A six week old chick is the perfect hawk meal. and the feathers everywhere point to hawk. Someone on the forum once said "my hawk attacks look like feather bombs." So i think a hawk is likely.
     
  3. BellChell123

    BellChell123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2013
    Well, with our hawk attacks, the birds usually carry the chickens away, not eat them right then and there. I think it might be a cat, or a raccoon. Possums don't tend to rip a chicken apart like you said, and I don't know about stoats and ferrets. I know that's not much help. Good luck!
     
  4. maxpedley

    maxpedley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 31, 2013
    hawks never carry the body away. if they eviscerate the bird they would leave the head, bones etc so not just the stomach. plucking is something hawks tend to do. make up your own mind using this information. i'd say fox!
     
  5. BellChell123

    BellChell123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2013
    Umm, I beg to differ since I've SEEN a hawk carry a chicken away, and one of our guinea fowl. I understand that sometimes hawks do eat them right there, I only said with OUR hawk attacks.

    I did make up my mind.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  6. maxpedley

    maxpedley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 31, 2013
    are you sure it was a hawk and not an eagle or an owl?
     
  7. BellChell123

    BellChell123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2013
    Yes, we don't have either here. [​IMG]
     
  8. maxpedley

    maxpedley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 31, 2013
    Wow thats weird. Thats just not something a hawk would normally do. did it pluck the hen before?
     
  9. Mrs Clutterbuck

    Mrs Clutterbuck Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Thanks for the ideas. It definitely seemed like a feather bomb! I went and did a bit of detective work and on my next examination I found a non chicken feather in the mess. It was stripy and large I think it was a falcon or a harrier, they are the main birds of prey around here. I'll have to match the feather. There are no foxes in NZ but we have native owls though I'm sure it was a daytime kill.

    I'll have to try and give them more sheltered areas to get cover in. Our pasture is surrounded by forest, but the chickens seem most vulnerable in the open. I will have to get my thinking cap on.
     
  10. Primo

    Primo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2013
    Texas
    A coyote recently got my wifes baby pygmy goat (10 weeks old). All that was left were a few tufts of fur, two pea size chunks of bone, blood and the stomach contents. Since you found a feather, seems like you have it figured out.
     

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