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Home » HobbyFarms.com Forum Topics » Livestock » Chickens and Poultry » What killed my chicken, and how do I prevent...


What killed my chicken, and how do I prevent... Expand / Collapse
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Posted 6/18/2013 6:21:07 PM
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I have 7 chickens that I keep in a big coop at night, but let out during the day when I'm at work. They are free to roam the 1/2 acre pen that the coop is in while I'm at work. The pen is fenced it with 8-foot woven wire high fence. A small predator like a fox might be able to make it through the small squares of the woven wire, but I doubt anything bigger could make it through.

Long story short...I got back from work today and went to the chicken coop to put them up, and noticed that I could only see 6 of them up in the roost. I walked around the area and found my smallest chicken, a silkie, dead in the field. It's head was gone, entrails pulled out, and pretty much hollowed out in the chest area. Everything else was intact. All of the feathers were on it except for the chest area that was eaten out. It was only about 20 feet from the coop.

Any idea as to what did this? Bird? 4-legged predator?

Also, is there any way to prevent this from happening again besides keeping them in the coop all day?
Post #30540
Posted 6/19/2013 6:32:59 AM
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Depending on where you live it could be coon, oppsum, skunk, mink.

Live traps with bate.

Had a friend to lose 1/2 her flock to a farret (sp?) because they neighbor's kids got tired of it and they let it lose.

Post #30541
Posted 6/19/2013 11:59:30 AM
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If the chicken was roosting it was most likely a coon. They like to climb for their dinner as a skunk grabs them at ground level.
Post #30542
Posted 6/19/2013 4:21:38 PM


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Maybe a hawk? If that is so it would be difficult to protect them from a repeat unless you keep them cooped. Hawks have been known to fly past people to get at a chicken. When chickens are free roaming they are targets for predators and you either have to accept that or keep them locked in a coop. I have lost 2 to hawks over the past 4 years and hate it, but I would rather they have free roam during the day than be kept locked up. Four legged predators usually strikle at night.

Ken

Deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry

Post #30543
Posted 6/20/2013 5:59:12 AM
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Our coon attacks have been at sunset or sunrise.

If a hawk or owl did attack the chicken, I would of though there would of been more missing feathers. I've seen them field dress a big hen and carry off the pieces.

You could always get a deer cam and see what pic it takes. Had a friend to install one of those nanny cams and found out it was her own cat doing the killing.

We bait our live traps with wet cat food and top dressed with an egg rolled in peanut butter.

Post #30544
Posted 6/26/2013 11:19:39 AM


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We had a raccoon attack our chickens at about 2:00 this morning. It was trying to reach into the coop to get the chickens in the roost and even started pulling on the chicken wire to try to rip a hole in it. Our Great Pyr killed it...

M. and D.
Post #30556
Posted 7/2/2013 11:04:38 AM
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I had the same thing happen! I witnessed the kill and it was a hawk. removing the head is a signature kill behavior of hawks, but the body cavity removed is also a raccoon behavior. Either way its part of the risk of free range birds. Our dog is outside when the chickens are and she helps ward off any predators. Make sure if they are free ranging they have a safe place to hide if a predator comes around. Good luck and keep trying.
Post #30564
Posted 7/3/2013 7:40:45 PM
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Definitely a hawk. This exact same thing happened to my young shoveler duck.
Post #30572
Posted 9/26/2013 10:59:42 PM


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Another vote for hawk
We have red tail hawks here in eastern Washington and they will only eat the breast out and leave it... then the coyote comes to eat the left overs and gets the blame.... and a bullet

5A Family Farm
Yakima, WA
Est 2012
Post #30804
Posted 10/4/2013 1:02:35 PM
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it was probably a racoon, as for raccoons like to eat the head & neck area & then leave them , SORRY for your loss
Post #30815
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