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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 1:30 pm 
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Thanks so much everyone for your answers and support!


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 9:27 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
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Location: NSW Southern Highlands
For what it's worth, I will relate a couple of experiences from our place......
Whenever there has been a "drop everything" type of commotion in our coops, there has been a predator of some kind. Luckily, our dog has lately matured to be a reasonable protector of the flock. (he's a pussy really, but proud of myself if he does something great)
So, we have had snakes, eagles/hawks and foxes have a go at our chooks
I doubt a fox or dog would leave just a little bit of blood. ( how much blood was there?, do you know it was from the hen?) if they attack, I think you would see more carnage, especially if they could not get the chook they just killed out of the coop. (meaning, feathers everywhere and stuff in disarray).... I doubt a snake bite would leave a pool of blood. (Though we have seen snakes in the coop, we've never lost any hens to a snake...... Reality is, therefore, my statement is an assumption.)

A hawk would clean lift a hen with it's talons and simply fly away. This has happened with 2 younger birds we had.......
What are we left with? Confrontation, panic or something similar. It is possible your Wyandotte got herself into strife defending herself or the rest of the flock from predators unknown, because she panicked. A face-off with another hen does not seem usual unless the ISA was pushy. If she was pushy, she would probably have become the alpha hen....... For that reason, I wouldn't blame the ISA..... I think you said the wyandotte was alpha hen. I think she might have been bravely protecting the flock. I hope you can give her the sendoff she deserves........ :-(


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:02 pm 
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Hi, it is with great sadness that I have to report another violent death of one of my lovely chickens! I’ll attach photos. There is no sign of where the predator has entered the coup. It appears that the poor little chicken was in her dust bath. What sort of creature bites off the head and neck? I’m just trying to work out how to reduce the file size of the photo so I can upload it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:18 pm 
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These are the photos I have uploaded of my poor little chicken that I found this morning


Attachments:
5FFAAAC4-B7E4-40DD-9405-DB80BF53D739.jpeg
5FFAAAC4-B7E4-40DD-9405-DB80BF53D739.jpeg [ 1.02 MiB | Viewed 336 times ]
F8EA60E7-2B36-4E04-AA99-70B355B8BC9D.jpeg
F8EA60E7-2B36-4E04-AA99-70B355B8BC9D.jpeg [ 1.78 MiB | Viewed 336 times ]
D224CED6-4037-40BB-81C7-50A865B0BC2D.jpeg
D224CED6-4037-40BB-81C7-50A865B0BC2D.jpeg [ 1013.08 KiB | Viewed 336 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:06 pm 
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Hatchling
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I reckon you may have an escaped ferret hiding out in your neighbourhood...if you lived in Box /Iron bark country I would have said Phascogale but don't think their range extends to down your way... those plucked feathers look a bit like a Goshawk kill though.....


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:11 pm 
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Why would the head and neck be missing?


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Great Game
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Location: Murwillumbah, NSW
Has the pen got chicken wire over the top or is it open?

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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:52 pm 
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That part of their area is open


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:54 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: NSW Southern Highlands
Sorry for your girls. Witnessing that would have been stressful for the others too.

Foxes decapitate. How tall is the fenced area? A fox could climb 1.8 m. If it is a fox, he'll keep coming back. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:19 am 
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Great Game
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Location: Murwillumbah, NSW
Agree with Okaru a fox will climb that easily. It could also be a goshawk, they will often take just the head.

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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:37 am 
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Also, there was no blood on or around where the chicken was. Is that ‘normal’?


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:51 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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yep - foxes will clean up the blood


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:38 pm 
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Great Game
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Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
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Location: West of Bendigo
mandadeb wrote:
Why would the head and neck be missing?


That's very typical of cats in my experience, whether feral or roaming domestic-owned. We have many foxes and raptors around constantly, but I've lost more chooks and baby chickens to cats and magpies than to foxes or hawks/eagles.

A pair of magpies the other day having another red hot attempt at some Silkies I'd let out for some grass, have lost adult birds to them and of course they can't carry off a whole body, just what they can.

Baby alpaca here at the moment, hawks do very regular checks that it is not alone, and take in the chook pens in the fly-by (just in case there is something easy to pick off).

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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:33 pm 
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Sorry to keep going on about it but as you can see in the photos there is no head or neck, just the frame of the trachea and the rest of the body. It almost looks surgical. The head and neck were nowhere to be seen. Is that what I could expect from all of these predators?


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 Post subject: Re: Chicken death!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:19 pm 
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Great Game
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Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
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Location: West of Bendigo
Yes, but not as a fixed rule - they are individuals, and behaviours are a mix of instinct and learning from parents and watching others.

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