What kills a chicken?

Question
What kills a chicken and only eats the guts of it?

Answer
This could be any number of small to medium predators. For your investigation you will want to figure what time of day this might have occurred and how the predator got to your chicken.

Day predators can be hawks, rats, domestic or wild cats, dogs, foxes, weasels or anything in that size range that is native to your area.

Night predators might be all above but a hawk; plus skunk, opossum, raccoon, coyote, owls.

What causes a predator to only eat the guts is generally its hunger level. The hungrier the predator, generally the more of the prey it will consume.

Depending on the size of the predator and its ability to carry off the chicken, it may have been interrupted during its meal, or just had enough.

I’m very sorry for this loss. I know how frustrating it is to lose chickens to predators.

All you can do is try to beef up security for the rest, day and night; checking for access points to the coop and chicken yard.

Of course, if your chickens free range, there is always a higher risk of day time predator attack from land animals.

I like to make sure that my coop is free from access holes that might let something in at night that’s bigger than a mouse.

Chickens are blind and vulnerable at night, plus, we are usually sleeping and may not hear the ruckus in the coop if something bothers the chickens.

One thing I have done is taken the carcass of a predator killed chicken and use it as bait in the live trap the following night.

Often a predator will return to the scene of the crime, remembering what was left behind. This is the only way I know of to catch the probable predator.

I can only hope it’s not a skunk, though they are magicians at getting through very small openings and they like poultry. They often dig under a fence, so check your fence line regularly, if you have one.

Return to Raising Chickens Home Page

Comments for
What kills a chicken?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 10, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Chicken Killing Varmints
by: Chicken Raising Rita

Whatever kills any of your chickens is so very sad. The bond most of us form with our pets is strong and personal.

My experiences with chicken killing varmints is mostly guessing, but I can tell you that a couple, while out roaming the farm, have just disappeared without a feather left behind, so thinking hawk.

The massacres inside the chicken house I'm thinking weasels, minks or skunks. There has never been any odor so I think not skunk.

Don't know much about weasels so no guesses. But, I did trap a mink using a freshly killed chicken for bait.

If I knew how to import the picture here I would share. Quite a beautiful creature but oh so deadly.

In one night he caught and killed 12 fully grown chickens. I held a mass burial with prayers to the chicken angels ~ seriously. I love my chickens!

Hope this was helpful and, if possible, share with me how to import a picture.
Best wishes and good luck with your birds ~ Chicken Raising Rita

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Chicken Death Questions.