Murderous Beast Identification....

#1
We recently re-installed a few hens in a long abandoned coop. All has been well for about a month .....until today - 1 hen foully ( sorry) murdered by culprits unknown.

The hen was lying dead in one corner, partially covered in leaves - the floor of the run is leaf covered, the run is overhung by mature oak/alder. There were a few feathers missing from one side of the chaest but no major damage. Only one bird was attacked....

I've scouted all round the coop - no sign of forced entry, no tunnelling under the wire - undisturbed leaf litter all over.

3 sides are chicken wire, two layers high strung from deer-fence posts, the remaining side only has chicken wire single height, deer fence above.

Am I looking for an agile fox getting through the deer fence 3 feet up ....or a pine marten ? - we have both locally.
 
#2
Was all the blood totally drained with a small triangular incision on the chest or side?...

CW

Quis Separabit
Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum
 
#3
Not a fox, it would kill all the hens. While you have reasonable protection from larger mammal predators, start to think about smaller ones, Stoats or martins/mink will kill a hen, but can't drag it away over the fence, or birds of prey will drop in over your defences.
 
#4
Yep, if it was a fox there would have been mayhem in your coop - they just kill the lot.
 
#7
Did you see any strange lights in the sky on that, or previous nights?...

CW

Quis Separabit
Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#8
Check the other hens.


The one with the shifty look in her eyes, and a dodgy alibi; that's your culprit.
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#11
saladin said:
OK, Discounting alien abduction attempts and drop bears...looks like I need a chicken wire lid on the run.

:(
Coudn't hurt.

Look for chicken feathers in the pellets of your local owls. Perhaps the victim wouldn't 'put-out' for a quick rough shag in the night.

Other than that, I'm going with dropbears, too.
 
#15
Are you sure its dead? Perhaps its just resting.
 
#16
dichter said:
Not a fox, it would kill all the hens.
Can't agree. Foxes only react like that when they are inside the coops. We have a large number of foxes (and chickens ) round these parts and mass murders are extremely rare because we keep the foxes out of the coops.

Typical fox behaviour to kill one bird and carry it off or sometimes (especially if it gets more than one bird) bury it for later. Generally speaking when it is fox on the open, you just notice that one of the birds is missing.

We had four birds (out of eight!) killed recently in the open. All the corpses were all left behind with no attempt bury them leading us to believe that it was a dog.

So I would add a local (or visiting) dog to the list.
 
#17
Beerhunter said:
dichter said:
Not a fox, it would kill all the hens.
Can't agree. Foxes only react like that when they are inside the coops. We have a large number of foxes (and chickens ) round these parts and mass murders are extremely rare because we keep the foxes out of the coops.

Typical fox behaviour to kill one bird and carry it off or sometimes (especially if it gets more than one bird) bury it for later. Generally speaking when it is fox on the open, you just notice that one of the birds is missing.

We had four birds (out of eight!) killed recently in the open. All the corpses were all left behind with no attempt bury them leading us to believe that it was a dog.

So I would add a local (or visiting) dog to the list and, as has been said one of the other hens
 
#19
Domestic Cat?
 
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