What got my chicken?

Asked April 26, 2018, 2:08 PM EDT

I found a hen dead against the electric fence at 815 this morning. They were let out of the coop about 5:45. The only injury I can find is on her spine which was not against a fence. There is evidence of serious digging outside the fence.
Any idea what predator I'm dealing with here?
Thank you.
I have more pictures of the digging.

Steuben County New York

5 Responses

I think there may have been a couple of animals involved here. The one I think killed the hen is a raptor of some sort; however I am guessing that it wasnt big enough to carry the hen off before it was scared but he other animal. What that one is I am unsure, maybe a raccoon or opossum.

Hope this helps

Would raccoon or possum kick mud 3-5 feet behind the digging?

Good point about the dirt getting kicked back. A raccoon or opossum would not kick the dirt back that far. The other thought that crossed my mind is that it could be a dog/coyote. The third picture (the one with the close up) looks like it could be a dog print. Though I am not 100% sure...

We have fox and coyote up here. That fence is testing at 4000 V. Any suggestions about preventing future similar attacks?

I would suggest burying some of the fence underground 12-18 inches. Another strategy people the seems to work is using two feet of hardware cloth around the pen. Since your pen is already in place that might be the easiest way to go. However I can vouch that burying some of the fence works.