This morning I found evidence of a murder in our barn. Above is the outside and top of the door to our chicken pen. Note that the blood is still quite red and liquid and drips down the front of the door. There was no blood trail leading away from the door and no arterial stray seen.
This next photo is of the top of the wall between the chicken pen and the pregnant sheep pen. Again it looks like there is fresh blood and dripping on the wall this time toward the chicken pen but no blood found in the sheep pen itself.
Next is a photo of the base of the door to the chicken pen. There are a few thin feathers that appear to be side feathers from one of our Phoenix roosters. There is a little pooling of blood at the base of the door but no trail.
But there is no DB. So what does this evidence point too? Do I have a bird of prey that flew into our barn, attacked a chicken roosting there and then flew out of the barn with it? It would be unusual for a bald eagle to want to fly through a barn door but maybe if it was hungry enough. And we have smaller hawks and owls here too. What about a racoon or possum? Can they scale walls like this and kill a roosting chicken? Can they pull it away from the barn without leaving a trail? What about rodents? We certainly have them but they have plenty of chicken food they can eat and would they attack a full-sized chicken? What about a bobcat or cougar? I would think they would try for a goat or sheep instead of a chicken? The last suspects are the other roosters.
Our young roosters are almost 6 months old. I did witness a fight today in the barn. Could a rooster fight have led to a badly injured bird that then limped away to hide and die and I cannot find him? I guess I will now that answer in a few days, if you know what I mean. Could this be the murder weapon?
So what do you guys think we are dealing with here? I would especially like to hear from those of you that have dealt with chicken predators before. I would like to know what we are up against.