Buzzard attack

There are pictures of dead animals here. You have been warned.

I lost one of my 9 remaining chicks this afternoon due to a buzzard attack. I was walking Bud back out the croft when I saw movement to my right and then a large buzzard flew right across in front of me, carrying a 20-week old pullet. I ran after the buzzard and it dropped the bird, I picked it up but it was obviously dead. The lack of a head was my first clue.

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I dropped the bird and ran to check the rest of them as quickly as possible, and found another one cowering in a corner. It too had been attacked and wounded above the right shoulder.

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I have taken it into the house for the time being. It is eating but I am concerned about the wound. It’s quite big and will probably pick up infections. Any tips on how to treat are welcomed.

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Back outside, I got the other 7 chicks/pullets back into their run, along with the Frizzle cockerel. And then surveyed the area.

This is where the kill was probably made

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And nearby are the white feathers from the wounded bird.

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The buzzard was back by this point, and hovering over head.

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This isn’t the first loss I’ve had due to raptor attack. In addition to a chick lost to crows in late 2011, I also lost a lamb to a suspected Sea Eagle attack last summer. (Don’t look at the link if you are squeamish)

And how do I know it was one of the pullets attacked? Well, I ringed them yesterday and it is still there!

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I’m angry at the buzzard, but not much. It is only doing what is natural and it’ll teach me to being complacent about them. There has been a boom in their population recently, probably linked to the number of rabbits here. If I do feel angry later, I can console myself with the thought that I’m going to have a stuffed buzzard in my sitting room soon!

*update at 6pm*

Seems quite bright and I’ve taken her into the utility room. Cleaned the wound with salt water and applied poultry anti-septic spray. Think it may need stitches as it’s a big wound but it isn’t deep, only skin deep. Lucky bird, considering.

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