So I was greeted this morning by my beloved hens head, laying just outside the coop. My dog had recently ripped up the chainlink, and clearly my repairs were not good enough. Some little critter slipped by. I fixed up the wire better, looked all over for her body, but I have not found it yet. No feathers, no blood, no nothing, I only found her head. No bite marks on the back of her neck, it looks like someone just bit it clean off. I am very confused, at first I thought a raccoon had done it but now I'm not so sure because from what I know they usually eat the head. Any advice would be much appreciated. I live in southern california, and I know for sure we have coyotes, raccoons, opossums, mountain lions, and maybe bobcats but I'm not sure. It was for sure not a feral housecat b/c we are too rural for that. The hen killed was a Belgian d'Uccle, for those unfamiliar with the breed, they are teeny tiny smaller than the average bantam. No other hens are harmed. I also considered rats, but as far as I know we only have a mouse problem. I'm going to go ahead and put up a raccoon trap and see if I get anything, Thanks so much for reading this and taking the time to help me.
I only found her head, and I want vengence
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So sorry for your loss - seems it is always the favorite that gets gotten, just adds insult to injury.
While I understand the desire to "get" the predator, that is the short-sighted response to a loss as it addresses only this predator (and that is IF the animal you trap in the trap is actually the same one that took the bird - similar to how when a wild animal attacks or kills a human and the response is to kill "a bear/alligator/etc *thought to be* the one that attacked". The longer-sighted, and more effective, response is to take it as an indication that you need to beef up your security -- this addresses not only the predator that took *this* bird, but protects your flock against the next one to come along, because for everyone you are aware of there are several more - -removing the one active predator that took your bird opens up that territory to be moved into by the next neighboring predator looking to expand it's range.
Another time, a raccoon got in, but it pretty much left most of a bird behind. Another bird dies of shock (that's what a vet said).
We let our chickens out during the day, and didn't get the door closed early enough to protect them. we never left the coop door open after dark again.