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1 of 4 hens killed by mystery predator

post #1 of 6
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We live in a suburban neighborhood in Los Angeles and have been raising 4 hens that roam freely in our backyard. We made the mistake of leaving the hatch in their coop open overnight and found one hen decapitated and eviscerated. Between 1-430 am; Whatever predator killed her it would have entered the coop and crawled up the ramp and pulled her down and out of the coop where she was then killed on the open lawn. It looks like her head was chewed off first then her body was pulled about 10 feet away and partially consumed. I think our sprinkler system turned on and possibly interrupted the predator. I have seen neighborhood cats approach the coop but they don't seem capable of killing the hen in that way. It's been two or three years since I've seen any raccoons....but from what I've been reading it seems more likely she was killed by a raccoon. Any ideas if this looks more like a raccoon kill vs. a cat? I'm attempting to trap whatever killed our hen Miss Piggy.
post #2 of 6
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post #5 of 6

It's likely a raccoon. They're everywhere, it seems. What is your plan if you catch it? If you're not planning on killing it, please don't bother. Instead, you might want to consider beefing up your coop security. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've set a bait trap at the entrance of the coop and have secured all entry points into the actual sleeping area. I've just spoken to a neighbor that claims she has seen a large raccoon in our neighborhood as recently as two days ago...and it's been around for the last few months. If I capture it I've both considered killing it or turning it over to animal control officers. In the mean time we are adjusting our habits in order to keep the girls more secure. We let our guard down by keeping their hatch open....prior to this we've had no problems with predators in the two years we've had them. Thanks for your reply bobbi-j !
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Predators and Pests › 1 of 4 hens killed by mystery predator