BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Social › New Member Introductions › headless chickens, left for dead. Does anyone know what could be getting my birds?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

headless chickens, left for dead. Does anyone know what could be getting my birds?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

In the fall I lost 4 free ranging birds at dusk. One headless the rest left for dead (even the rooster was taken out). I was devastated. After that I started locking the birds up and only letting them out when I was in the yard. This morning I put my surviving 5 birds in the fenced in garden, but my buttercup always flies out and unfortunately did that this am. It was 10 am when I put them in the garden and by 11am I found her decapitated in the yard, feathers everywhere. Wondering what might be getting my girls. Fox? Coyote? Thought those only hunted at dusk or dawn. She was 1 year old, but not a huge bird. Could it be a hawk?  I don't think it would be as heartbreaking if they just took the whole bird, but the take off the head and leave the meat is really upsetting. 

post #2 of 20

Let me preceed this by saying I'm sorry for your loss.

 

In my outdoory lifestyle of hunting and fishing the one animal that will start w/ the head is a bird or prey. 

I had a friend that had a Coopers Hawk that was decapitating his cochins.  He said the bird wouldn't even slow down...in one swoop would hit and fly to a limb w/ head in tow.

 

Sounds like you have a killer bird....

Mike

post #3 of 20

That is so sad, hope you get to the bottom of it and can protect your remaining birds sad.png

3 hens, 2 dogs, 3 rats. 1 hamster, 1 amazing husband and two fantastic boys.updated lists 2 cream legbar hens, 1 cream legbar rooster, 3 light sussex, 3 black leghorn, 2 exchequer leghorn, 3 chamois polish, 3 silver laced polish.

15/08/12 4 black rock, 3 blue bell, 2 speckledys & 2 more warrens 

23/08/12 3 khaki campbells

10/10/12 2 bourbon red turkeys

20/10/12 6 rescue hens

Reply

3 hens, 2 dogs, 3 rats. 1 hamster, 1 amazing husband and two fantastic boys.updated lists 2 cream legbar hens, 1 cream legbar rooster, 3 light sussex, 3 black leghorn, 2 exchequer leghorn, 3 chamois polish, 3 silver laced polish.

15/08/12 4 black rock, 3 blue bell, 2 speckledys & 2 more warrens 

23/08/12 3 khaki campbells

10/10/12 2 bourbon red turkeys

20/10/12 6 rescue hens

Reply
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you! This weekend my husband is going to build me a run for my coop. My coop is a a big shed with plenty of room for my 4 girls. So for the past year I've been either letting them free range or go in my large fenced in garden. Now with this recent lost I have put the pressure on my man to build me a covered run. Soon 8 chicks will be joining our flock. Keeping my fingers crossed that he gets it built this weekend. 

post #5 of 20

Hi && Welcome!!!

wee.gif

I'm sorry for your loss :(

I'm not completely sure as to what could be doing this. My first guess was a dog or even coyote but they don't normally decapitate. Hopefully someone more helpful will will jump in here!

Glad you joined us.,

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

I have seen a large red tailed hawk flying over my property. Hmmmm so that's probably my killer bird. Ugh!

post #7 of 20

frow.gif & welcome-byc.gif from Alabama. Glad you joined us. So sorry that you're having problems with predators thumbsup.gif

9/28/2013 RIP Verity. . . You'll always be in our hearts.

 

Check out my Blog: The Country Chick                          And be sure to check out our soap shop on Etsy, here.

Reply

9/28/2013 RIP Verity. . . You'll always be in our hearts.

 

Check out my Blog: The Country Chick                          And be sure to check out our soap shop on Etsy, here.

Reply
post #8 of 20

I heard a good suggestion about adding one of those wild game cameras with the motion sensors.  Might let you know whats sneaking around your yard when your not there.  I have also heard it suggested that running thin wire criss crossing the yard well over head height throws off the raptors when they dive. Although I have never tried this, I think it would buy your chickens more warning and perhaps time to get away.  Its hard not to notice a huge killer bird slamming un ceremoniously into the ground.

 

yesss.gif

post #9 of 20

Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan frow.gif

 

There are other predators than hawks that will decapitate, actually with hawks you usually only find a pile of feathers with maybe some feet. 

Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 



My Chickens
Reply

Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 



My Chickens
Reply
post #10 of 20

An owl will decapitate and only eat the heads.  At dusk, I'd be thinking this is your likely culprit and they do hunt in the daytime as well.
 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: New Member Introductions
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Social › New Member Introductions › headless chickens, left for dead. Does anyone know what could be getting my birds?