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New to Chickens - predator in Virginia that eats or bites neck and eats heads of chickens - Page 2

post #11 of 18

Birds of prey do this.

 Sorry for your loss. :hugs

“You can’t really begin to appreciate life until it has knocked you down a few times. You can’t really begin to appreciate love until your heart has been broken. And you can’t really begin to appreciate happiness until you’ve known sadness. Once you’ve walked through the valley, the view from the mountaintop is breathtaking"

 

 

                                                   ...

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“You can’t really begin to appreciate life until it has knocked you down a few times. You can’t really begin to appreciate love until your heart has been broken. And you can’t really begin to appreciate happiness until you’ve known sadness. Once you’ve walked through the valley, the view from the mountaintop is breathtaking"

 

 

                                                   ...

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post #12 of 18
So, birds of prey are likely the culprit? What about skunks? I just lost my big beautiful Silver-laced Wyandotte rooster this morning. :'( Just his head was gone... And one of my hens was attacked - she is still alive, but her head is chewed up and bloody. The only predators I have had around here are coyotes, skunks, and the occasional marauding dog. -- Until yesterday, when an enormous raptor (maybe a hawk, but it was huge) circled over and scared the daylights out of the flock... I'm pretty sure it wasn't a coyote because they normally just leave a pile of feathers. Dogs mangle, then leave the carcass. A Bald Eagle got one of my mama hens a few years back and ate most if it right in my yard! So, that leaves either skunk or raptor? What is the skunk's "calling card"?
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by C is 4 Chicken View Post

So, birds of prey are likely the culprit? What about skunks? I just lost my big beautiful Silver-laced Wyandotte rooster this morning. :'( Just his head was gone... And one of my hens was attacked - she is still alive, but her head is chewed up and bloody. The only predators I have had around here are coyotes, skunks, and the occasional marauding dog. -- Until yesterday, when an enormous raptor (maybe a hawk, but it was huge) circled over and scared the daylights out of the flock... I'm pretty sure it wasn't a coyote because they normally just leave a pile of feathers. Dogs mangle, then leave the carcass. A Bald Eagle got one of my mama hens a few years back and ate most if it right in my yard! So, that leaves either skunk or raptor? What is the skunk's "calling card"?

Skunks hunt at night, sometimes around dusk or dawn as well, but usually go back to their den around dawn.  They mostly eat the eggs and will go after chicks or small chickens.  Members of the weasel family also will eat the heads, but typically they kill a bunch of chickens.  Always remember, these predators do not read the manual 'When and How to Kill a Chicken' so sometimes the behavior will not conform to the 'usual' methods.  This is especially true if they are hungry and food is scarce. 

Here is a good link for identification of predators:  http://icwdm.org/inspection/livestock.asp

1 amazing (and chicken enabler) DH (almost 23 years!), 1 lovely DD, 1 Dominique hen, 2 EE hens, 2 BCM pullets, 1 Welsummer pullet, 1 Dominique pullet, 1 Partridge Cochin pullet, 1 Partridge Cochin cockerel, 1 Welsummer cockerel,1 BCM cockerel.  Current project:  rooster pen!
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1 amazing (and chicken enabler) DH (almost 23 years!), 1 lovely DD, 1 Dominique hen, 2 EE hens, 2 BCM pullets, 1 Welsummer pullet, 1 Dominique pullet, 1 Partridge Cochin pullet, 1 Partridge Cochin cockerel, 1 Welsummer cockerel,1 BCM cockerel.  Current project:  rooster pen!
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post #14 of 18

I am betting a raccoon is your culprit.  You will need to get a live trap and get him.  Aparently it thinks of your place as an easy target.  I have caught many of them around my place.

2 bared rocks, 1 california white,  1 RIR, 2 cochins, 1 bantam cochin.2 silkie ee croses. 2 ee, 2 mutts 1 Silkie and a few more.

3 roosters,  (Phoenix, white brahma, bantam cochin),

23 total

2 geese and one gander

12 quail.

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2 bared rocks, 1 california white,  1 RIR, 2 cochins, 1 bantam cochin.2 silkie ee croses. 2 ee, 2 mutts 1 Silkie and a few more.

3 roosters,  (Phoenix, white brahma, bantam cochin),

23 total

2 geese and one gander

12 quail.

Reply
post #15 of 18

I am having the same problem in Indiana. Everyone keeps telling me it is a weasel and I have set traps but all I catch are my own cats and I know it isn't them.  Whatever it is, it is very hard to catch.

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by connie fg View Post
 

I am having the same problem in Indiana. Everyone keeps telling me it is a weasel and I have set traps but all I catch are my own cats and I know it isn't them.  Whatever it is, it is very hard to catch

 

Does your pen have a roof?

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1140218/byc-member-interview-ren2014/0_30

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/building-our-duck-pond

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/feathers-and-two-feet

 

Nothing is trivial.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave is only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." 

Where will you spend eternity?

 

Barre...

caf.gif

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http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1140218/byc-member-interview-ren2014/0_30

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/building-our-duck-pond

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/feathers-and-two-feet

 

Nothing is trivial.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave is only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." 

Where will you spend eternity?

 

Barre...

caf.gif

Reply
post #17 of 18

The pen where they keep getting attacked does have a roof on it.

post #18 of 18

That rules out owl or any kind of raptor.  Describe your pen.  What kind of wire?  Is there any opening in it where the chickens come and go freely?  It sounds like you will need to pen your cats up for a few days and set out traps.  Watch for tracks.  If possible, make a muddy like mode around the pen so you can get some good tracks.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1140218/byc-member-interview-ren2014/0_30

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/building-our-duck-pond

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/feathers-and-two-feet

 

Nothing is trivial.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave is only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." 

Where will you spend eternity?

 

Barre...

caf.gif

Reply

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1140218/byc-member-interview-ren2014/0_30

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/building-our-duck-pond

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/feathers-and-two-feet

 

Nothing is trivial.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave is only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." 

Where will you spend eternity?

 

Barre...

caf.gif

Reply
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