A Raven Beheaded My Chicks


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
I think a crow beheaded five of my six week old chicks. The chicks were in their fenced yard for the first time today, and when I came out to check on them after a couple of hours, five of them were dead and the rest were in hiding. The only evidence of any animal around was a crow, which flew off only when I walked near it. The dead chicks were left in the yard minus their heads. Has this ever happened to anyone?

I've just read the thread on Ravens. It was a Raven - not a crow.
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I'm sorry that you lost your chicks.
If you look to the thread titled "Raven" it appears that crows can be nasty little buggers. By the time I'm done second guessing what might eat my feathered kids I'm going to have them locked up like Fort Knox.

The crow would likely have taken and eaten the chick & not just beheaded. Crows MOSTLY scavenge but on occasion will eat baby birds or bird eggs. Something else (likely a weasel) killed the chicks as they often "behead." The crow observed this and was there to "scavenge" the remains but likely not the beheader!
Thank you for responding. It's totally opened my eyes, and now I will put a netting over their yard.
I was shocked, and it was awful. I'm still having a hard time believing it.
I'm still unsure. I was told that it was probably a raven. I can't tell the difference - but it was a huge black bird perched on the shed. Would a weasel do it in the middle of the day? I don't even know if we have weasels here, but whatever it was, I want to get it.

It was weird because there were no feathers scattered around either - literally none. It seems like a weasel or other "ground" predator would have caused a ton of feathers to fly, especially in the process of getting five. These were just dead chickens without their heads - not a feather nearby: Like whatever it was attacked from above without warning. I was sure glad the others I had all ran into hiding. Poor little things - their first outing!

Thanks for the information.
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A couple weeks ago I watched a crow take a total of 4 robins (full grown size) from outside my computer window, over the span of a few hours. It did not just behead them, it ripped them apart and ate them in a very messy fashion. I'm not saying that what you describe *couldn't* be a crow or raven but I'd tend to suspect something else, with the crow or raven just popping in for leftovers.


I totally agree. But I have big dogs who are always patrolling our property for smaller predators, and it seems they would have prevented a ground predator from getting in the pen, especially during daylight hours.

I did see the raven/crow come back and rip apart the remains. I didn't see the attack happen, so I can't be sure, but I am certainly puzzled. Either way, I'm putting netting over them until they're bigger.

Thanks for the input and condolences.
Crows are very smart and will eat anything. They will hunt in pairs and while two parent birds are trying to protect their nest by chasing one intruder off, the other crow will to back to the nest and either carry off a newborn chick or tear it apart right there and eat it.

i'm not sure if a crow did that to your chicks, but very well could have. They are a definite threat to baby birds.

So very sorry for your loss. i can't imagine how horrible it must have been to find your babies like that.

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