Chicken found with head missing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by OrpingtonAustin, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. OrpingtonAustin

    OrpingtonAustin Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2013
    Twice in the last month I have went into my chicken coop to find a dead chicken with it's head gone. I have a secure coop and there is no sign of a predator. Not really any blood or scattered feathers, just missing it's head. Could the other chickens be doing this? It is a one year old hen. I don't have any neighbors that could be messing with me or anything like that. There isn't any other sign of trauma and I'm very confused. Does anybody have any ideas?
     
  2. ocb50

    ocb50 New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Do you have electric fencing around the coop? If not, it is most likely a possom. They're head eaters.
     
  3. OrpingtonAustin

    OrpingtonAustin Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2013
    I have a six foot welded wire fence with electric wire top and bottom. I really dont see how anything could get in and never see any tracks around the pen.
     
  4. ocb50

    ocb50 New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Do you have netting on top, if not, possible hawk attack. They sometimes bit off head before eating rest of bird. Maybe you surprised before it could finish? That's all I can think of.
     
  5. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    this is awful! it scares me to death! I just got a electric fence myself! may I ask,? we're they in the hen house? when this happened? is it attached to your run? second question, did you wire net the bottom of your nest boxes? some times critters can get in through the bottom of the nest boxes if they are outside to collect eggs easily like mine are. if yours are like that then that's likely the place they got in. I read about another person having an attack through the bottom of the nest boxes. I put wire and stapled it to the bottom of mine. could this be a possibility? best of luck and I'm so sorry
     
  6. Racoons will scoop out one handful at a time. They like heads, too. Hope you get it sorted. I would post this on the predators section with pictures.
     
  7. OrpingtonAustin

    OrpingtonAustin Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2013
    I don't have netting on the top of the run but they were inside the coop when it happened at night. A hawk would have had to go inside through a chicken size door in the middle of the night and bite off a head and leave without making a mess. I'm wondering if the chicken died and then the other chickens pecked it's head off? You would still think I would find a beak or skull or something!
     
  8. OrpingtonAustin

    OrpingtonAustin Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2013
    They were in the hen house at night and it is attached to the run. I checked on them before bed. My nesting boxes are inside the coop so no getting in from the bottom of them. There is no sign of any digging under the fence. To climb the fence a predator would have to scale a 6 foot fence and then get by 2 electric wires at the top that are on extenders sticking out to the outside about 3 and 6 inches. I'm just at a loss. Thanks for the reply.
     
  9. OrpingtonAustin

    OrpingtonAustin Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2013
    That's a good idea. I didn't take any pictures. Just a chicken with no head and not really any blood to speak of. A coon or Opossum is a good guess I just don't know how they could get in over my fence. I know they climb but I have electric fence top and bottom and the top is sticking out so they would have to climb upside down to get over it. I don't have a rooster so maybe I will get one for protection. Thanks for the post.
     
  10. etammy

    etammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you close the coop door at night? If not, I would start doing that, something is killing them. I don't believe the other hens are doing it. Predators at very skillfull, they have to be to survive and you have one entering your coop
     

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