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Chicken found with head missing

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

  1. backyardahen

    backyardahen New Egg

    Mar 18, 2008
    We in Alabama have most every type of predators you can think of. Skunks will rip a Chickens head off and suck up blood. Racoons, Opossums and Coyotes will kill the Chicken and take it away. Dogs will kill and leave the dead chickens. Hawks will swoop down and take off with your birds.

    When we free ranged our Chickens we lost many Chickens as you can't spend all your time watching Chickens and chaseing off preditors. This year we bought some Guinea hens. They roam around the farm like a bunch of soldiers on alert but stay with the Chickens. If the Guinea's see anything they all start squaking and every bird runs for cover. Guinea hens also lay very good eggs.
  2. I'd put a game cam out to see what's doing it so I'd know. I'd also think about a baby monitor so I could hear and get out there if there was noise. Good luck!
  3. OrpingtonAustin

    OrpingtonAustin Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2013
    I don't close my coop door at night and I may have to start. I just tried to make the pen so hard to get in that I didn't have to. Don't always get home at the same time every night. Thanks.
  4. Harborview Hens

    Harborview Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Get an automatic door. I have the Pullet Shut door. easy to install and great to have. I have seen hawks swoop into bushes to get birds. We have a ruglar sharp-shinned hawk that visits often. (We feed seed during the winter for the song birds) Once a hawk knows how to get in and out, it will continue the pattern. Either put a top on the run or get an automatic door. Sorry for your loss.
  5. Cooper589

    Cooper589 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 5, 2013
    Two nights ago we had the same thing happen to our Rooster. What ever it was, came into the coup by ripping our flimsy sliding door off and pulling out our little Mille Fleur Cochin Rooster. He was taken from the coup and his head was eaten off. A week ago, we did see a small fox prowling about. This is the first incident. My response was to build a bank vault strong door. The chickens are out during the day scratching, pecking and making eggs. Our dogs keep other animals away during the day. I found a small hole in our fence and looks to be the entry point. The poor little left a trail of feathers. As far as chickens go, this little guy was pretty and he loved to bite my trousers and stand up to me. He was brave and full of himself.

    Did you try a trail camera and has any tried a snare? Would a snare be considered a human response?
  6. Kyzmette

    Kyzmette Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2013
    Coons and possums can get in through areas you wouldn't imagine they could fit through. Coons, as cute as they are, are terrible, foul predators and leave horrific messes behind. They will grab chicks through chicken wire barriers and take bites out of them while they're still alive, then leave the bodies behind. If you don't have the coop secured, a coon could lift a lid to get in, then let themselves back out.
    1 person likes this.
  7. BJ1953

    BJ1953 New Egg

    Aug 26, 2014
    We also are having the same dead chickens with missing heads. However, it seems the problem is with Opossums. We have trapped several out, but apparently not enough. Good Luck.
  8. Cooper589

    Cooper589 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 5, 2013
    What was your trapping method? We have not had a problem since I fortified the chicken house with a vault door or heavy duty door.
  9. snailtrainer

    snailtrainer New Egg

    Nov 24, 2014
    i had this happen a few years ago and it turned out to be an owl !!
    they dont touch the bodies but just bite the heads off . The chickens dont spook as its a another bird and the see no danger
    hope this helps
  10. Krystle807

    Krystle807 Out Of The Brooder

    May 2, 2010
    Had this happen two years ago with my Polish pullets[​IMG] They were kept in a secure area(so I thought) but 2 separate mornings I came out to a headless pullet. Never knew what happened because no feather trail, no broken fence or coop and never heard a peep. One night I ended up hearing commotion so I went out to check--entrance of the run I found yet another headless but I kept hearing all this racket and my ducks were going nuts! Went in to investigate and low a behold--a Great Horned Owl. Apparently I caught him in the act and startled him so he flew right into the pen so we had a fun night of getting him out without causing my poor ducks to have a heart attack. Owls are SUPER quiet and will find a way, somehow to walk right into the run or coop, pull them out and they just take the head. We've had one recently that will come and sit on our roof at night..you can hear him clip-clapping around. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014

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