Chicken massacre...we are very sad

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by telehillco, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. telehillco

    telehillco Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Front Range, CO
    We lost our four girls last night to what we think was most likely a raccoon. They were 2 & 3 years old and we really have grown attached. This morning we awoke to find the four of them scattered around the yard, all relatively intact, but all without their heads. I can't imagine what would have done this other than a raccoon. We've had three years without incident and so this was a real blow to lose all four at once. I feel so guilty that I should have done more to protect them. Something awoke me around 4 am, but I looked out in the dark and saw nothing and listened for a long while and heard nothing. It's possible it was all too late by then.

    Do you all know of anything else that would take the heads and leave the rest?

    We really miss them. RIP Betty, Wilma, Leghorn and Foghorn
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Oh, I am so sorry about you loss. They were beautiful chickens. I'm sure it was quite a traumatic site. I do believe that raccoons have the reputation of biting off the head, and unfortunately they are very smart. Please don't be too hard on yourself - we live and learn. I have lost some chickens to raccoons as well.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I know for sure that both fox and coyote have done that here.
  4. Skunks will do that, too. They bite off the head and lap the blood. One got into an old friend of mine's chicken yard while he was on vacation one year. When I went down to feed for him, it was awful. The stupid thing even got one of his peacocks. I know it was a skunk because it was still in the pen, conveniently waiting for a bullet from my .38 pistol.
  5. telehillco

    telehillco Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Front Range, CO
    I guess it could be a fox as well as we have seen them on the outskirts of the neighborhood. Our entire yard is fenced, are they skilled at getting in and out?
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Fox are very agile and so yes, very skilled at getting over, under, around, through fences. But so are a lot of other things too.

    Sorry about your hens, very pretty birds.
  7. telehillco

    telehillco Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Front Range, CO
    Interesting. I'm glad that the skunk got its due. There wasn't any blood around our girls either, just some piles of feathers here and there and then the bodies.
  8. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2010
    I would use live animal trap to catch what ever it is now.
  9. haemony

    haemony Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2011
    I am very sorry for your loss. I wonder if you would share what your coop set up is like and what you think might have been vulnerabilities. I am trying to learn as much as possible about preventing this kind of horror from happening. Do you know how the predator got in? Always wanting to learn how to protect birds. I am always so sad even to hear about it happening to other people's chickens and hoping not to go through it myself.
  10. albert w

    albert w Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2012
    I'd like to hear how you think the predator got in also. Not to rub your nose in it, but to learn from it and hopefully avoid it myself. Very sorry for your loss.

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