Chicken with head taken in broad daylight.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Orange Ribbon, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Orange Ribbon

    Orange Ribbon Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    Normally our dogs are outside and nothing has bothered our free ranging birds so far. We keep them locked up at night. But today my wife had the dogs in the house from 2 PM until 4 PM. When she went out at 4 one of my 3-4 month old poults was laying in the yard with its head missing. Nothing else was disturbed, just the head gone. I know raccoons will often do this, but it was during the day. All the other birds were ranging around like nothing was going on. I figure anything like a coyote or fox would have taken it away, so I am suspecting a hawk. What do you think?
  2. the Pollo Loco

    the Pollo Loco Songster

    May 27, 2009
    Santa Cruz,CA
    the chupachicken?
  3. yakfishgirl

    yakfishgirl In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2011
    I'm sorry about your loss. we would have been heartbroken.
    I don't think a hawk would have decapitated it. They seem to go for the de-feathering and gut first. A hawk the size of our 12 week old BRs passed within 5' of their heads this morning while I was walking out with my coffee. Thankfully, the 6 week-olds had just walked back in the run. My dogs had also been inside. I guess if I'm going to leave the chickens outside for a while, the dog has to stay, too.
  4. TammyTX

    TammyTX Crowing

    Feb 16, 2009
    What about a cat?
  5. Sorry about your loss. Years ago when I had ducks this same thing happened to me. Come to find out it was an owl. From what I understand, and I could be wrong, a hoot owl cannot carry the whole thing so they take their heads off from the bottom of the neck. I know my problem was an owl because where I live we have real heavy clay and one morning we went out to the coop after it had rained all night and discovered the owl had flown in, got weighed down with mud and couldnt fly back out. We promptly caught him and took it to a preserve far away from us. My friend also had that problem with her ducks and hers was an owl also.
  6. Orange Ribbon

    Orange Ribbon Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    Well, you guys are not going to believe this. I went out this morning and I have all the birds accounted for. I'm thinking my wife may have mistook another breed for the one she thought was killed, but that seemed unlikely. So I have my daughter bring me a certain feed bag I have trash in and open it up. Sure enough there is a bird in there with its head gone, but it is one that died last week of coccidiosis! Evidently something pulled it out of the bag and ate its head off. My wife didn't realize it, and until I saw the birds this morning just took her word for it. So there you go. False alarm. [​IMG] Of course, I am happy about it! [​IMG]

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