Chickens heads torn off in the daytime.

Jean75

Hatching
May 14, 2015
3
0
9
Today something killed 2 of my moms adult hens. It had to have happened between 9am-1:30 pm. My mom has 2 acres of fenced in property ( fence is about 5 feet tall , 3 boards with a wire fence on the inside) and the chickens free roam during the day and put up at night. They stay inside the fence except for a few that like to jump out on occ. There were feathers all over the yard like something chased them and she found two dead chickens in the grove of trees at the the back of the property. They were close together with their heads/necks ripped off their bodies and she was unable to find them. The bodies were intact. Just the heads and neck gone. I've read a lot on your site and most predators of chickens hunt at night. This was during the day. We live in the country in northwestern Tennessee. So we have foxes, skunks, raccoons, possums, owls, Hawks. Don't know about weasels. Any thoughts on what could have done this during the day? She's never had any problems before and the first time it's happened. Thank you for any info. :)
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Today something killed 2 of my moms adult hens. It had to have happened between 9am-1:30 pm. My mom has 2 acres of fenced in property ( fence is about 5 feet tall , 3 boards with a wire fence on the inside) and the chickens free roam during the day and put up at night. They stay inside the fence except for a few that like to jump out on occ. There were feathers all over the yard like something chased them and she found two dead chickens in the grove of trees at the the back of the property. They were close together with their heads/necks ripped off their bodies and she was unable to find them. The bodies were intact. Just the heads and neck gone. I've read a lot on your site and most predators of chickens hunt at night. This was during the day. We live in the country in northwestern Tennessee. So we have foxes, skunks, raccoons, possums, owls, Hawks. Don't know about weasels. Any thoughts on what could have done this during the day? She's never had any problems before and the first time it's happened. Thank you for any info.
smile.png

It sounds like your predator ran its victims down and then stashed the bodies. I strongly suspect a fox or a coyote.
 

Jean75

Hatching
May 14, 2015
3
0
9
We didn't see any digging under a fence like a coyote would do so it was probably a fox. Do foxes rip the heads off and take them? We could not find the heads anywhere. She's just upset because it's the first time this has happened to her flock.
 

Weehopper

Songster
Feb 26, 2015
773
102
134
My first guess would be raccoon. Preditors can come at any time of the day or night. I have a coyote that came in after noon and ambushed one of my Naragannsette turkeys. And that after being run off for the two mornings preceding that.
A raccoon will also proceed to eat a chicken through the wire. If they can grab them, they will just pull them up against the wire and start eating. They are nasty..not cute at all. This time of year is especially hard for preditors because they are feeding their young, and teaching them how to raid things like chicken coops and cages.
Anyway, a raccoon will rip a head off. So will a cat, I believe.
 

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