Dead Chicken only the Head left, plus an egg beside it?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by themoores, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. themoores

    themoores Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2014
    Jacksonville, NC
    We are new to chickens and have learned a lot but this has thrown us for a loop. We went out to find our BB Reds who normally free range during the day and come back to the coop when the sun goes down. What we found of her was a pile of feathers in two different spots on our yard probably 20 meters apart. By the furtherest pile we found her head, the eyes were gone and it looked like she may have had an egg in her that was left behind, though I cannot say for sure. Our other hens normally only lay in the coop so this random egg was not a normal find. Not sure what to think and not sure what could have gotten her. Any insight will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. crazyfeathers

    crazyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Auburndale, Wi
    So sorry for your loss.
     
  3. AmieH

    AmieH Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2014
    Jacksonville Nc
    I am by no means able to confirm this, however I also live in Jacksonville and we have a BOAT load of hawks, vultures and eagles over head where I live. The turkey vultures likely are not the culprit, however they may have finished the job. I had two vultures in the tree beside my house this afternoon. Yesterday we had 6 red tail hawks flying overhead at one time. They are pretty vicious to chickens and often do mangle and decapitate. I made the choice to build a run because of that fact. There is just no way that I will not lose a bird to the hawks without it. The hawks here are vicious. I swear one eyeballed my dog when he was a puppy and was moments away from snacking on him had I not run outside and scooped him up.
     
  4. themoores

    themoores Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2014
    Jacksonville, NC
    We have been seeing the same thing!!! It's Awful. From what I have read since that happened it sounds like an owl did it. I had no idea owls would mess with chickens. Lesson learned!!!
     
  5. BatonRougeChick

    BatonRougeChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2013
    Denham Springs, LA
    My Coop
    Owls scare me. They will definitely do this!
     
  6. themoores

    themoores Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2014
    Jacksonville, NC
    I know I had no idea that we had owls or that this would happen. I always thought they were nice guys who just hung out, now I know they mean serious business. They have eaten both of my BB Reds.
     
  7. AmieH

    AmieH Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2014
    Jacksonville Nc
    Did this happen at night? While some owls do get frisky by day it is not quite as common as in the evening. Either way, I would suggest making a fully enclosed run and locking them up in their coops the moment it gets dark. We just have too many predators. I have a large backyard and would love to free range, but there are just too many factors including the neighbors cats. I love the wildlife out here, but I am not in love with feeding the wildlife at my expense.
     

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