Dead hen with only the head missing

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mamas, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. mamas

    mamas Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 8, 2012
    I let my hens and roosters out to free range today and went back down at 7pm to lock them back up and I found one of the hens dead. Only the head was missing and the neck was picked pretty clean. There were missing feathers and the meat from one wing was gone and a small hole in its stomach area with intestines sticking out. I am thinking maybe a cat got it and the other birds scared it off . When I first arrived I saw that the chickens were picking at something which turned out to be the dead hen. So because this happened during the day and the fact that really only the head was missing, I am thinking that a cat maybe got the chicken and the others chased it off then they proceeded to help themselves. Does this sound about right to anyone else. If it was a raccoon I know from experience that they do a lot more damage than that. I guess I am going to have to pen them in, I really do not want to keep loosing hens. Why couldn't have been one of the 7 roosters I have been trying to relocate?*#!
     
  2. rrgrassi

    rrgrassi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a coon to me. I had that issue until I added an electric fence. I'm still trying to catch that coon. It's the size of a medium sized dog. Once I do catch it, it will be shot.
     
  3. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

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    I was also going to say raccoon but daytime attacks are rare. Weasels only take the head too, but are mainly a nocturnal predator also. It may have been the cat. So sorry. You may have to consider getting a dog to protect the area.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    The raptor migration is starting. It would not surprise me if your bird was killed by a hawk.
     
  5. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

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    Yes ,could be a hawk. I normally don't get hawk attacks with my free ranging silkies but one dove at my 2 month old's yesterday. Luckily they're fine.
     

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