decapitated hen

poultrycrazy

Songster
9 Years
Aug 25, 2010
822
3
129
:)
We came home when it was dark and went to put the chickens away to find our only lavender silkie decapitated and her whole neck and her breast skinned. We have weasels, fox possum raccoons and owls. The fence is 4 feet high with 1 by 2 inch squares nd the wire is VERY thick and cant be bent. What could it have been? It was verry cold today... in the 20s and snowing all day.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium member
10 Years
May 3, 2009
94,212
178,138
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New Jersey
Is there a top on the pen? If not, my best bet is a hawk. Whatever did it, you can be assured that it will return for another meal. If possible it might be a good idea to keep the chickens locked up for several days.
 

KandiandJerry

Songster
8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
1,013
4
133
Springfield, Tennessee
I Am Going To Guess Owl They Usually Snatch A Head Off And Also A Coon Will Do The Same But Usually A Coon Will Carry It Off But Not Always.........................sorry For Your Loss
 

poultrycrazy

Songster
9 Years
Aug 25, 2010
822
3
129
:)
No top on it... and yes im not letting the out anytime soon

Thanks for the quick reply
 

chicknmania

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,658
913
382
central Ohio
You don't say if you have a roof on your pen, but that sounds like a hawk That's what they usuallly do, is skin the neck and head, and
decapitate the bird. Normally we don't have much problem with hawks in the wintertime, but this has been such a mild winter and we had the same type
of weather here today, so maybe you are in the same area? We had a very bad problem with hawks until late in the year last year.

So sorry for your loss. If you don't have a roof on your pen, definitely do that. Hang CD's with shiny ribbons tied to them
around the area where your pen is, so that they flash, spin, and blow. Works well as a hawk deterrent. Putting a roof on will also
help to deter hawks, coons, and any climbing predator In addition, bury hardware cloth or something similar around the base of the pen
it will help to prevent predators digging underneath. Lots of people string a hot wire around the outside of the pen as well.
 
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chicknmania

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,658
913
382
central Ohio
Quote:We almost never see a hawk carry a chicken off.; in fact I don't think I ever have. Chickens are heavy The hawk will sit right there and eat.
They don't need to eat much before they are full.
 

chicknmania

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,658
913
382
central Ohio
Quote:Not saying they WON"t carry one off..just saying they will also sit there and eat them. And that's what usually happens here.
 

KandiandJerry

Songster
8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
1,013
4
133
Springfield, Tennessee
You Are Right I Seen Them Do That With A Neighbors Chicken They Sat There And Ate It But I Was Real Surprised To See One Carry Mine Off He May Not Have Went Far But I New He Was Gone And Like You Said They Are Heavy
 
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