Did my chickens kill one of their own?


5 Years
Jul 26, 2014
I've posted before about my crossed beak chicken Amelia. We found her in a nesting box this morning and her head was gone. All other chickens are fine and their is no sign a predator git in. Did my other chickens kill her? If so, why? She has been in the flock for months with no issues. She's not even the bottom of the pecking order. Ten chickens have a 6 x 8 coop with 6 nesting boxes and places to roost. They have a 25 x 50 run that I put tons of things for them to scratch around in. They always have food and water. As far as I know she wasn't sick. She was her usual feisty self yesterday. Why would they eat her head?
One more thing. My husband is wondering if its because she had yogurt around her head and chest, but she always did. We gave her a bath every few weeks to get it off.
I highly doubt that one of your other chickens did this, since the head is completely gone...you never found it? Are your other girls upset/stressed? If so, you most likely had a predator get in there during the night. Could have been a weasel, mink or raccoon. Do you see any visible signs of where/how it could have gotten in? Any footprints around?
Absolutely, a chicken did not do this awful thing!

You need to accept that you, for certain, have a predator, probably a raccoon. Where is you nest box where she was found? Look nearby to see if there's any open mesh where a raccoon could have reached in a paw and grabbed the chicken. That's how they usually operate.

Then go around and carefully inspect all along the bottom of the coop and run as well as up high for cracks and crevices. Don't assume that a tiny opening up high won't allow something entry. See that doors and gates fit snugly and can't be pried open to allow a predator to squeeze through a small crack. Weasels can squeeze through very tiny cracks.

If you have just poultry netting (chicken wire), you don't have a secure run. Anything can reach through and grab a chicken, tearing off its head.

I'd get right on it, or you're going to find another chicken dead tonight. The predator has a taste for chicken now.
Depending on the structure of your coop and run there are plenty of predators that can get into and out of an enclosure leaving no sign that they were ever there. Perhaps you can post some photos of your setup and we can help you sort out possible suspects that could have made such an entry into your particular enclosure.
Chickens will not do this -maybe a raccoon or a ferret . Make sure your coop has hardwere cloth , not chicken wire.Soory about your hen .
I'm very relieved to report my 16 year old son is a bonehead. He's the one that found her, told me her head was missing, then buried her. When I went to go clean out any blood in the coop there was none. After quizzing him down I think her head was tucked under and he couldn't see it in the dark. It got below freezing here last night and I think she just didn't have what she needed to survive. I'm still so sad about losing her, she was a character, but I'm so relieved she wasn't killed by her flock or a predator.
Better to have to deal with a teenage bone head than a predator!
But I'm so sorry you lost your little hen.

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