GRAPHIC photo added post 20. Poor gal..RIP.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by taraann81, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. taraann81

    taraann81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Ontario
    about every 3 rd night the lat 2 weeks something has gotten in to my coop and ripped the heads off of my half grown birds(mostly guineas, a few chickens). It doen't even eat them. I open the door up in the morning and the bird is dead, head ripped off and laying near by. Nothing even appears to be eaten, even the head is there, just not where it should be.

    The coop is surrounded by 5 foot chainlink. Something could climb it( nothing is going under it, it would have to dig under and nothing has)My coop has always seemd pretty predator proof. I still can't figure out how the "perpatrator" is getting in..

    Can anyone name this predator, that rips heads off....
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  2. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    Coon is the first thing that comes to mind. They're good climbers too.
     
  3. can you hear me now?

    can you hear me now? Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    Sounds like weasels or mink. They will do that and drink the blood. In my experience coons will eat as much as they can before.getting caught.
     
  4. Hound

    Hound Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Is the top covered? Owls like decapitating things a lot. Are the heads near the fence, or in the middle? A raccoon will grab the head off, but obviously they'd be found within raccoon-arm's-length.
     
  5. The Fairy Godmartyr

    The Fairy Godmartyr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 7, 2010
    Regardless of what is doing it, I would cover that top as quickly as possible! Chicken wire isn't very expensive (I know that raccoons are supposed to be able to pull through it, but I live in the country and no coons have messed with my chicken wire yet). It would be super easy to attach it securely with zip ties every few inches. Of course, if it is a weasel, it is just coming through the chain link and covering won't change anything. Good luck!

    ETA: How is it getting in the coop? Is there an open door?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  6. taraann81

    taraann81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Ontario
    No the top is not covered. But they are getting killed when they are locked in the copp for the night. The coop is surrounded by the fencing on three sides. I have no idea how its getting in the coop. We lock it up as soon as everyone is in bed at night and do a once over making sure there is no vistiors already inside.

    Its really frustrating. I could cover the top of the run..but not knowing where it is gaining entry to the building it may be pointless if it is not getting in inside the run. Its a pretty solidly bulit building.
     
  7. The Fairy Godmartyr

    The Fairy Godmartyr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the coop is still locked in the morning, I'd lean towards weasel. They can climb, and they can fit through very small spots--they can come in through holes or tunnels made by rats (they like to eat rats, so they'll follow them). Check for any openings--including your vent areas. Cover anything bigger than an inch with hardware cloth.

    Weasels will bite off the heads and primarily drink the blood. They will kill more than they need to eat. They'll also frequently pile the birds up--were yours piled?
     
  8. taraann81

    taraann81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Ontario
    No no piles. Only one is killed at a time. We had a mink problem before...with the scovies when they were swimming. But never had it come in the coop. I'll lock my dogs in the fecned in area tonight, maybe they can help with the problem.
     
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I would be frustrated, too. I'm sorry you've had losses.

    There's one type of weasel that's really small. I think it's only 8" long and can get through very small gaps. Plus raccoons can reach through small gaps to kill chickens. I have all openings in my coop covered with 1/2" hardware cloth. I would look very closely for any gap, even small ones. Use a flashlight, too. Check all the vents or any wire over openings, to make sure there are no places where something has pushed it aside. Staples and nails can be pushed out, in case you didn't use screws. Look closely all around the litter, too, in case something chewed through the floor or wall and came in. You might see a tunnel in the litter or a place where it looks pushed aside. Look around the outside and under the coop, too. I hope you find out where it's getting in soon.
     
  10. Hound

    Hound Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had an owl flying into a barn with a coop inside. I didn't know what was taking my birds for a couple of months, some would totally disappear and there weren't even feathers left behind. Some were headless. I hung some deer netting across the doorway of the barn to deter whatever it was, and one day found a Great Horned Owl trapped in the netting.

    Birds don't tend to go on a killing rampage like mammals.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010

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