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GRAPHIC - What killed my hen?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mrs. Light Sussex, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Mrs. Light Sussex

    Mrs. Light Sussex Songster

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    Tonight, several hours after sunset, I heard a raucous noises from my coop. All seemed in order but a quick head count revealed a missing Plymouth Partridge pullet. No blood to be seen, but there was a pile of tail feathers.
    Several hours later a neighbor reported seeing a dead chicken on the side-walk several minutes away from my place. Sure enough the missing pullet was found beheaded. The roost my chickens sleep on it approx. 2 ft high.
    I know there are many predators that may decapitate a chicken, but I'm hoping that the pictures will reveal who the culprit is. We don't have North American predators such as skunks, opossums and raccoons. What killed my pullet?
    Attached are a couple pictures showing the dead bird.
    IMG_1729.JPG IMG_1728.JPG
     
    Kessel23 likes this.
  2. poultry person

    poultry person Songster

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    It was most likely a raccoon they are known for sneaking into coops and beheading hens.
    I'm sorry!:(
     
  3. QuailExpert

    QuailExpert Chirping

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    it is hard to say as to what might have killed your chicken. do you know of any local predators???
     
  4. poultry person

    poultry person Songster

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    I don't know what else if you don't have raccoon's.
     
  5. Mrs. Light Sussex

    Mrs. Light Sussex Songster

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    I have seen foxes and weasels in the area before but haven't spotted any on my property.
     
    Kessel23 likes this.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 9 Years

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    Red Fox will do as described, especially if having trouble killing a larger chicken as it is carried off. The beheading silences the prey item. Failure to silence chicken can call in a rival. More than once I have even had a screaming rooster get rescued by my dogs that run to disturbance and catch fox allowing chicken to return alive as fox runs for its life.
     
  7. Kessel23

    Kessel23 Crowing

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    I had a mink problem recently, it was a giant buck mink and he killed over 12 of my rabbits, he would take off their heads and rip out their eyes. I highly doubt a mink would carry a hen so far away from the coop though. If you have no raccoons my best guess would be a fox, especially if it was fast, a fox will run in and grab a chicken and run away while the chicken is still alive, they kill it as they run. If you heard the chickens freaking out and by the time you got out there the animal was already gone I would definitely say a fox. Many birds of prey, especially owls, will decapitate their prey but they will take more than 10 minutes to kill a bird of that size and there would be feathers everywhere, also a owl likely could not lift a bird of that size unless it was a very large species.
     
  8. Tiana's chickens

    Tiana's chickens Songster

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    I've had chooks look like that when they died, one was killed by a dog, but the rest were killed but foxes. The foxes are ruthless where I'm from, the neighbor had 12 chooks killed in 2 days. I think it's pretty common for foxes to leave the bodies laying around as well, but they come back to eat them later when they feel hungry.
    I'm sorry for your lost, hopefully it never happens again
     
  9. Tiana's chickens

    Tiana's chickens Songster

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    And foxes take the heads off too
     
  10. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie EARTH, WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Get one of these...
    676A2547.JPG
    They get rid of these.. coon.jpg
     

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