Headless chicken

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sue Stokes, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. Sue Stokes

    Sue Stokes In the Brooder

    5
    2
    12
    May 1, 2017
    I found one of my hens dead this morning in a fox-proof run. My husband checked all round and found two small holes 3ft up from the ground in the chicken wire only big enough for a rat to squeeze through. We have overhead netting on the run so no chance of birds of prey entering. She was missing her head but otherwise undamaged. She was still warm so it can only have happened shortly before I found her at 8am. What sort of predator should we be on the look out for. My husband has already mended the holes. We live in a semi-rural area with lots of other houses nearby.
     
    NewBoots and WannaBeHillBilly like this.
  2. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Almy Acres Farm

    7,448
    46,143
    1,147
    Jun 26, 2014
    Corning, NY
    I am so sorry for your loss! :hugs
    It could have been a Weasel or Racoon. It will be back! Can u put up a field camera. Good luck keeping the rest of your flock safe!
     
  3. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Wildlife Biologist

    3,505
    20,769
    707
    May 4, 2014
    Newberry, Indiana
    Weasel or Raccoon. They are vicious little critters.
     
  4. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    5,688
    13,923
    542
    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    I would suspect a raccoon, they can reach their hands through the hole and grab a chicken, however I suspect the hole was not big enough to pull the chicken's body through to carry away the meal, but was perhaps large enough to pull the head through and leaving the body behind in the run.
     
  5. mili137

    mili137 Chirping

    86
    122
    68
    Jan 2, 2019
    i think it is an european polecat
     
    WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  6. roosterhavoc

    roosterhavoc Free Ranging

    14,304
    16,957
    691
    Jan 5, 2012
    You would be surprised just how small a hole a raccoon of decent size can squeeze through. Years ago I left eggs in a nest box for a hen to sit on and I knew for a fact they were there the night before. Next morning gone before sunrise so I knew it wasn’t the hen eating them. There was a very small depression on one corner of the pen I could barely fit my hand under and into the pen. Sure enough I caught a raccoon in a cage with eggs 2 ft away. He was a decent sized raccoon too. I didn’t believe that was the right animal so I left eggs in the nest for the next few days but pulled the cage. Nothing else. So it was most likely him.
     
  7. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Araucana enthusiast

    2,075
    4,051
    462
    Mar 16, 2016
    North Central IN
    My Coop
    Agree.
     
  8. mili137

    mili137 Chirping

    86
    122
    68
    Jan 2, 2019
    or just polecat search on google because also i had 8 little birds about 3 months 5 roosters and 3 pullets and i fond them killed with their head removed from body it has killed all of them and belive me it was very terrible when i found them
     
    WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  9. mili137

    mili137 Chirping

    86
    122
    68
    Jan 2, 2019
    i am using this conversation to ask you something
    i noticed 1 hen staying alone from the others could it be going broody
     
    WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  10. roosterhavoc

    roosterhavoc Free Ranging

    14,304
    16,957
    691
    Jan 5, 2012
    What exactly are you calling a polecat?
     
    NewBoots and WannaBeHillBilly like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: