Hen with head missing!

Popsy

Chirping
Sep 13, 2010
40
4
89
Raymond, CA
When my husband went to the coop to feed this afternoon, one of our hens was laying there missing it's head. No other signs of damage to her body. What could have done this? We had skunk issues awhile back and we trapped and took care of that. Could a skunk have done this? And it happened during the day.
 

Livvy0987

Songster
Oct 13, 2020
276
564
161
Colorado
When my husband went to the coop to feed this afternoon, one of our hens was laying there missing it's head. No other signs of damage to her body. What could have done this? We had skunk issues awhile back and we trapped and took care of that. Could a skunk have done this? And it happened during the day.
I'm really sorry about your hen :hugs
 

Rldad1

Songster
Jul 13, 2020
346
1,030
176
North Alabama
It could be a hawk, an owl, a weasel. All will take the head. Chicken wire is only good for keeping chickens in. It will not stop most predators. A weasel can run through the openings in chicken wire and a raccoon can tear it open easily as well as a hawk and owl. You need to beef up your security with hardware cloth. If you have a game camera, set it as the predator will return. a weasel will attack as many birds as he can get to. I would venture to guess you have an aerial predator but without more info it is just a guess. Hardware cloth and electricity are your friend when it comes to predators.
 

jeepgrrl

Songster
Feb 25, 2017
217
303
207
North Central Ohio
When my husband went to the coop to feed this afternoon, one of our hens was laying there missing it's head. No other signs of damage to her body. What could have done this? We had skunk issues awhile back and we trapped and took care of that. Could a skunk have done this? And it happened during the day.
I’m so sorry for your loss. When this has happened to my girls, it was a migrating hawk that was responsible each time, mid-September, 3 years in a row, but last year it didn’t get the head and my hen survived; my guinea cock protected them this last migration. If it was a hawk, it will probably be back for more. Are you able to lock up your girls for several days and only let them out supervised? The aerial predators are certainly a force to be reckoned with. Since I free range my hens from dawn to dusk, the birds of prey are a continuous threat.
 
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cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,387
29,580
901
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
My suggestion would be if you have a game camera put it up because most likely whatever it was has been lurking looking for an opportunity and found one. Now it's just guesses. Once you know what you're dealing with you can make a plan on how to deal with it. Good luck...
 

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