Hen with head ripped off and 10 ft. away...what predator??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by babychickfarmer, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. So I went in the coop this morning and found a pile of feathers and a trail into the back run area and discoverd one of Miffy My leghorn dead. Her chest was ripped open and her head about 10 feet away. [​IMG] I am kickn myself hard because I never shut them into the front run, which is totally inclosed because I had never had a problem with predators. We are workin on covering and enclosing our back run so nothing can get over the fence in there and from now on am closing the back run gate every night.

    Any suggestions on what it was. I assume it was a racoon cause that is the only thing we really have around here and it went into the coop and grabbed her while she was roosting. I tell ya what I will be ready to shoot the darn things if I see 'em agian. My poor girls they are all acting paranoid and tramatized.
  2. angelmarie

    angelmarie Songster

    Jun 3, 2008
    i had the same problem i thought it was a cat because they were always in the yard at night i suggest closing the coop at night and if you can get a dog to watch them at night thats what our dogs do now
  3. VaM715

    VaM715 Songster

    Feb 26, 2008
    Fincastle, VA
    Don't count out an opossum. I lost 4 to one.
  4. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Songster

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    maybe a racoon, usually they will take the whole bird, but maybe it was a young coon, or got startled or something. I would set a live trap and find out for sure!!
    We have cats and the neighbor too, and they don't bother our big birds, but I always wonder about the chicks. I have seen my hens chase the cats.
    I hope you find your varmit!!!
  5. poopcoop

    poopcoop Songster

    Mar 17, 2008
    Swansea, SC
    I've heard wild minks (males) will bite the heads off and (females) will eat the birds. Don't know if you have them where you are at or not.
  6. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Raccoons tend to go for heads and crops. That's my guess.
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Coon's my guess too.
  8. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    Just had something similar happen to one of my free range hens.

    Something took her off her night roost, then dragged her a good hundred feet out into my pasture. Just chewed off her head/neck. I was so mad when I found her. Poor girl. I think it was a coon as well.

    So, much to their aggravation and mine, my layer flock and young pullets have been locked up the last few nights. I've left out the annoying little extra roosters I have running around hoping something will make noise in the middle of the night and I can go out and shoot what ever is eating my birds. I lost a rooster last night, heard it... but my little one wanted to nurse to I couldn't get up and go after the predator. *sigh* It was shoot the varmint or nurse the baby.... didn't want to wake the whole house up to a screaming ticked off one year old and a shot gun firing!!! [​IMG]

    I'm hoping tonight I can get it....

  9. LizS_CT

    LizS_CT Hatching

    Jun 10, 2008
    Similar thing happened here yesterday. I closed & latched the pop-hole at about 10:30 p.m. not knowing the flock of 4 had already met a violent end. [​IMG] In the morning I found them in the coop--no heads & get this: Not a speck of blood! Their bodies were intact, minus the heads. I wonder what animal this was? It was able to climb a fence & fit into an 10 in x 14 in pop-hole. Clearly need to build a covered run.

    Poor girls...they never hurt anything.
  10. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Don't know what your coop is like, but raccoons will frequently reach through wire, grab a hen's head, and pull it off. If a raccoon actually gets into your coop, it'll usually kill multiple birds and eat the heads and crops. If a mink or weasel gets in, it'll usually eat heads and the backs of necks.

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