Ideas For What it Could Be?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Memphis Hens, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Memphis Hens

    Memphis Hens New Egg

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    May 6, 2010
    Something took my Silver Spangled Hamburg hen Tuesday night, leaving only a small pile of feathers. Then this morning, I let out the the three remaining hens, a Buff Orpington, Salmon Favorelle, and a Buttercup, and around lunchtime, we discovered tons of feathers, and Puffles, the poor Faverolle hen, beheaded, half-eaten, and extremely bloody. Also about a month ago, something took my black Silkie hen, leaving no trace of any feathers. We live in the city, but we have raccoons, Oppusoms, Coyotes, Hawks, Owls, and we've even see some foxes about a mile from our house. We thought our hen pen was pretty predator proof, as it is covered with wire all around, and has strong netting on top. The only place something could get in, is if they were to climb up about 6-7 feet of wire, and squeeze through the iron fence, which has a little space up top that is about 1-2 feet tall, and half a foot wide. Any ideas on what it could be that is killing the poor girls? There are only two left now. We thought raccoon or possum, but they don't hunt during broad daylight do they? Could it be a fox?
     
  2. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Aug 30, 2007
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    My Coop
    My first thought was hawk -- they will try to bite off the head first and leave a big pile of feathers, and if undisturbed will eat the bird. But then I read of your security and I don't think a hawk could get at them. A fox would take the whole bird. Mink and weasels will behead a chicken... Could you possibly have those around?

    Sorry you've lost some of your girls. Hopefully the other 2 will stay safe!
     
  3. Memphis Hens

    Memphis Hens New Egg

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    May 6, 2010
    Thanks, I hope they survive too. We have no Minks or Weasels anywhere near us. That's for sure. We do have a family of hawks across the street from us, but since we added the netting, they haven't been able to kill any. I'm so perplexed. I would think it was an Opussom or Racoon, since I think they behead what they kill, but would they kill in the broad daylight? Could it be a rat? We have those, and I know they sometimes kill chickens. A coyote once got one of them, but we added reinforcement, and I'm not sure a coyote could fit into our coop. A fox would be the only "dog" like animal in question since they can climb fencing very well. It could probably climb and then fit through the small space. But I heard that when they kill, they massacre a bunch. I heard they normally also take of the heads, which is why I'm wandering. UGHH. I don't know what to do. Any ideas for a predator proof coop?
     

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