Lost two last night, can't figure out the predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Spazzyyarn, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Spazzyyarn

    Spazzyyarn Chillin' With My Peeps

    We lost two hens last night. [​IMG] Try as I might though, I can't figure out what happened, nor what got them.

    The coop door was open when we went out this morning and in the run two of our hens were dead. The others were untouched but freaked out. The bodies were missing heads. One had her stomach/breast area eaten away while the other was left pretty much intact.

    Any suggestions on what it could be and what we can do to keep it from happening again? I think I figured out how the door was opened and hopefully fixed that today, but my daughters are the ones that found the hens and they were heartbroken so I'd like to deter the critter as much as possible so this doesn't happen again.

    Thanks everyone.
  2. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    Sounds like a coon. They eat the heads and leave the body. I'm so sorry for your loss! I also lost a young pullet last night! But all I found was her head and the body was gone. Dunno what it was. Thinking a skunk, though.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  3. Spazzyyarn

    Spazzyyarn Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm so sorry about your loss. [​IMG]

    It was horrible, I'll admit I sobbed like a baby when I saw what it had done. I'm hoping the lights and the fixed door will keep the dang coon away. I've been out and checked three times already tonight.
  4. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    Quote:Thanks - same to you. [​IMG]
    Do you have a trap? My dad set a trap so hopefully we catch something!!
    Also look for tracks.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  5. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Quote:We had a tree branch fall and punch a whole in the roof of our chicken house and before we were able to get it fixed a coon got in and ate one whole chicken...there was nothing left but bones...

    When I went out to let the chickens out I came face to face with a trapped coon who obviously wasn’t able to get back out the same way he got in. He ran out of the coop when the chickens came pouring out but my two mastiffs got to him before he was able to get over the fence. He didn’t last long with 2 – 150 pound mastiffs tearing at him.

    But the point to this story is that once he had eaten his fill he didn’t touch any of my other chickens. I don't know if this is normal for a coon of if I just got lucky. The hole got fixed that day.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  6. ChickenCop

    ChickenCop Chillin' With My Peeps

    With just leaving the bodies sounds like a weasel to me.
  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Since it opened the door, took the heads off and ate the "sweet meat" of one...you have a coon. They have amazing dexterity so whatever fix you put on that door...make it a good fix! A latch on the inside of the door is a must!

    I suggest a live trap pronto..then dispatch it. Use cat food or tuna fish as your bait...marshmellows work good too.

    Good luck getting rid of it.
  8. Tracyfeltsmills

    Tracyfeltsmills Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Been there myself lost 12 in an attack, There is much to look for which i eventually figured out w[ help from these people. Hardwarecloth and more hardware cloth and traps wraped in hardware cloth. I've been wondering to what did it to my pullets but since figured out it was a big fat coon, Just the last two am i've caugh 2after 2 months of trying. So traps, and honey and make it a nitely chore coz you never no, The first nite after the attack i did catch a beast that managed to tear a hole in trap and pull in a bath sheet inside tore to shredds and left. where hardware cloth came into play, Best to do it well first time i learned coz not to quick to go back in, Good luck to you

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by