missing only the head, in broad daylight!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chilebound, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Chilebound

    Chilebound Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    32
    Jun 15, 2010
    I have searched this and found some hits--but I just dont get it! I went out this afternoon to collect eggs and found my only Welsumer hen missing her head. These chickens are in a tractor that is surrounded by a "Poultry Net" that shocks me hard when I forget to unplug it...... They free range in side the net durring the day, and are locked in the tractor at night. I have a small corner of my garden fenced and lawn inside the net---the body was under the marigold bushes in the corner.....like it was dragged there and eated in hiding. BUT how did it get through the fence--it is hot! and working. We live on the Mid-Atlantic East coast, so i doubt a weassel.....I do have large birds of prey--but there was no feather mess and the body was hiden under the marigolds. What eats only the head in day time? but can get over/through a hot poulty net? Oh well, no more dark brown eggs! And what do i do now to make sure this doesnt happen again?
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    132
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    Was the body near the fence line? Raccoons have been known to grab onto available handholds (head) and yank them off through the fence for a quick meal. If the body was not near the fence and the neck was also gone then I'd say you had a raptor come visiting. Raptors aren't deterred by hot lines.

    Sorry for your loss. It's a bummer when you think you have all bases covered and find out that you don't.
     
  3. Giammona farm

    Giammona farm Out Of The Brooder

    72
    1
    31
    Aug 1, 2009
    Point Reyes Station, CA
    Coons! traps them before more birds die. They know how to get them now.
     
  4. Chilebound

    Chilebound Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    32
    Jun 15, 2010
    Yes, it was near the fence, and she was the most curious and friendly of the flock---BUT the fence/net is hot and they NEVER go closer than a foot to the fence--so I really, really doubt that she stuck her head through.... and because she was under the bushy marigolds, I cant see a bird of prey either....

    I have been home all day and I did not hear any fussing or noise other than egg songs.....and this makes me even more curious about what it was.....
     
  5. Debbi

    Debbi Overrun With Chickens

    7,290
    28
    251
    May 2, 2010
    Missouri
    Has it been very dry lately where you are? If so, an animal may not be grounded well enough to actually receive the shock. Try wetting the ground around the netting area, sounds like a racoon to me.
     
  6. quinkerton

    quinkerton Out Of The Brooder

    64
    0
    29
    Jul 9, 2009
    North Bennington
    We had a similar problem with our hens this spring. We lost nine with beheading. We finally got tired of finding a headless chicken every other day so set up a game camera. Sure enough it was a fox. Would take them after my husband left for work and before I went out to feed. Between the hours of 6:30am and 7:30am. I was free ranging though so they had no protection but I would think a fox would be able to get to them if they were close enough to the fence line. I am in VT and we have been having issues with our foxes this year. They have been spotted out during the daylight hours and appear to be mangy. I have also seen many be hit by cars in the road this summer. Not sure if they are infected with something? Don't usually see them out in the day. A young boy was also attacked this summer by a fox. The father killed it and tested postive for rabies. Sorry for your loss, I know how frustraiting it can be!
     
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    132
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    Quote:The day I had a hen flayed by a hawk, I was standing maybe 20 feet away with my 2 dogs and my daughter. I never heard a thing.
     
  8. Chilebound

    Chilebound Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    32
    Jun 15, 2010
    Well it has rained a lot--AND it was raining all day today! I have seen foxes, last year I saw a mangy one not far from my home. But in sixteen years here I have never seen a fox within a half mile of my land. But who knows what happens when i am not looking. we also have a Rat Terrior and German Short Hair Pointer that dont like other animals being on thier turf....although during the day they are fenced off from the area in question--yet they can easily see and smell it, they were quiet too.
     
  9. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,479
    62
    233
    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Just a guess, but domestic cats (and I assume dogs, too) will eat only the heads and they will hunt during the day. Cats generally do it at night, but I've seen cats on the prowl during the day, especially in the afternoon or evening. Most of the day hunting cats tend to be someone's pet and not feral ones.

    Sorry about your hen, I hate it when you see your favorite pet or animal end up that way.
     
  10. grngni

    grngni Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Oct 21, 2009
    Lake Mills
    We're having a fox issue which I posted about in another fox post here. Ours comes in the afternoon and has gone right into their pen by getting under the fence. grrrrrrrr See my other post for a possible solution.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by