Missing the head only

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mrs. K, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Is that a mink or a weasel?
     
  2. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Wildlife Biologist

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    It could be a lot of things. From the weasel family to raccoons to fox to birds of prey.
     
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  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    Daytime or night? Free ranging or found inside coop or run?
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    In my experience, that's mink. We have the little weasels here. They tend to just bite into the neck or under the wing and lap up the blood.
     
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  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    I am not sure if it was day or night, as it was the first Monday of daylight savings time, and I just added feed and water and left in the morning, not checking the coop, and not seeing the bird.

    I have had a small hole under the fence line that I was pretty sure was a pack rat, from the tracks in the run. I should have done something about it, buggers.

    Course now we are socked in with snow.

    I am setting a trap for the next few nights. I have had coons many a time, but they always tear the body apart. This, (my favorite) is just missing her head.

    Mrs K
     
  6. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Wildlife Biologist

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    Usually a coon will only eat the neck and head. Could have also been a bird of prey.
     
  7. OhZark Biddies

    OhZark Biddies Crowing

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    Pack rat? or other kind of rat?

    I get pack rats (eastern wood rats) from time to time, but they are solitary and vegetarians ... so aside from maybe sneaking some feed or scratch, and making messy nests, I have not noticed them to be a bother... but I still remove them from the coop/shed.

    There are of course other species of wood rats that are called pack rats too.... but I don't think those generally harm chickens either.... I could be wrong though.

    All of that ....is to say, if you have common rats (Norway rats) then this is a good suspect for something that might kill a hen and eat the head.... and so something that you do indeed want to deal with.

    Edit to add:
    Also, if you have rats... there is a good chance you don't have minks or weasels as those critters like to kill rats... but that is not to say a mink or weasel didn't come for the rats and stay for the chickens... it's just hard to say without more info
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    You might be able to rule out a rat based on whether feathers were also consumed or not. My limited rodent issues had feathers not being consumed by the rodent. They would eat down.
     
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  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    I have had coons numerous times, and they always tear my birds apart. I was not too worried about the pack rat, or wood rat, as I figured he was getting a free meal what the chickens left. It was in a difficult place to get to with the winter. So I left it.

    Two birds are gone, one completely. One just the head. Not a bird of prey, completely enclosed. I would be pretty sure it was a coon, except the hole is too small for a coon, but they have gotten through my fencing before.
     
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  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Any feathers indicating nature of struggle?
     
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