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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mrs. K, Mar 14, 2019.
Is that a mink or a weasel?
It could be a lot of things. From the weasel family to raccoons to fox to birds of prey.
Daytime or night? Free ranging or found inside coop or run?
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.
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.
Usually a coon will only eat the neck and head. Could have also been a bird of prey.
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
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.
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.
Any feathers indicating nature of struggle?