My Pullet Was MURDERED !!

Fowl_Odor002

Songster
8 Years
Jul 5, 2011
192
11
103
Mostly Here
On Monday, when I got home from work, I was greeted by a headless chicken.
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There she was, one of my 10 week-old Australorp pullets, laying dead in the chicken run.
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She was the runt of the flock, about half the size as her sisters of same age and never as social as the rest. Plus I think she was going blind. Needless to say she was on the short list of next year’s freezer camp, but I never expected this. My dad later told me that it must have been a squirrel. Squirrels do this, he said. They kill a chicken and take its head, but they won’t eat the chicken. Just the head.
Can any of you attest to the fact that squirrels will actually kill a chicken and make off with its head? What say ye?
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So I plucked her and feed her to my dogs.
What… you didn’t think I was going to let a perfectly good chicken go to waste? Did you?
 

BrokenRoadFarm

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 10, 2011
162
3
81
North Central NC
Sounds like a raccoon to me...they will try to pull a chicken through the wire...the head goes through easily, the body doesn't...so sorry for your loss
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We have hardware cloth on the lower portion of our run so they can't reach through it to grab the girls.
 
Last edited:

ReikiStar

Songster
8 Years
May 3, 2011
880
24
123
Cascade foothills of WA
Very sorry about your chicken. That's awful. I've never heard of squirrels going after chickens and wouldn't think they are strong enough to pull a chicken's head off (maybe a small chick). I would say it was a raccoon. No.1 thing to do...get rid of that chicken wire!!! It's the worst thing to use for protecting chickens. Any wire that can be bitten through (dogs and predators can get through chicken wire like it's not even there) and has holes large enough for something like a raccoon to get it's little grubbie hand through, should not be used for chickens. The preferred material is called hardware cloth. It is a welded wire and go with the 1/2" x 1/2" squared. It's much stronger and more expensive but your chickens lives are worth it.

Raccoons, opossums, weasels will pull chicken parts through the wire and eat it right there, or simply pull whatever they can grab through the wire.

Lose the chicken wire, keep your chickens alive. Sorry you had to learn about it this way. Poor little hen.
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dainerra

Crowing
9 Years
Jun 4, 2011
3,595
578
296
agreed, more likely a raccoon than a squirrel. Squirrels WILL eat meat, but not often. Plus, I don't see them eating the head and leaving the rest.
 

ReikiStar

Songster
8 Years
May 3, 2011
880
24
123
Cascade foothills of WA
Quote:
You could, but raccoons and opossums will climb. Here's a story I was told when shopping for wire for our coop:

A person had been finding some of their chickens headless. They had used hardware cloth around the bottom of the coop but not the top. One evening they came out and saw 2 raccoons on their coop. The person watched to see how the raccoons were getting their chickens. What they saw was pretty amazing. One raccoon was on the top of the coop, while the other raccoon was on the ground. The one on the ground would rush at the coop to startled the chickens who would fly UP. The raccoon at the top would grab the chicken by the head and...you know what happens.

So, if you can't cover your whole run or coop in hardware cloth, at least do the bottom 2 - 3 feet with an 18" dig skirt and then I would highly recommend using an electric hot wire across the top edge. You might as well run a hot wire at the bottom too. If you're going to use a material that can be broken in to, electric hot wire is your only hope of keeping predators away from the coop/run.
 

Fowl_Odor002

Songster
8 Years
Jul 5, 2011
192
11
103
Mostly Here
Quote:
I live in the suburbs and my chicken run is not covered from the top. Only the sides. And the murder occured inside the chicken run.

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If it was a racoon, why did it not take the whole chicken, why only the head?
A racoon could have easily climbing the fence.
Plus I would also like to mention that my dogs killed a squirrel in the yard a few weeks ago.
I thought the squirrel was there because of the chicken feed.

My boss says it may have been the Chupacabra
 

WooingWyandotte

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 25, 2011
9,000
142
356
Arkansas
Quote:
I live in the suburbs and my chicken run is not covered from the top. Only the sides. And the murder occured inside the chicken run.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/98777_chickens_115.jpg


If it was a racoon, why did it not take the whole chicken, why only the head?
A racoon could have easily climbing the fence.
Plus I would also like to mention that my dogs killed a squirrel in the yard a few weeks ago.
I thought the squirrel was there because of the chicken feed.

My boss says it may have been the Chupacabra

Chupacabra's aren't real. Lol. They're a fake animal made up by looneys.
 

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