1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Nearly headless chicken?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChaoticCritters, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. ChaoticCritters

    ChaoticCritters In the Brooder

    Mar 14, 2012
    Hysterical child found a nearly decapitated hen today. We free-range our chickens as the ONLY predator we have seen (or lost a chicken to) in the past several years is a coyote.

    Chicken appears to have no signs of trauma other than she now resembles Nearly Headless Nick from Harry Potter. 2 other chickens are missing with no signs of them. There was a blood pool under the dead hen and another in the snow about 3 feet away. No other blood spots. There is tons of black feathers around... not sure if they are from the obviously dead hen or the other black chicken that is missing. No feathers from the Americauna.

    The neighbors dog continually escapes and WAS HERE but neighbors claim they followed it from their house to mine and it never made the trek all the way down to my coop where the dead chicken is and if was the dog, shouldn't I find 3 corpses not 1 corpses and not a sign of the other 2?

    Would a coyote nearly remove a head and then leave the whole chicken?

  2. poultryorganics

    poultryorganics In the Brooder

    Nov 21, 2012
    I'm so sorry that your hens were attacked and killed. We had a similar experience about a year ago, and per our local feedstore .... weasels commonly will kill the hen, gnaw off the head and drink the blood from the neck artery. There wasn't a feather out of place on her body, but the culprit also ate the clutch of eggs she was laying on (she was inside the chicken coop, but on the ground). We rescued the 3 undamaged eggs and put them in an incubator in memory of "Elaine", and were fortunate to have one actually hatch.
    No telling what actually happened, but the missing chickens likely were carried off by an opportunist after the fact? Just a guess. I hope you catch the predator.... good luck with everything.
  3. ChaoticCritters

    ChaoticCritters In the Brooder

    Mar 14, 2012
    The missing chickens showed up this morning at my back door squawking for breakfast. Never been so happy to get a 4am wake-up call!

    It was definitely the neighbor's dog...she too showed up (after I locked up the missing chickens) and she's got blood on her.

    Hubby is going over there tonight, we're DONE. Said monster of a dog also pinned down my dog yesterday and ripped the bandages off the 21 staples in his leg from cancer surgery. I can keep my chickens locked up and safe but I HAVE to be able to let my dog go outside in MY YARD and not be attacked! He's old, decrepit and has cancer. Lying on my porch in the sun is his favorite thing and I am not going to take that away from him. All 44 acres here is fenced but there is no way I can keep their dog from digging under it which is how she gets in.
  4. BillHoo

    BillHoo In the Brooder

    Mar 4, 2008
    Shoot! Shovel and Shhhhhhh!

    Or maybe just a shotgun loaded with rocksalt to his behind.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    Yup,SSS. No dog owner should let their pet roam,and if they do they accept the fact that roamers disappear.Why wait till it kills for sure?!?!?Anyone's pet in my yard is fair game.IMO it is a waste of time to *discuss* the matter.It just creates issues with them when you complain or threaten.

    Responsible owners don't let their animals roam on purpose.You might let it go a few times,but if they let them out on purpose well-fair game I say!

    Sorry for your loss.Nearly headless Nick.Good one.I was just watching the potter films.
  6. markb

    markb In the Brooder

    May 1, 2008
    Saint Louis, MO
    My Daughter found one of our ladies this morning, laying next to her roost, NO HEAD or Neck, The rest of her was just fine. The other Hen was not very happy. There was no blood that I could tell.

    Forgot the close the coop last night. But that is not unusual.

    Raccoon? Skunk? We live in the city in ST Louis so i don't know what other predators would make it into the nest.

    We are down to just one Hen, Time to get some chicks......
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  7. texas hiker

    texas hiker In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    East Texas
    Sounds like a mink, or opossum.

    I would set out a live trap.

  8. ninjachickn

    ninjachickn In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2013
    I have not had a chickn killes yet but the cats in the neighbor hood always come through my backyard.I see them sometimes just sitting outside the coop licking there lips.I grab the daisy when I see them but im not always around.so I wanting something that would scare the crap out of them but not kill them.so I got about 2 dozen of those small mouse traps and placed around the pen and staked them down.the cats still pass by but will not even look at the chickns
  9. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Songster

    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I would shoot the dog as well, don't bother talking to the neighbors. I woulda killed it when it attacked my dog that is complete bs.
  10. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    If there's snow, can't you see the tracks of what did it and where it came from as well as where it went?
    You can't legally shoot a dog ( and most wild animals) unless it's in the act of destroying your property

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by