Only the head left

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by akstoller, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. akstoller

    akstoller Hatching

    Oct 3, 2008
    Does anyone know which predator would bite off the head and leave not one other part behind? I found one of our 2 and 1/2 month old chick's head only - bitten clean off at the neck. They are fenced in but something could get over the top. At night they are in the hen house; but we have left the door open ... won't do that again. Didn't have any problem before last night.
  2. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Skunks or raccoons, probably. So sorry to hear about this [​IMG]

    I will still say welcome to the board, even though the circumstances for your finding us are not the best for you right now. I hope you are able to rebuild your losses and enjoy this place when it is not such a sad time.
  3. Ugly Cowboy

    Ugly Cowboy Songster

    Apr 25, 2008
    Corn, OK
    Coons. Get you a trap and a .22, bait the trap with a fish or peanut butter, wichever is handiest at the moment, wait til mornin, shoot the coon between the eyes, skin him (save the hide, especially if ya have a boy who wants to be Daniel Boone!) and dress the coon, then bake him with sweet potatoes and eat him.

    Oh, ya said ya found the head only. I thought ya said only the head was et, that would rule out coons.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  4. mikeksfarmer

    mikeksfarmer Songster

    Sep 16, 2008
    Bonner springs KS
    I know the Answer; Great Horrned Owl. Put wire over the top of your pen. Owls and some other bird-preditors sever the head and leave it behind to lighten the load of what they are carrying off. I have seen this first hand. Owl beside the road when I stopped it flew off when I investigated further there was a whole cotton tail rabbit with the head neatly removed. Another case found rabbit tracks in the snow with wing feather imprints some blood and one nicely removed rabbit head. Owls are cool animals I really want to encourage you to cover you pen with wire to prevent this. Then you will have an owl that will eat the mice, and other pests that are around and not your chickens. Good luck
  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I would have to agree with Mikesfarmer. Some sort of bird of prey. Owl, Eagle,Hawk...something of the sort. Definately cover the run..and keep an eye out, it will be back for more.
  6. akstoller

    akstoller Hatching

    Oct 3, 2008
    Thanks all of you for your advice. Last night I locked them in the coop - and they are all there this morning. We are adding hot wire around the fence and will cover the run.

    I appreciate you all, A
  7. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Smart move. It's the only way to truly be safe.
  8. Ugly Cowboy

    Ugly Cowboy Songster

    Apr 25, 2008
    Corn, OK
    Quote:Really? Woah, I aint never had that problem.
  9. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    A bird of prey takes the head off before it eats it's meal. Some, like my RedTailed buddy will also take the body off to pluck.
  10. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Head off = coon head left = most likely an Owl if it happened during the night.

    Make sure that run is covered and their door closed at night.

    Good luck with this problem.

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