Predator problem Warning graphic pictures of crime scene

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickkrzi, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. chickkrzi

    chickkrzi Songster

    Dec 8, 2011
    Waco texas
    Ok, got another problem. Found another dead leghorn this morning. This would be the 2nd one in 2 weeks. I check the coop late last night all looked good. Went out today and saw a few white feather by coop door. Done a head count and was missing one leghorn. Didn’t see any feathers inside of coop. Found her next to tree with her head and neck gone around the backside of coop. almost looks as if her head was removed then she ran around corner and dropped next to tree. The 1st one was in middle of chicken yard and same as this one. But the feathers where next to body. My thinking was with the 1st one was a owl. Now not sure. To much debris in yard so I cant see any tracks. Type of wildlife in area, red tail hawks, stray cats, opossums, owls, skunks, raccoons. Have a chain link fence on wooded side of yard and field fence on yard side of pen. don’t see any digging under any of fence. Had my chickens for about 11 months now and never had any problems until now. My lab has run of yard at night so what ever got them must be coming from wooded area. Going to start locking them up at night and letting them out later during the day. Should help. Guess I’m going to put some type of timer on door cause I go to work well before sun comes up. Would really like to know what type of predator it is. Any one have any ideal?
    Thanks for help


    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011

  2. Debbi

    Debbi Crowing

    May 2, 2010
    Looks to me like the work of a racoon. The fence you have will let him reach through and grab the chicken by the head, and then try to pull it through the fence. Possums usually go for the other end of the bird. Field fence is useless, the coon can walk right through that. Add some hardware cloth with 1/2"x1/2" holes at least 2 feet tall around the bottom of your fencing. Lock the birds up at night, especially now that Mr. Coon knows where to get a free meal. He will be back for more!
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  3. fishman65

    fishman65 Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    flat rock
    check for talon marks (punctures) looks to me like the work of an owl....check around tree for big bird pellets (droppings). Might be getting in at top edge of coop. they can squeeze through some small holes....
  4. jbourget

    jbourget Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    Sorry for your loss. Might have been from the weasel family. they go for head/necks as well as fisher cats
  5. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    Could you afford a game cam and havahart trap? Sorry for your loss. Hope you find out what is going on.

  6. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    If the door is left open at night it really could be any predator you have in your area. The cure to preventing further predation is to lock the coop door at night.
    But If I were to take a educated guess I'm going to say a member of the weasel family.
  7. TinyBirds

    TinyBirds Songster

    Jul 9, 2009
    The predators usually take about a year to figure out where the buffet is (and tell all their friends about it). If we don't close our coop doors exactly at dark, we have big losses every time. Even with autodoors we've had them malfunction and get hung up in their tracks on occasion. In the daytime we resorted to fully covered pens, but still the hawks figure out how to get inside if there is a 2" opening anywhere along edges. It's really frustrating keeping chickens (other than that first year at a new property), but for some reason I can't give it up [​IMG]
  8. Gresh

    Gresh Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    I think maybe the headless one might have been a weasel victim. I have heard that weasels like to kill chickens like that. They will bit off and devour the head, and leave the rest of the body. A very wasteful pest, I say. [​IMG]

    The other chicken could've been killed by anything. I wish I could be more helpful in that field [​IMG]

    My sympathies for your loss.

  9. chickkrzi

    chickkrzi Songster

    Dec 8, 2011
    Waco texas
    Thanks for the help, don’t have a trail cam, might see if I can borrow one from a friend after hunting season if I still have a problem. I don’t think we have weasels here in central Texas. Just going to do my best to keep then coop locked up tight. When I put together the coop, I put 8x12 stepping stone all around base to keep from dog from digging under so I fee safe with them in the coop at night. Again thanks for all your help.

  10. mrpekinduck

    mrpekinduck Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Ducky Land!
    May have been a weasel, nasty little buggers! [​IMG]

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