Pullet found with head and insides eaten

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Corey NC, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    I went down to the coop this evening to close up and there was a GLW pullet dead beneath the nest boxes. Her head was gone and one wing barely hanging on and her heart and most of her insides were eaten but the legs and thighs and pretty much everything else was still there. None of the other chickens were touched

    My first thought is a weasel but I am not sure if they are local around here. I walked the perimeter of the run and coop and saw no signs of digging or anything but it is possible for something small to climb the fence and slip through the deer neeting.

    There are quite a predators that know of my chickens but none of the have these traits.

    at least 4 different foxes:
    Only ever attacked when chooks were free ranging.
    Left a pile of feathers no body or carcuss.
    Ate the chicken at the same corner of the field.

    2 different skunks (one young one older):
    Caught in traps many times.
    Has gotten into coop and eaten eggs but has never touch a chicken.

    1 (HUGE) black snake:
    Eats eggs but I haven't seen him in a long time.

    Pile of feathes.
    Trail of feathers leading into the woods.
    Pile of feathers underneath a tree.

    caught in traps but has never attacked chickens that I know of.

    Anybody have any idea what attacked the pullet could be? I've put her carcuss in the trap so we may know by morning.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  2. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Geez Corey, Im really sorry that you lost a hen right in the pen. I know how frustrating that is.
    I lost several juveniles to possums last October. Right in a covered pen! The possums were somehow climbing and squeezing in somewhere, maybe under the edge of the netting. My DD set up a trap right at the gate and caught 6 young possums over a few weeks time. :thun

    I hope that you are able to trap the predator before you lose any more girls.

  3. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Sounds like an opossum
  4. Littlecimarron18

    Littlecimarron18 Songster

    Jan 3, 2008
    in october i had a skunk break in and eat the head and insides of 20 of my 2 mo. olds.
  5. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    Thats the thing, only one was eaten I've never had any predator only eat one chicken.

    Also did the skunk eat any eggs? I had four eggs in the nest box and they weren't touched. Did you trap the skunk? How'd you take care of it?
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  6. chickenfeed

    chickenfeed In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2007
    North Central Iowa
    Sorry for your loss. Found the following on a website. Maybe a hawk?

    Several birds killed; mauled but not eaten

    Several birds killed; lots of small bites on body, bodies neatly piled, some heads eaten
    Mink or Weasel

    Several birds killed; heads and crops eaten

    One or two birds killed; mauled, abdomen eaten

    One bird killed; head eaten

    Several birds disappeared, no trace

    Missing limbs, birds inside fence

    One or more birds dead / missing; no more than one removed; pile of feathers; those not removed with broken necks, clumps of feathers taken from neck

    Chicks killed; abdomen eaten, lingering smell
  7. roosters97

    roosters97 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    possum or raccoon i am guessing raccoon
  8. Littlecimarron18

    Littlecimarron18 Songster

    Jan 3, 2008
    I didnt have any eggs comming at that time. THe skunk came again the next night but he was too big for my live trap. i found where it got in and i put a leghold trap there, I caught it that night.
    a good way to catch a skunk is to get a large container, maybe horse traugh or something. and put some kind of cage on a 2 by 2 and then over the water it and an egg in one side so when it tried to get the egg the cage falls and the skunk will fall in and drown. this way prevents spraying also.

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