Quails killed with no heads.

Discussion in 'Quail' started by DPQuail, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. DPQuail

    DPQuail New Egg

    Dec 9, 2016
    The first night 3 of our female quails were plucked on the side of their body, feathers were torn out and lots of blood. A few days later the rest of our flock-4 more, (1-male, 3-females) were found dead with no heads. We aren't sure what killed them, either a raccoon or rat. Yet there was no damage to our hutch if it was a raccoon. Now I have been reading up on rats and they could have fit through the chicken wire we had. So I think it might be rats. Though a day later my husband found a pigeon in our front yard headless as well and the rest of the body was intact. Would a rat just eat the head and nothing else? Thoughts?
  2. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2013
    sounds like a coon,possum, or weasel. for your quail.

    possible owl or hawk on the pigeon. or predators above.

    not sure what predators are in your area.

    you stated chicken wire. I don't use that I use 1/2 inch hardware cloth.

    Chicken wire is good at keeping birds in but not predators out. Coons can reach right thru.
  3. LoveInNature

    LoveInNature Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2016
    Brisbane Australia
    Check out this link and look at skunks. They remove the head and leave the carcuss. Do you have skunks?

    You may find something else in the list.
  4. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Sorry to hear what happened :/ No matter what predator it is - chicken wire will not keep them out, from rats to even chickens have been known to break it. A lot of animals (like a weasel) can fit through and other can just gnaw it to make a hole or reach right through to hurt/kill them.

    Hardware cloth (galvanized metal mesh) is your best option. Weasels, rats and mice can get into a 1 inch hole - I use 1/4 inch hardware cloth so I don't have to worry about anything like the big predators as well as things like bees and vermin :)

    It goes on sale at TSC and while it's an investment, it's great peace of mind and less work in the end once everything is secured.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016

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