rabbits killed throat slashed, what did it?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by elieugene6, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. elieugene6

    elieugene6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2010
    Western ny
    My dad has his rabbits upstairs in the barn. He has them(females and babies) running free together while his males are in a separate area with my baby chicks in a separate pen in the henhouse. First the babies started getting killed. We thought it was the barn cat again. We have fixed every hole we can think of and can't find one big enough for her to get through at any Low level. But as all the babies got bigger or were killed the ones getting killed are bigger. We put the smaller (6-8week) babies in with the bucks as soon as they were big enough and haven't lost one. Now the geese sleep in the henhouse and the goat yard borders the one side. I haven't lost a chicken and those babies and the bucks are fine. The cats can get in the henhouse but not the pen, but haven't gotten a baby even though this pen is enclosed with the same stuff as the upstairs pen. Which is chicken wire. Last night he had 3 does killed just their throats slit and left to die. Any ideas what we are dealing with? Is it the cat, a coon, possum, weasel, mink or rats? Help need to know what to look for.
  2. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    If you literally mean slashed I'd vote for a person. Animals don't just kill for "fun". You said none are missing and they are just left there. Even when i have trouble with a rat here and there, they try to take what they kill.
  3. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    Wanted to add, try putting a lock on all doors into this area. That should either confirm or disprove the person theory. If you lock up and still have issues it must be some type of animal... Just can't imagine what would slash throats and not do anything else.
  4. elieugene6

    elieugene6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2010
    Western ny
    Ok maybe slashed wasn't the right term to use. Try ripped open. I can guarantee it wasn't a person my dog would have barked there is no way a person can get in that barn without the dog seeing them. I know that some dogs kill for sport and have heard that weasels sometimes do as well. You have to remember that there isn't a hole that a full grown rabbit could get out of except maybe up high think like 6-7ft. So it is possible that they couldn't take it with them(get it out through the hole) or couldn't carry a 5-6lb rabbit up that high. Can't be a dog though as I said dog would have barked.
  5. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    An owl maybe? I once had a cat climb the front of my coop to a hole about 6ft up and take one of my pullets right off the roost in the middle of the night.
  6. jason_mazzy

    jason_mazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2011
    sounds owlish to me
  7. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2010
    no, owl will try to sneak up by flying in and catch them by the back. They're too clumsy on the ground to attack anything. And they will carry off to eat in a safer location.

    I'd try setting a live trap to see if you can catch it or, borrow a game trail camera and set it up over the rabbits.
    My guess would be coon, weasel, stray cat.
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    There's a really small species of weasel that is only about 8" long, nose to tip of the tail. Any hole larger than an inch and they can get through.
  9. lasergrl

    lasergrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Middlefield Ohio
    Probably a weasel. they kill by grabbing the neck. They WILL kill just to kill. It is instinct. I had a game camara on my aviary to see what it was and the weasel just went from bird to bird. They have an instinct to kill something that is moving wether they are hungry or not. Lots of predators will kill things out of instinct if they are easy to catch, even though they couldnt hope to eat them all.
  10. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    Yeah, if they were just ripped open, it honestly could have even been a rat. I've had that happen - it's horrible - sorry about your troubles! I wouldn't lean towards a raptor type bird simply because they tend to kill and eat, not just kill.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by