Something got my bantam hens! (Somewhat descriptive)

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mcbridb, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. mcbridb

    mcbridb Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2011
    I heard the girls carrying on around 6 am today but thought it was their egg song. Went out later to feed and water them and found the 2 bantams dead in their cage. The big girls (RIR and Sex Link) were kind of running around their pen. The bantams had no head and were in the corners of their run. Left to see about getting more wire to run around the big girls cage for reinforcement. When we arrived back home the big girls were carryiing on and something had gotten at one of the dead bantams again. I stifled my upchuck urge and cleaned up the carcasses, put lime down all over (not any blood seen) and calmed down the big girls. My question is what would have gotten to them during the day? I thought that raccoons were nocturnal as were possums. Their heads were torn clean off their bodies where their necks meet their chest. We have only been doing this almost 1 1/2 years and have not had a problem before. Big girls are locked up at night now until I get extra strong reinforcement work done.
     
  2. kinsey228

    kinsey228 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Chesterville, Maine
    I have heard that weasels do that. I am so sorry. [​IMG]
     
  3. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I agree. They don't leave blood. Not to be graphic but they suck all the blood out and don't leave a trace. The missing heads are also a tell tale sign of weasels. Sometimes hawks and vultures will rip the heads off...
    So sorry this happened [​IMG]
     
  4. chckncrazee

    chckncrazee New Egg

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    Jul 29, 2011
    So very sorry to hear that this happened. I am wondering where weasels live? I never thought of them as a predator.
     
  5. kinsey228

    kinsey228 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Chesterville, Maine
    Quote:Just about everywhere, unfortunately. [​IMG]
     
  6. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    Racoons are not nocturnal only. We lost our beloved Boo <BR hen> to a brazen late-morning/midday coon attack [​IMG] We never thought they came out other than at night, and were terribly mistaken.

    The fact that you found the head missing and no blood makes me think you had a coon attack. They tend to rip off the head...we never did find Boo's, and there was no blood to be seen where she died.

    I am so sorry about your loss....I would suggest adding some hardware cloth around the run they are in so that they are a bit more protected. The coons cannot reach in and grab them thru the hardware cloth.

    Good luck in the future, and again, I am sorry for the loss of your banties.
     
  7. jojo@rolling acres farm

    jojo@rolling acres farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Nebraska
    We've had several coon attacks happen during the day. Headless hens point to a raccoon. I'm not sure the Weasels or farrets take the heads.

    I'm sorry about your bantam hens.

    Joni
     
  8. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    I asked my father about this last night. He traps pests like weasels, minks, coons, etc. and he said that the lack of blood AND the ripped off head are signs of a weasel attack. But he has said it also sounds like an overhead attack, i.e. hawks and such.
     
  9. mcbridb

    mcbridb Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2011
    We do have 5 very good sized hawks that like to perch in the trees around the 2 pens. I have also found 1 that perches on the roof of the porch watching the girls. We always chase them off. A hawk had gotten the RIR hen last fall and tramautized her and the roo so we quite letting them free-range. We have gotten a lot of rain the last few days and wasn't sure if that was why there was no blood or I just didn't notice it.

    I have cleaned out their coop, disinfected it and limed everything. We reinforced the door leading to the big girls pen last night. A friend is coming over today to clear back some vegetation that has grown a little close to the pens. When hubby gets paid Friday we are going to buy chicken wire to run around that pen (it's chain link) as a reinforcement/deterrent. Hope to get him to dig and bury the wire also. Whatever came yesterday morning also tried digging into the pen. Almost got all the way in. No chickens in this pen until totally reinforced.

    Can raccoons climb a chainlink fence? A neighbor said it sounded like a weasel attack. Not even sure what they look like.
     

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