Something ripped the head off my Ruby, in the coop, yesterday

deepbluesea

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 14, 2014
743
1,627
327
coastal NC
Sad Tuesday for me. So I went to put the chickens to bed (close pop door, close up run--they free range over that backyard during the day). I open the coop to put their waterer in, and one of my barred rocks, Ruby, is lying upside down, headless. Whatever it was tore it right off. Didn't appear to eat anything and there were two eggs in the nesting box. What kills chickens without eating them? The other three were roosting and fine. All's well this morning.

I've had them for three years and this is the first one I've lost to a predator. I've seen hawks, an opossum and recently a raccoon, so maybe it was the raccoon, but I would think they'd eat her. Help!
 

Tuhmu

Songster
9 Years
May 22, 2012
1,465
196
232
North Dakota
I would say weasel/mink/martin/etc, that's a signature move of theirs. Not only kill your beloved chicken, but just let it go to waste too...not even eat it.

Though the raccoon is also a possibility.

Sorry this happened to you, I know the feeling. I lost the majority of my birds last year to one. :hugs:hit:he
 

Shinnuk

In the Brooder
May 22, 2017
15
8
21
Tennessee
Sad Tuesday for me. So I went to put the chickens to bed (close pop door, close up run--they free range over that backyard during the day). I open the coop to put their waterer in, and one of my barred rocks, Ruby, is lying upside down, headless. Whatever it was tore it right off. Didn't appear to eat anything and there were two eggs in the nesting box. What kills chickens without eating them? The other three were roosting and fine. All's well this morning.

I've had them for three years and this is the first one I've lost to a predator. I've seen hawks, an opossum and recently a raccoon, so maybe it was the raccoon, but I would think they'd eat her. Help![/
 

RhodeRunner

Songster
11 Years
Feb 22, 2009
1,548
173
231
Ashtabula, Ohio
Not that I've ever heard. Will ask. We do have martens and nutria, as I live by a creek.

If you live in the 48 continental states in the USA, you are in the hunting grounds of the long tailed weasel. Other varieties tend to be a bit picker about where they live, but generally speaking we live in a place of weasels, they are just rarely seen.

I agree, this does sound like a weasel attack. I've never seen them eat anything, just have a fun massacre. I've also had hawks decapitate (they will leave prey if they are startled) my birds. But, never in my own chicken coop. They swooped down and caught my birds in the yard, and then presided to eat them.
 

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