took everything except the head

We live in NC. For the first time, something got into my coop and got one of my chickens. dug a hole, crawled under the wire.. took everything except the head of one of my cuckoo marans. feathers everywhere. Haven't found the carcass. what do yall think the culprit is or could be? Thanks in advance!
 

B Redhawk

Chirping
May 24, 2017
84
74
80
could be a fox or a weasel, coyote would not have left the head, detached head says that the chicken needed to be killed prior to taking it away to feed. That means it was not many of the "usual culprits" like raccoon, skunk, opossum and dog.

How did it gain entry from the run into the coop? there should be some clues there as well; scratch marks and or paw prints are really individual by species.
 

itsasmallfarm

Crowing
Oct 27, 2016
2,092
3,277
341
canada
i where i go camping they have chickens in a petting zoo, well something got in and took the body and left the head, they thought it was kids, but after i learned it was most likley either a mink,weasel or marten (they have all three of them there).

if you live by a water source, (dug out, slough, lake, pond etc..) there is a good chance a mink lives near by (it says that in my trapping book) and if there are muskrats in it, then a really good chance for mink, could be a weasel not sure if they could carry the body away though, my guess is a mink.
 
could be a fox or a weasel, coyote would not have left the head, detached head says that the chicken needed to be killed prior to taking it away to feed. That means it was not many of the "usual culprits" like raccoon, skunk, opossum and dog.

How did it gain entry from the run into the coop? there should be some clues there as well; scratch marks and or paw prints are really individual by species.


It gained entry by digging underneath wire and tin.. just dug through (under) the dirt. On the other side of our coop (its very large- coop 30x40), there is a stack of lumber and old metal. the opening he dug through and came in was very small maybe 3" by 8". all kinds of feathers on the other side of where he made entrance as well as inside the coop. did not see a trace of any tracks.
 
i where i go camping they have chickens in a petting zoo, well something got in and took the body and left the head, they thought it was kids, but after i learned it was most likley either a mink,weasel or marten (they have all three of them there).

if you live by a water source, (dug out, slough, lake, pond etc..) there is a good chance a mink lives near by (it says that in my trapping book) and if there are muskrats in it, then a really good chance for mink, could be a weasel not sure if they could carry the body away though, my guess is a mink.
we don't really live near a water source. I mean, there is a creek maybe a half mile from our house..
 

B Redhawk

Chirping
May 24, 2017
84
74
80
So it got the chook in the run, not the actual coop. That sounds like it was a weasel, their elongated bodies don't need much of a hole.
 

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