Took just the head. No blood no feathers

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by suebee, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    2,087
    107
    251
    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    This predator took the head. No feathers around, no blood. I have a chain link run with hardware cloth up half way. Welded wire securely on top. Gaps are minimal....maybe 2 inches at the gate. I've always left the chicken door open because I thought my run was so secure. Predator took the head of a broody laying on the coop floor. No other birds roosting were taken. And it did NOT come back for the rest of the bird. I cannot see any digging under, no wire pulled back, or hair caught in fence. Didn't see any tracks either. I'm thinking it had to be small enough to fit through the chain link or 2 inch gap around the gate. What would do this??
    Of course I have shut chicken door since the incident but what could've fit thru a tiny space like that??
     
  2. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

    8,976
    36
    303
    Oct 5, 2007
    Vermont
    A GIANT RAT OR A CAT OR IF YOU HAVE OTHER BIRDS IN THERE WITH THEM.
    HENRY
     
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    I first want to say...im so sorry for your loss. Did you save the eggs??
    As for the damage...I would have to say...mink...or weasle! They are hard to catch....try a RAT TRAP!
     
  4. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Chillin' With My Peeps

    654
    0
    149
    Jul 7, 2007
    Raleigh
    Last year I lost all three of my Rhode Island Reds to a predator who did the same thing. Based on the scat I found and one small footprint, I think it was a racoon. It climbed down a tree and made a hole in the chicken wire I had on top of my run just large enough to get through. Killed the hens, ate their food, and left.
     
  5. snugglepup

    snugglepup Chillin' With My Peeps

    494
    2
    151
    Apr 15, 2007
    Creedmoor, NC
    Colonel Mustard with the candlestick!

    Seriously, I'm sorry about your chicken. What a creepy mystery. I have no idea, but I expect something like a weasel could fit. They squeeze through pretty tiny holes.
     
  6. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    2,087
    107
    251
    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    I looked for any gaps where I thought a coon got through but nothing. I know they sometimes just take the head. The weasel theory might be right. Do they just take the head though? The broody was not sitting on eggs, just air. (She's a Silkie) She was my favorite broody...raised ALL my hatches. The best Mom ever! She was headless in the same place except she was upside down. Nothing else was touched and it didn't try to drag the body anywhere AND it never came back that night to finish her off, or the other chickens. Not ONE drop of blood either!!
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I say weasel. Fit in gaps and that is something they do, eat heads and gnaw on faces. Cat's wont do that.
     
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Raccoon. They'll just stick their paws in and grab whatever they can.
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:Yes, this is a possibility if the body was up next to the fence, as the coon would have been able to get the head and that's about it.
     
  10. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    2,087
    107
    251
    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    No the attack was not in the run...it was in a 8'x8' coop and she was way over in the corner on the floor being broody. I kept the chicken door open that led to what I thought was a predator proof run. I suspect it squeezed thru the chain link fence...you know how chain link has spaces between it? Could a coon squeeze thru there? Are weasels small enough to do that? I've never seen one...is it like a ferret?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by