Took off her head !!

rthepunk

Chirping
6 Years
Jan 6, 2014
37
15
74
Well, somehow something got into the coop last night and killed one of my favorites, Igor. Igor was a hunched back hen smaller than the rest, lost most of her feathers several times a year and still managed to be at the top of the pecking order. Anyway, I noticed she was missing when I went to feed them today and noticed Igor was not in the crowd. I found her in the coop with her head, neck, and inerds gone. It was like the front 35% of her was gone. Very little blood. So I gave her a nice place in the woods as her final place and told her I was sorry about all of this.

I have read on here how intruders take heads and necks but unless you actually see if for yourself, you couldn't imagine it happening. Husband is going to get a live trap tomorrow and hopefully we can catch whatever and send it to varmit heaven.
 

ReseisCL16

Songster
6 Years
May 17, 2014
139
154
157
Oh no! I'm so sorry! I've had my own experience with birds dying in every way imaginable from many different kinds of predators. I'm surprised that your predator didn't take any other birds. It probably wasn't a raccoon or a fox, as raccoons will go on killing spree and massacre your whole flock and foxes will take the whole bird and hide it. Just the head and neck...hmmm...
Oh, skunks will do that. They take off the head and neck and suck the blood (so not a ton of blood at the site). Any gross smell?
 

rthepunk

Chirping
6 Years
Jan 6, 2014
37
15
74
No smell. Head, neck, insides and most of the blood gone leaving an open chest cavity. All 9 other birds were in the coop and they are fine. Only thing left of the top part of the body were a few feathers.
 
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ReseisCL16

Songster
6 Years
May 17, 2014
139
154
157
It could be a weasel or even an opossum. It's hard to tell. I use these little red blinking things called Predator Eyes. They'll scare off most predators and are a good option if you keep having this problem. Just Google them. Hope you catch it.
 

llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
3,017
4,806
356
Illinois
This stuff makes me so nervous. I got a dog run that is across from the coop area. I generally don't have the dogs out at night but I'm thinking of putting in a dog door so they can have access to the area all night and hopefully scare anything away that can be a problem. At the very least I know they will bark and I can get out there. They are german shepherds and tend to like a job.
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,926
296
Missouri
To OP.....almost certainly a coon.

If so, more important than any trapping you are thinking of doing will be to find out how it managed to get into the coop at night. Fix that or else risk losing them all if the trapping fails. BTW, as soon as this year's little ones are big enough to tag along, the whole family will be back........and this time they won't stop at just one. It will be them all in one night.
 

llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
3,017
4,806
356
Illinois
I need clarification here. Are this predators getting into the enclosure area of the coop or inside where they are sleeping? My plans are to lock them in the housing unit itself. If I need to reinforce anything to help them survive I can. They will never be allowed in the actual enclosure of the coop at night.
 

rthepunk

Chirping
6 Years
Jan 6, 2014
37
15
74
The got into the fenced run not the coop. (My coop is a traditional looking thing raised off the ground.) I don't close the coop door at night since it is an enclosed run and we have never had trouble.
Several of the girls like to sleep on top of the scratch can at night rather than go into the coop. We've been fine like this for years. All of a sudden this happened.
So, I'm urging them all into the coop out of the run now and locking up the coop. I don't see where anything is getting in. EXCEPT... there are a couple places in the fencing where I see the bars slightly bent open... like this l l l( )l l l ... the opening isn't that big, I couldn't get my fist through it. No holes in the ground.
 

Kessel23

Hi Bug
Feb 6, 2018
2,493
66,330
1,182
Wisconsin
I had my favorite hen killed by a coon a few weeks ago, only difference is she was dragged out of the coop, I had to track her dead body down and steal it back from the coon's hiding spot to use as bait for a trap. I can share picture of what I found if you want... It is pretty unpleasant though... Her head is gone and she is all mangled and ripped apart.
 

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