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What could be killing my chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LilaCombs, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. LilaCombs

    LilaCombs Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2009
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    We have found 1 or 2 chickens dead each night. First it started on the ones that wouldn't go in the barn but roosted outside. It would take off the head but leave the body. Sometimes we would find the head and sometimes we wouldn't. Then, we made them all move inside and something still went in and killed some. I can't even find a mark. We have set live traps, huge rat traps, and put out poison. I have checked for holes in the chicken house but it is an old barn we have fixed up so there seems to always be hole somewhere. Does anyone have any suggestions on what it is (we think maybe a weasel) and what else we can try. Loosing chickens becomes an expensive ordeal (and stressful). Thanks for any words of wisdom.
     
  2. jbowyer01

    jbowyer01 Just Me!

    Aug 29, 2008
    Hogansville, Georgia
    Quote:I think it sounds like a weasel.
     
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    It sounds like an owl was getting them outside.

    For the ones inside without a mark on them, are you sure that an animal is getting them? How hot is it in the barn? But, as you said, it may be a weasel.
     
  4. LilaCombs

    LilaCombs Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2009
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    It is hot in the barn but not excessively so. I don't understand what would eat their heads off unless it is a weasel.
     
  5. Nivrocco

    Nivrocco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had raccoons and opossums both do that...
     
  6. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Why not make a secure pen in the barn?
     
  7. phasian

    phasian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2009
    Oregon
    My guess is a raccoon or weasel. Raccoons will often suck the blood of hens with little damage to the carcass. They sometimes remove the heads.

    Owls distribute a lot of feathers as they tend to land on their prey. They also eat more than the head....
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Great horned owls will eat the heads as will raccoons. Owls will also enter a coop or barn after prey.
     
  9. real_redhead

    real_redhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Roanoke, VA
    May be a skunk, I have been told they will behead a chicken and drink the blood.
     
  10. LilaCombs

    LilaCombs Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Virginia
    Well, so far we have killed a huge black snake that was eating the eggs and poison has killed a big possum. We will now just have to wait and see. At least we have not lost any chickens in several days now.
     

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