What killed Henry?

chicksneedhelp

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 31, 2013
41
7
84
When I went to lock the chickens up tonight I found Henry rooster collapsed - his head and long neck had been pulled through the wires of his enclosed and covered yard. All the feathers were gone from his head and neck, which was broken. He was bloodied but not eaten! Who would have done that and why?

Henry was in my first flock of 6 birds in April 2013. He was supposed to be a girl, but became a big, tough protector. I was the only one he didn't attack.

He was protected in his yard. The other creature was on the outside and somehow got him close enough to get hold of his head and pulled him out. It was hard for me to get his big head back through the metal wires so it took a lot of strength to do that, plus Henry was a big, heavy bird. And then the creature apparently did not kill him for food. I just don't know what we're dealing with! Any help is appreciated.
 

Kris5902

Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
4,841
32,950
942
British Columbia, Canada
Sounds like the work of a raccoon. Maybe it got scared off and did not finish doing intention.:idunno Raccoons are known to grab thru the fence openings.
SORRY TO HEAR THIS,,,:hugs ,,,,,,, WISHING YOU BEST
I agree completely, this happened to us in early September, and not a week later our dogs took out two coons near the coop, a mother and her 3/4 full size offspring. It also happened once last winter. After this years attack, and before the dogs caught The culprits, I wrapped the entire chain link pen (not my design!) with 4 foot high 1/2 inch hardware cloth, then added 2 foot square sections where the water and the coops porch would be most vulnerable with 1/4 inch hardware cloth.
Sorry for you loss, but he probably died defending his girls, so it was a noble sacrifice in the end. A good rooster...
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
29,566
236,992
1,612
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
When I went to lock the chickens up tonight I found Henry rooster collapsed - his head and long neck had been pulled through the wires of his enclosed and covered yard. All the feathers were gone from his head and neck, which was broken. He was bloodied but not eaten! Who would have done that and why?

Henry was in my first flock of 6 birds in April 2013. He was supposed to be a girl, but became a big, tough protector. I was the only one he didn't attack.

He was protected in his yard. The other creature was on the outside and somehow got him close enough to get hold of his head and pulled him out. It was hard for me to get his big head back through the metal wires so it took a lot of strength to do that, plus Henry was a big, heavy bird. And then the creature apparently did not kill him for food. I just don't know what we're dealing with! Any help is appreciated.

So sorry about Henry. :hugs
It certainly sounds like the work of a raccoon(s). And unfortunately, it or they will be back soon.
A friend of mine lost 16 out of 17 birds over three nights due to a family of raccoons. She kept "reinforcing" her coop and run but never used hardware cloth. She nearly lost everything. I hope you have some means to get a hold of some HC today and reinforce your coop correctly before the coons come back.
 

chicksneedhelp

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 31, 2013
41
7
84
Thank you all for your thoughts. I'll be off to Tractor Supply tomorrow for more hardware cloth and animal traps! We live in the woods where there are bobcats, coyotes, owls and foxes in addition to raccoons and possums and copperheads etc. So my 4 chickens do have a lot of predators.
 

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