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what predator breaks necks and leaves bodies

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LuckyLouanne, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. LuckyLouanne

    LuckyLouanne Out Of The Brooder

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    Something got into my hen house right at dusk. 3 hens are missing, 2 were found hiding. 7 were found dead with their necks broken. What would leave them dead, with liffle signs of a struggle? any clues? I was thinking it may be a fox, the foot prints looked like a smaller dog but the snow fall covered it up quickly.
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a dog. Dogs tend to kill just for the sport not for food.
     
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  3. acl68025

    acl68025 Out Of The Brooder

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    If you get the chance, take pictures of the tracks. Hubby is an avid outdoors man & wicked good at identifying tracks
     
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  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Fox or coyote. Will kill many quickly if possible then take what can be carried per trip to cache them. More than one trip required for what was killed but you came out and interrupted. Odds are culprit was watching you waiting for an opportunity to come in a get balance.
     
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  5. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Skunks.Skunks will often bite/break the heads off and leave the body.Now,I have heard of man who had a owl "Pretend to be a chicken,and just clip their necks of 1 by 1.
     
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  6. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Foxes and coyotes normally will take the whole body,(My personal opinion.)
     
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  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, so how does that relate to what I related to OP's observations?
     
  8. LuckyLouanne

    LuckyLouanne Out Of The Brooder

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    Unfortunately, we got another 3 inches of snow last night and the tracks are completely covered up. It was really shocking because I had just checked on them and went to refill the water container. I went back out about an hour to 90 minuntes later (5:30 pm) and they had been attacked. This was the first time anything like this happened. Twice we've had a possum in the hen house but it didn't bother the hens, just ate their food. Another time there was a skunk in the run that got stuck trying to get out. I am pretty sure it was a fox or a bobcat due to the tracks being similar to a dog print. Thanks for your help - It was a great comfort to me to know I was not alone.
     
  9. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. LuckyLouanne

    LuckyLouanne Out Of The Brooder

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    We have had skunks in the run and possums in the hen house but they have never hurt the hens, they just eat the food. I think the possum was trying to live in the hen house with the birds. It would leave when we came in to the hen house. The skunk came in to eat their food and got stuck on the fence leaving the run. We set it free and it hasn't been back since. The tracks looked more like a dog paw, bigger than a chihuahua paw but smaller than a lab puppy. What ever came in had to fit through a 6 by 9 inch (apx) opening from the run into the hen house. Then it stacked them together by 2s. Thanks for all of your support. Your posts have helped me cope with this tragedy. I now feel like I have the strength to go on. I will start by making modifications to the cage to keep the 2 I have left safe. I live in the woods so predators are to be expected. Normally the hens are let out to free range, yesterday it was snowing hard so I kept them in their run. They were kind of like sitting ducks. Without your comments I probably would have given away the last two and called it quits. Thanks again!
     

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