What predator lives in CT, can get through tiny spaces, and goes for head-neck area?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Nic&Chickies, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Nic&Chickies

    Nic&Chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could almost believe (as a neighbor suggested) that my chickens freaked out over Storm Sandy's noise, and went after each other, but can a chicken really leave another chicken headless?
    I thought, after the raccoon, we had things tight-- but is there something here that can fit through an inch space that remains when the big door is closed? I have 4 dead hens
    (Numb,sad, tired; I don't want to talk or think about it any more tonight, esp. since tonight's technically over).
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe weasel and fisher cat are the most likely.
     
  3. Brookliner

    Brookliner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My bet is on mink...they can squeeze through the smallest cracks. Do you live near running water, brook, stream, river?
     
  4. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    Weasels can sneak through a smaller hole than mink. They love the head neck area but usually just for the blood. Rats large ones can sneak in an one inch area too. Put a stop behind the door all the way around. If there is an inch a lot of things can get through. Also it creates a draft. Not good in a cold windy area. gloria Jean
     
  5. Nic&Chickies

    Nic&Chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, there is a stream at the end of my street--maybe a quarter-mile away. So, minks like water, as 'coons do? Weasels (I just read) are found here, but not a lot is known. I thought I remembered that fisher cats were extinct, or rare. And despite living in a city, I never even considered rats. Eeeweew!
     
  6. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    Sad to relate but I found one of my chickens dead and headless in the coop - she was found in the morning when the coop door was opened - a VERY small hole was eaten away at the bottom of the door - a rat or her coop mates were responsible - and yes the thought is awful to consider - sickening.... We set up a trap but no rats were ever captured, nor any other small animal....

    Sorry to hear what happened - we had seven baby ducklings killed by rats - they just mangled the heads of the babies and left the remains with the mother duck - we now secure any Mum's with babies in purpose built homes ( within the stabled areas they live in ) - we have not lost any further ducklings thankfully.

    I hope you find out what caused this to happen and that this never happens to you again.

    Suzie
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Nic&Chickies

    Nic&Chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I called the University of Connecticut and (after some worry about not being able to, because of storm-related delay & closures) a courier was able to pick up the 4 dead chickens so the people at the CVMDL could perform a necropsy.

    I posted part of the results they emailed to me:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-no-absolute-definitive-but-not-by-coop-mates

    2 others originally survived the attack, but one of them (Patty, my Partridge Cochin) has also died. I thought of having her examined, too, but since I got an answer today about the others, I guess there's really no point. Looks like I have to bury her after I let the others out in the morning. :{
    Even thought I know it is ridiculous, I want to ask if they could hazard a guess about what predator it might have been. It just bugs me, the non-certainty.
     

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