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

Nic&Chickies

Songster
Aug 23, 2010
307
19
176
New Britain, CT
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).
 

crazyhen

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 26, 2008
3,196
102
264
mtns of ,NC.
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
 

Nic&Chickies

Songster
Aug 23, 2010
307
19
176
New Britain, CT
Do you live near running water, brook, stream, river?
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!
 

Suzie

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
3,113
779
351
Auvergne
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
hugs.gif
 

Nic&Chickies

Songster
Aug 23, 2010
307
19
176
New Britain, CT
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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