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What would do this?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by boxwoman, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. boxwoman

    boxwoman In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2009
    New Milford
    Yesterday I came home to find that my hens escaped from their run and one was missing. I rounded them up and then found my missing hen. Something killed her - but I do not think it was a hawk. Her entire head and neck was gone and she was opened up from her belly and completely cleaned out. It was so strange. Her feathers, wings and feet were all untouched. Could this have been a raccoon or something. It only got one of 6 hens. This is the second hen I have lost this year and my whole yard is fenced in. Any ideas?

  2. Mic's Chicks

    Mic's Chicks In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2011
    Joshua, TX
    What time of day did it happen? I have lost 3 grown Swedish Ducks and several chickens to a Great Horned Owl..... A few times it was very early in the evening...not even totally dark.

    With the ducks he first took the head and neck.... The second time it happened same thing....head and neck gone..... But I decided to leave the body out there overnight, in hopes that if it came back again it would take the dead body rather than get one of my other ducks. Luckily it worked because I had no other place to secure the ducks.
  3. FarmingForFun

    FarmingForFun In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2012
    Sounds like a bird of prey. Most predatory mammals will take the entire carcass with them. Im sorry that this happened...I lost a turkey to a hawk which removed the head and innards as you described.
  4. hdowden

    hdowden Crowing

    Aug 14, 2011
    i agree that it sounds like a bird of pray
  5. HIS Paintbrush

    HIS Paintbrush In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2012
    If it was in broad daylight, I would say a fox. If it was at night, I would say a coon.
  6. colby318

    colby318 got 'dottes?

    Jul 14, 2008
    Stamping Ground, KY
    Hawk. We have a neighborhood fox. It always takes the bird and "processes" the feathers in the back of the farm. It it kills multiple birds it will bury them in a shallow cache nearby.
  7. Abirdbrain

    Abirdbrain Chirping

    MT shell of a carcus is Possum. Coon will try to carry it off, possum is dine in. Birds of prey always remove the head first, and continue down the soft front, and pull at the wings. They can deftly remove the meat from under the skin. Coon will snack on the head first.Fox carry off some distance, usually in sight of the source, and eat, and grab another sanck if the feast turns to work, often takeing or killing multiple times.

    Look for tracks, scats and other signs of the predator.

    Mink or weasel, will kill by throat bite, and may not dine at all, just leaving a bloody dead bird.

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