What would eat just the bunnies head and leave the body at night?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by luvarabhorses, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. luvarabhorses

    luvarabhorses Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Hector, Ar
    My friend is just getting into this and she unknowingly let her big standard chinchilla rabbit roam in the chain linked fence (about 4 ft tall) free range chicken area at night. She came out yesterday morning to find her bunny dead with just the head gone. Any ideas what it could have been? a sad day!
  2. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    I've seen owls do this as well as hawks. They don't do it on purpose (I don't think) I think it is a strike they cannot come back to finish for some reason.

    Does they head look like it was cut off or torn?
  3. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    it was an owl, hawks won't hunt at night. That is classic owl, I have no idea why they just eat the head though?

    Steve in NC
  4. whitecra

    whitecra Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    I would say it was a owl. I had one get one of my silkies and all he ate was the head and neck. There wasn't even any blood around. I know it was an owl because he couldn't find his way out of the pen. We saw him that morning still in there.
  5. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Songster

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Friend of mine just lost several to this same thng, he caught the culprit as it ran off with just the head.
    It was a coon.
  6. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Free Ranging

    Oct 16, 2008
    coon or fox or owl..
    a fox or coon will sometimes kill 2 or more birds and chew off the heads and then carry one off. they will come back laer and carry off the headless ones..

    the owl might have been frightened off before he could shred the carcass..

    also, did you find the bunny with his headless neck tight to a hole in the fence?? then I would start to look for a weasel..
  7. luvarabhorses

    luvarabhorses Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Hector, Ar
    thanks for your help! I'll ask her for more info. Lisa
  8. ocean_rain21

    ocean_rain21 In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    My dog...:S she came home with a rabbit head the other day :S

    They are right, that is typical owl hunting behaviour.
    Sorry about your friends bunny, its never a good day when a loved pet dies [​IMG]
  9. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    We had a family of wild mallards nesting in our front yard last year and a raccoon came and pulled the heads off all the babies and the mama. Left all the pieces behind. Just murdered them all and left the bodies and heads lying around on the ground.

    So, I would say Raccoon... or perhaps an owl as others have suggested. Probably a great horned owl if so. They'll eat anything, even small dogs and cats.
  10. scogind

    scogind In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2008
    I don't know if this is the case here, but bears that are preparing for hybernation gorges so much on salmon that they will start taking just one bite out of the fish and leave the rest. They bite a chunk out of the top of the head that includes the brain and eyes. Supposedly these are the most nutrious, higher protein/calories, part of the fish.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: