who takes the heads?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by pinkyglory123, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. pinkyglory123

    pinkyglory123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know this has been covered but just don't have the time to search....have had problems with coons and fox.
    four dead hens-two missing heads, two just dead. missing at least four others.
    any idea of my culprit?
    We did shoot a particularly aggressive fox. have trapped many coons but traps right now empty. any ideas?
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Great Horned Owls will eat the heads and leave the rest. And, yes, they do hunt in the daytime also...I've seen them.
     
  3. pinkyglory123

    pinkyglory123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] never in a million years would I have thought an owl? Now I did see a very rare site a couple of days afterwards in an area where I had discarded the dead birds. several vultures and a bald eagle. The eagle was carrying something in those humongous feet of his. I could tell it was some type of prey but mammal or bird I could not tell. will eagles take chickens? approx. 8 birds were taken-two dead, two dead decapitated and four just vanished. all in one episode. whatever did it traumatized my four geese who remained on the pond all day-normally they only spend the night there. Could an eagle do this? I never thought of a bird..................................
     
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Yes, an eagle will take your chickens. They are actually one of the few who are large enough and powerful enough to stoop and lift a large, dual-purpose hen with ease and fly off with her.
     
  5. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It could be several predators. Owls will often leave headless bodies, but so do cats. Eagles will definitely carry away fairly large and heavy birds.

    ETA: an eagle can also terrorize geese, too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  6. pinkyglory123

    pinkyglory123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] ya know my bet is that it either was a pair of fox which we have been troubled with before. with the possibility of this eagle. Sheesh as if the coons, possums are not enough. It is a struggle that is for sure.
     
  7. Homestead Family

    Homestead Family Out Of The Brooder

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    Could be a variety of things. The headless bodies make me think an owl did those. We have had that happen before. However, a fox is known to kill several chickens in one night, and will often bite the heads off of the ones they can't carry away. They will carry away a few, and then leave the headless ones to come and get at a later time, I assume. I'm not giving a fox the benefit of having rational thought, but they certainly have a highly developed instinct.

    So, my bet is on an owl for the headless ones, or perhaps a fox for the whole dead bunch.
     
  8. 9Catsz

    9Catsz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple of Qs.

    Were your chickens killed at night, middle of the day, dusk?

    Were they killed in the coop, while they were free ranging?

    Bald eagles do NOT eat and/or take live chickens. They'll eat dead chickens....and dead anything else for that matter. The only live thing a bald eagle hunts for is fish. That's why they're always found near rivers and streams. It's why they migrate south when winter hits because their food source is under ice. If they killed any other prey, they wouldn't have to migrate in the winter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  9. pinkyglory123

    pinkyglory123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if the eagle had a chicken I think he picked up one of the discarded dead ones as there were vultures about also. I think our fox has returned. needs the fear of god put in to him again. I co exist without problem and accept losing an occassional bird but it is when they get greedy and bold that they need to go. We free range in essentially the center of one hundred acres. We go months without a loss and then tend to lose a few. I don't think it was coon as I have good luck catching them, traps remained set 24/7 with no recent takers. This is just a reality of country life
     
  10. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:A bald eagle's diet consists of only 50-75% fish. The rest are birds and mammals. Most specifically, ducks and coots. There was even a nature program which showed how much they loved to catch coots. I watched a couple nest cams where they sometimes caught seagulls., mostly in the area near the ocean. In my area, they frequently eat ducks. They are often late migrators and early arrivals so that they can take advantage of migrating waterfowl.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

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