Why do owls just eat the head?

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

  1. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Does anybody know? I never really thought about the "why" until just now answering another thread. We have had them kill chickens and ducks and eat right down to the "shoulders" never touched the breast or any of the "good stuff".

    Steve in NC
  2. whitecra

    whitecra Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    I don't know why but I have had them do the samething here. Hopefully some will know and let us know why.
  3. mkelle11

    mkelle11 In the Brooder

    Dec 13, 2008
    I think I read somewhere that the head is very nutritious (And maybe even tasty) for them, and so they eat that first. (Although apparantly that is the same reason so many other predators go for the internal organs, so who knows)
    I assume why they don't move onto the rest of the body is that they are stuck on the ground longer if they do so, and are therefore unsafe from dogs and such. I don't know for sure- maybe half of it is that is just what they grew up doing. It's habit. Maybe if they could lift it into a tree they would eat more, like a hawk does on occasion.

    I don't know for sure though......I could be wrong.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  4. sussexgal

    sussexgal Songster

    A DEC fellow told my neighbor that owls are mostly after the brains. Very high protein content and essential fats.
  5. beefy

    beefy Flamingo Daddy-o

    Apr 21, 2007
    South Georgia
    they go after the brains, thats why owls are so wise.
  6. RIVERA69R

    RIVERA69R Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Quote:Good on [​IMG]
  7. animals1981

    animals1981 Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    they will come back for the rest if you let them, it just got filled up with the head and was to full unable to eat the rest

    they can only eat so much at once
  8. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Songster

    Dec 20, 2008
    I think that when the prey is too big to swallow whole, they eat the brain first because it's so nutritious and probably easiest to eat -- right on top and not covered by a lot of feathers and stuff. They will eat the rest if they are hungry, food is scarce, and/or they aren't chased away by an angry farmer or other hungry predator.

    I've noticed that hawks neatly remove and eat the heart first, and if food is plentiful they will not eat the rest. Picky, picky. [​IMG] When I worked in the city, there were lots of pigeons, and in the big park there were redtail hawks that would pick out the fattest ones and just eat the hearts. Sometimes I'd walk in the park at lunch hour and come across a dead pigeon on its back with its heart neatly removed, no mess.
  9. mholliman

    mholliman Hatching

    May 28, 2015
    they all must be part ZOMBIE lol
  10. mholliman

    mholliman Hatching

    May 28, 2015
    They must all be part ZOMBIE! Lol

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