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  • Two dead, one missing

    I found two of my laying hens dead. Both apparently had been killed sometime the previous night or early that morning. Both were missing their heads. No other damage or wounds were apparent. I also am missing one laying hen and have to assume she was taken off.

    We free-range our birds during the day, but always close them up in the evening when we feed them and they go to roost in the hen house. Unfortunately, we forgot to close the gate leading into the pen the night before and I suspect a coon got into the hen house and helped himself. I'm just surprised that the dog didn't hear any ruckus that night, but he slept quietly in our bedroom.

    Three nights have now passed with no further losses. The shotgun is sitting beside the back door just in case. I know that whatever it was will be back.

  • #2
    Hopefully whatever it was it will not be back seems kind of strange that just took or ate the heads. Seem like whatever it was it would have taken the whole bird….?
    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." Plato

    That Government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

    — Thomas Jefferson


    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

    — Abraham Lincoln

    I was so embarrassed today. I got caught peeing in the pool. When the lifeguard yelled at me I jumped and damn near fell in.

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    • #3
      Jez,

      The heads being eaten sounds real familiar to me. On the bird that was taken, let me guess, there was no signs of struggle, feathers piled, guts or anything. The heads that are missing, no signs of them either. Rest of the chickens weren't bothered at all. If all thats correct, I'll bet you have a coyote. They have the jaw strength to eat chicken heads without leaving any signs and the body strength to carry off a chicken without dragging it. Just my .02 cents.

      Dale

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      • #4
        You know, Dale, I began to worry about coyotes early last fall when I first began hearing them 'yip' late at night. We always left the door to the chicken pen open and allowed the hens to come and go, but we began closing that door in the evenings because of hearing the coyotes. Frankly, I was surprised we never lost any during the day! The pen is also covered with wire to defend against an aerial attack, and connects with the hen house with a doorway for the hens to go in and out.

        I found a few feathers inside the hen house, but nothing really that unusual. But there were breast feathers outside the hen house but inside the pen, indicating that something brought a hen out.

        I would have thought that a coyote would have taken the entire carcass. Having just the heads/necks gone had pointed me towards a 'coon.

        Damn! I gotta rethink this!

        Comment


        • #5
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          Jezcruzen
          I was asking some of farmers around here (I was at the farmers Co-Op for horse feed) and thought I would ask what would bite the head off a chicken and leave the body behind...most of them said do you have any weasels around there? if not most likely a Coon. One guy said it may be a carnival Geek. But not likely a Coyote...they would have taken the whole thing.
          "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." Plato

          That Government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

          — Thomas Jefferson


          You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

          — Abraham Lincoln

          I was so embarrassed today. I got caught peeing in the pool. When the lifeguard yelled at me I jumped and damn near fell in.

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Comment


          • #6
            My bet is on a coon. did you find any tracks around the pen at all? If not lay some fresh sand along the wire and check in the morning. Keep the birds under lock and key at night!

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            • #7
              jez,

              You did say"heads missing on 2 and 1 completely missing."? Even a big coon leaves drag marks on a full grown hen. If you can, post some pics of the hens that were left and the pen area.

              Dale

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              • #8
                Chubacabra.......

                Comment


                • #9
                  Chupacabra!!!!
                  "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
                  -Ben Franklin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey guys,

                    If you want to discuss how weather and forest fires interact.... ask me. If you want to know... I don't know something kooky, ask Amy, But if you are on the topic of animal kills, my money is on Dale because he is actually an expert in this area. Unless he says Chupacabra or otherwise agrees with Amy. Then all bets are off.
                    "Oh, America. I wish I could tell you that this was still America, but I've come to realize that you can't have a country without people. And there are no people here. No, my friends. This is now the United States of Zombieland"

                    "The constitution does not guarantee our safety, only our liberty!" Robert Steed before congress 3/2013

                    Skills Beats Stuff

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                    • #11
                      My son says peruvian ghost snake. Whatever that is. Smart @ss. Don't know where he gets it, probably from his mother.
                      "Oh, America. I wish I could tell you that this was still America, but I've come to realize that you can't have a country without people. And there are no people here. No, my friends. This is now the United States of Zombieland"

                      "The constitution does not guarantee our safety, only our liberty!" Robert Steed before congress 3/2013

                      Skills Beats Stuff

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by myakka62 View Post
                        Hey guys,

                        If you want to discuss how weather and forest fires interact.... ask me. If you want to know... I don't know something kooky, ask Amy, But if you are on the topic of animal kills, my money is on Dale because he is actually an expert in this area. Unless he says Chupacabra or otherwise agrees with Amy. Then all bets are off.
                        Aww, shucks! You mean doing this stuff for a living all those years and a degree in wildlife biology, means squat! Can't agree with Amy's Chupacabra but what the hay.....Maybe a weasel toothed jackalope. LOL. Whatever!!

                        Dale

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                        • #13
                          pigmy wombat. I swear. Those guys are ferocious.
                          "Oh, America. I wish I could tell you that this was still America, but I've come to realize that you can't have a country without people. And there are no people here. No, my friends. This is now the United States of Zombieland"

                          "The constitution does not guarantee our safety, only our liberty!" Robert Steed before congress 3/2013

                          Skills Beats Stuff

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by myakka62 View Post
                            pigmy wombat. I swear. Those guys are ferocious.
                            They are extremely ferocious. You get that with a animal thats saliva is slightly poisonous. With all the exotics running loose you may be quite right.

                            Dale

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                            • #15
                              Dale, the two dead hens were found between the pen and an old horse barn behind the house. Something must have pulled them out of the hen house and took them down there, possibly to get out of the dusk to dawn light, before chomping down.

                              Never found the third hen. Just some feathers in the woods behind the pen.

                              Anyway, no more visitations since keeping the door to the enclosure closed at night.

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