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Chicken predator?

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    03-10-2013, 01:23 PM
  #21
Trained
And how did they know it was a skunk? I've never heard of this, or seen it. And a skunk going after a duck? Wow. Maybe you have mutant skunks! Or ours are mini-versions. LOL Generally, skunks would rather go after small fare.

Our skunks go after bugs and worms, dog and catfood are favorites too. They are omnivores, but not something that would go after such a relatively large animal. Maybe mice also, kittens maybe. They are not fighting animals, although they can if required.

Edited to add: a weasel animal might do this, or a raccoon maybe as they will go for the neck. Weasels will kill and kill and kill, then just eat what they want and leave the rest.
     
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    03-10-2013, 01:33 PM
  #22
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernMama    
And how did they know it was a skunk? I've never heard of this, or seen it. And a skunk going after a duck? Wow. Maybe you have mutant skunks! Or ours are mini-versions. LOL Generally, skunks would rather go after small fare.

Our skunks go after bugs and worms, dog and catfood are favorites too. They are omnivores, but not something that would go after such a relatively large animal. Maybe mice also, kittens maybe. They are not fighting animals, although they can if required.

We identified it as a skunk because it was hanging around after the fact and there were actually a couple of paw prints at the scene. The ducks were younger so while not really babies they had not reached their full size yet and they weren't particularly athletic and speedy, at least on the ground. I would also entertain a scenario that something else killed the ducks (fast acting disease, other predator, etc) left the bodies and the skunk stumbled upon an easy lunch. However it actually shook down, it was an isolated incident.
     
    03-10-2013, 02:01 PM
  #23
Started
We had several fowl (ducks, chickens, guineas) decapitated (12 ducks in one night) and it was a trio of raccoons. While were trying to figure out what was doing this, our neighbor (who also has poultry) said skunks, foxes, weasels, owls, and possums will also rip the heads off.
     
    03-10-2013, 02:21 PM
  #24
Green Broke
We (inlaws) have had skunks take out over 150 baby chickens (meat birds) and take out the eyes and heads and leave the rest. Also looked like a massacre. Weird! FIL trapped the **** thing. Last year we had one large layer killed by a skunk and well, next time it got in is when it met my husbands 357, . Expensive skunk cause I think he took 5 shots at it! He said it was still standing so he kept shooting until it fell over, ha ha ha. Was a good night!
     
    03-10-2013, 02:53 PM
  #25
Green Broke
Well we know for sure it's the dog. She came over AGAIN, only I had my arms full of a cranky 6mo old and a 2yr old clutching my leg (my daycare kiddos). I couldn't exactly go "Here, hold your sister while I shoot that cute doggie!". Thankfully my kiddo was home, she went screaming out there and shot the dog in the eyes with a water gun who dropped her chicken and grabbed another but she beat it off that chicken, looped baling twine around it's neck and dragged it back where we locked it up in our garage.

The neighbors have promised the dog will never, ever return and sent a check over. I promised the girls they can use the $$ to buy a new chicken (or 2 or 3 or 4.... LOL) and we use the rest of the $$ to rehab our old turkey coop. They want Jersey Giants, I have been reading that a Jersey Giant rooster will actually go after small dogs and that could be quite useful!
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    03-10-2013, 03:44 PM
  #26
Green Broke
Awesome!! Glad to hear that you found out for sure and it will be take care of!!
     
    03-10-2013, 05:47 PM
  #27
Super Moderator
In the UK I've seen foxes find a way into a chicken run and behead every single one for the fun of it - they don't even want to eat them half the time
We had a lovely old goose that was also beheaded the same way, we don't get racoons and the like over there so its pretty much a fox that's always the culprit
     
    03-11-2013, 05:57 PM
  #28
Trained
Delfina, that's great that things seem to be resolved! :)

The whole headless chicken thing is just weird. I have lived with chickens, ducks, turkeys and seen numerous skunks, but never, ever heard of this. I guess a skunk is part of the weasel family, isn't it?
     
    03-11-2013, 06:31 PM
  #29
Trained
We found one of our ducks dead with its head missing. I was thinking that it had died on its own and turtles ate the head off. (It had been having problems with a sore foot; I couldn't catch it to treat it. I think that something had bitten its foot.)
     

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