Great horned owl. 2 of them. That's the male I believe.
Basically it was ripping heads off. I don't know what you know about them but we initially thought raccoon as they are known to do that. But after I caught this owl in the act we did research and apparently it's quite common for them to rip the heads off and eat them first. That's why we had headless bodies. bleg! They usually only kill 1 animal a day according to our research but because it's breeding season they're killing a lot. We lost 4 guineas and 4 laying hens in 2 days.
It is the biggest bird I've ever seen. I'd say it's easily 4x as big as our chickens. We have peacocks which are pretty big (but not full grown yet) and he's much bigger than they are as well. Peacocks simply have more survival instinct and had the sense to hide. The chickens were roosting for the night and appear to not have moved at all while he was beheading them. We found all the bodies lying right under the roost. The internet says that's normal for chickens. Apparently they are dumb as.......
This is our first year having chickens. We've seen these owls around before but they've never had such easy prey around before. Chickens really are like going out for fast food. Easy and cheap.
Owls keep their territory for about 8 years so this pair is going to return every year for who knows how many more.
As for other animals that kill for the heck of it. Well we have one:
When we first got chickens our St Bernard jumped out the window and killed 27 of them just for the fun of it. We certainly learned an excellent lesson from that!
Otherwise raccoons would kill like that. We have skunks around but they don't usually behead, they debowl. We also have coyotes and a moutain lion but the MO was off for both of them. Oh foxes too but again, MO was off.
Originally Posted by harleyboysmom
Is that a barn owl, or a great horned owl? They are great for keeping mice and rats at bay, but I would think the hens would be too big.
Every year they come back? Did you have any problems before?
Are there any other kind of animal that kills for the heck of it?
Boy, I am curious to know the answer.
Keep me up to date.
Very interested in the outcome.