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Author Topic: Head-less Pheasant, any guess on the critter?  (Read 3381 times)
« on: August 17, 2009, 08:44:24 PM »

I put 11, 8 week old pheasants in my flight pen only to find them headless days later.  My pen has four foot walls with chicken wire all the way up the wall. AND wire attached to the bottom plate (2x4) that extends 2 feet out into the weeds to stop digging critters.
 I put 20 Coturnix in the pen 2 days after finding the dead birds and they are fine. Is it possible that a bird of prey flushed them and feasted on their heads as they passed thru the netting? I am stumped. Ghost.
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2009, 12:10:34 PM »

Hey Greyghost,
   I had the same problem in a couple of my pens two years ago.  Where I live is filled with everything you can think of that likes to eat birds.  I bet you have a coon hitting your pen.  I had to put up a solid barrier all around my pen 18 to 20 inches high to keep the coons from reaching through, grabbing and eating the heads off of my quail and pheasants.  I get scrap 1" rough planks from the local Amish community cheap and mount them around  the base of my pens and then I staple the chicken wire to the planks and no more problems with headless birds

Good luck
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2009, 07:31:01 PM »

Could be a raccoon I put metal roofing along the bottom of the pens it is 30 inches  high  and i tie wire it to the fencing
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2009, 11:09:01 PM »

My pen has metal, about 30 inches high along the bottom. When I have had coon problems, they always caught them in mid flight on the top and sides of pen, in which is all 1" poultry wire.  They'd eat what they could, sometimes it was just the head, then drop the rest.  After a few attacks, the remaining BW's seemed to have learned not to flush to the sounds of the coons in the night and would hunker down instead. Maybe the quail you have know better?.......or maybe your intruder has a full stomach and just hasn't came back for a refill yet?

Also, my neighbor has pheasants with netting on top of huge pens, he claims to have watched the hawks spook/flush the birds, grab their heads when they hit they netting, remove their heads only, and drop the headless corpse back into pen.



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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 04:48:52 AM »

In our experience it has been either a hawk, like someone said they entice them up and grab their heads, but also owls will do that. We had a Great Horned owl for awhile that did that both with chickens, and the bobwhites.
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