Scary! Watch Owl Babies and Their Mom Wait at Colorado Chicken Coop
Owls love to eat chickens, but not the whole thing, just the head and the neck. They like brains. Yep, that's right, they're like zombies. They leave the rest of the chicken and only take the top. What a waste!
According to Sorry Chicken, the Great Horned Owl goes for the head because "brains are high in protein and relatively easy to eat."
My friend Sarah who lives just east of Castle Rock sent me this video. She has lost two chickens and one duck to this family of owls. If you look closely you'll see one of the baby owls sitting right next to a decoy owl. As if the owlet was mocking silly human efforts to protect the coop.
The owls fly away when Sarah lets her huge white Colorado Mountain dog, Bo, outside to protect his flock. Sometimes Bo has to take a long doggie nap and the predators take advantage.
The first death in my flock a few years ago was due to an owl. Our favorite chicken Gladys, whom I was sure was going to be an internet star, was the target. Her body was just laying there, with no head and very little mess of blood or feathers. So perhaps in terms of predators, it's a quicker, more decent way to go.
I have taken to running inexpensive twine overhead in the open areas around my coop. For now, it seems to be working. Birds won't swoop in if they think they may get tangled up.