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Jay Cutler spent six days and nights trying to find out who is killing his chickens

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Detective Jay Cutler found the animal killing his chickens

There’s a murderer on the loose, and former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler is on the case. Over the last four days, Cutler has taken to his Instagram account (@ifjayhadinstagram) to try and solve the mystery that has taken over his Nashville, TN farm.

“We’ve got a chicken serial killer on the loose. We’ve lost quite a few,” Cutler said via Instagram story on June 25. “Tonight we’re going to set up a trail camera. See if it’s a coyote, bobcat, I don’t know, raccoon. Could be anything. Not sure, but enough is enough. These ladies [the chickens] are a little edgy.”

Cutler thought perhaps it was an inside job at first, turning the camera on a cat hanging out among the chickens. “Thelma, over there — while she looks nice and sweet — is a savage with loose morals.”

“I hope you don’t show up on camera tonight,” Cutler told Thelma.

She didn’t, and a public apology was issued the following day:

By the next morning, the movement to find the killer took flight. Cutler partnered with Christensen Arms, promising a Ranger-22 and a $1000 gift card to the company’s online store if you could accurately guess the culprit. The hashtag #SaveJaysChickens was born, and it was just the beginning of the saga.

It’s not surprising that fox, coyote, raccoon, and weasel are leading the vote as all are common in Nashville and have an affinity for hunting birds. As someone that has seen the 2009 Wes Anderson adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox multiple times (great movie, highly recommend), I can confidently say that foxes do, in fact, frequent hen houses for hunting.

But they aren’t alone either in hunting poultry or in making Nashville home. According to the Tennessee government website, Coyotes are, “...locally common due to their adaptability. They are hunted to control their damage to livestock and poultry and for their fur pelts.”

And raccoons? They’re actually pretty vicious when it comes to chickens. “Raccoons won’t eat the whole bird or even most of it; they will often just eat the contents of your birds’ crops and occasionally some of the chest,” My Pet Chicken explained in a blog post. “They are awfully destructive of your flocks’ lives without bothering to eat much of their victims.”

Despite setting up a camera on the night of the 26th, Cutler posted on June 27th that, “This can’t be real. Chicken is gone and I don’t have a picture. I have to regroup. This is insanity.”

Based on the fact that Jay’s chickens appear to be taken, and not left at the scene dead, it could rule out a weasel as the culprit.

Things escalated on Sunday as Cutler found chicken feathers scattered in his front yard.

View this post on Instagram

New development. Front yard. The hits just keep coming.

A post shared by Jay Cutler (@ifjayhadinstagram) on

“We’ve lost control completely,” Cutler said, visibly frustrated. “Somehow we’ve got to regain it.” Cutler laid out a new strategy of night vision in the front of the house with live traps by the coops, or the Pollo Palace as he calls it.

Cutler wasn’t optimistic with this new plan as the clock ticked past midnight into Monday with no updates. “Clearly never trapped anything in my life so I’m not confident,” he said in yet another IG update. It was soon evident that he was correct in doubting his trapping abilities. When he checked the traps this morning (June 29), they were not only empty, but the hunter was toying with him now, too.

While things aren’t going Cutler’s way at the moment, don’t count him out. Over his 12-year NFL career (10 of which he started at least 10 games), Cutler led 23 fourth quarter comebacks, good for 20th in NFL history. That’s more than Russell Wilson (21), Joe Flacco (18), Aaron Rodgers (16), and Troy Aikman (15), to put it in perspective. Sure, his teams were maybe losing more heading into the fourth quarter than those other guys, but that’s neither here nor there.

Cutler hit the road Monday to clear his head and start anew. “We are behind in this battle but we haven’t lost the war,” he said. “Everyone loves a comeback. Tonight’s the night.”

[Narrator’s voice]: it wasn’t the night.

It wasn’t for lack of effort or planning by Cutler. He detailed his plans in another IG story update, discussing camera upgrades that increased the coverage of the Pollo Palace. Plus, he upped his trap game.

“I talked to my buddy Ray at Bink’s Lodge. He told me peanut butter in the cage works every time. So, that’s what we’re going with,” Cutler says before hedging. “But I also don’t know if Ray knows what he’s talking about, so I put chicken in there, and a marshmallow, and tuna. So it’s like a smorgasbord. A buffet, if you will.”

The trap looked pretty inviting, if I must say so myself:

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I would go in that trap. Can’t lose tonight.

A post shared by Jay Cutler (@ifjayhadinstagram) on

Unfortunately, it was all for naught. “I’m being taunted, mocked and outwitted by a small animal,” Cutler posted to Instagram Tuesday morning. “Avoided the trap and all the other cameras. Only pic from last night. Only one option left.”

Cutler upped his game, setting up what looked like more cameras and a stand in his yard that he spent an undisclosed amount of time in on Tuesday night into Wednesday. The dedication paid off, however.

“All is well and happy to report it was a raccoon. Which fits the evidence. Chicken heads were ripped off and bodies were left in the chicken yard.” Cutler posted mid-morning on Wednesday (July 1) with a picture of what I can only assume are some now-happy chickens. “Gruesome stuff but reality of the situation. Ladies are now safe and sound. We can all sleep well for a few nights.”

An amazing graphic was posted to his IG story, hailing the capture of the dastardly villain.


“Unfortunately I’m sure this raccoon has some family members,” Cutler stated in his post. He will likely keep elevated security around the Pollo Palace in the weeks going forward, but, for now, our six-day saga has come to a close.