A murder most fowl...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CMV, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    So I have a mystery on my hands. A murder mystery.

    One of my Campbell ducks (Fro, female) was found this evening at lights out pulled halfway through the electric mesh fence with her neck picked clean of flesh, head still present. It happened somewhere between 3pm and 5pm during daylight. My initial thought was raccoon due to her being so forcefully pulled through the fence (she's still caught in the fence; I am going to have to cut the fence to free her body in the morning), but the kill seemed so tidy (for lack of a better word) my gut says it's something else. The feathers were all pulled out in a neat little pile near the carcass and the neck is completely stripped of flesh, but the head is still attached.

    I should also add that my dogs went AWOL today just before this mystery incident. My older dog never leaves the yard, but today something tempted her to leave the yard and give chase through the forest. This is completely out of character for her. I was shocked and dismayed and confused as to what could have possibly gotten her to abandon her post. The dogs were found prior to the murder and spent the rest of the day in doggie jail, so they have an alibi for the time of the murder. In retrospect I think that something was out lurking near the coops and the dogs gave chase. I thanked them by locking them in their crates for the remainder of the day when I got my hands on them.

    As far as suspects go, I've got them all except mountain lions. I think the most likely culprits would be raccoons, weasels or minks. I am curious as to how strong a mink or weasel is. The duck was pulled so far through the fence that there had to be some sheer brute strength involved in the process, but it was also such a neat and tidy murder scene that I am confused as to what may have been the culprit.

    A trap will be set and baited with Fro parts as soon as I can remove Fro from the fence. Her funeral is being held shortly thereafter.

    Any guesses as to what I may be catching?
     
  2. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Had that happen with a greathorn owl. right at dusk. Coons would bite the head off. Mink,weasels would but not real strong. The attack I had by the owl rip the neck bare and almost pull it thru weld wire...
     
  3. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Leesburg
    How Dreadful! I hope you catch the culprit!
     
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    [​IMG] This sounds like a case for DCSI..(Ducky Crime Scene Investigations..)
     
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Well, the culprit came back to the scene of the crime. It was a huge red-tailed hawk. It couldn't swoop and grab because of all the CDs and fishing line strung everywhere, so it waited in the trees near the fenceline and when a duck got close enough to the fence the hawk struck her. Hopefully, she didn't know what hit her. Poor Fro.
     
  6. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Yep, large bird of prey. I caught my owl, but let him loose as they kill coons,foxes and etc. I just put small wire up so they couldnt get there head out to get picked off.
     
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Aerial predators are my biggest challenge. I figured I had it licked this time. Electric mesh fencing, fishing lines strung every 4 feet and about 30 CDs strung in all the trees surrounding the run and in the run. I can't cover the run because it is way too big, so I took every precaution I could. I never even thought that an aerial predator would attack through the fence but from the air thereby avoiding a nasty shock by not being grounded. Crafty.

    Back to the drawing board...
     
  8. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm here to say that CDs dont work, I wish I hadnt read on here that they did, I was fooled into leaving my youngin's out and a hawk snatched one, right underneath one of my CDs. Im takin them all down and using covered runs only when Im not around. [​IMG]
     
  9. Nikki28

    Nikki28 David Bowie is my co-pilot

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    I'm glad you posted this but very sorry that it happened to you. [​IMG] I've had a great horned owl hanging out around my run. The top is covered in chicken wire but I never thought about them getting them through the side of the cage. I'll take extra precautions tomorrow.
     
  10. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the head had not been still there, I would have bet on a coon. Never would have thought of a bird of prey doing that. Must have caught it while it was sticking it's head thru fence? A coon will try to rip as many body parts as he can thru the fence. That is why I electrified mine, as well as the fact that they and coyotes and some dogs can climb fences.

    I put chicken wire inside of my 6 ft tall 2x4 welded wire fence to keep the chooks from doing that. I may yet put hardware cloth over the top of that. My run is very big and the chooks are not often at the very edge of it unless they are clustered at gate and gate's wall waiting for us. (Those chooks can hear the kitchen or garage door from 150' away and they always crowd the fence/gate then in anticipation of treats or even a visit.) [​IMG]
     

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