Could a squirrel kill a turkey poult?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BullCreek, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. BullCreek

    BullCreek Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2011
    Pacific NW
    I went out to the turkey pen yesterday, and found one of our bb bronze poults dead. It happened sometime during daylight yesterday. The birds are about 6 weeks old. There was very little blood, and only on one side of the bite, which was on its neck. No feather explosion, no part of the bird eaten. Where the bite was on the bird, there appeared to be quite a bit of bleeding under the skin, as if it was bitten hard. The reason I consider squirrel is that there were no pointy teeth marks (canines, fangs, whatever you want to call it). One side had less than a 1/2" slice in the skin, and the other side had an about a 1/2"-3/4" indented and bruised line (from rodent incisors?). The dead bird was by the shelter, about 3' from the fence, on it's belly. Seemed like it was injured one place and retreated to the shelter. The other birds wouldn't go near it.

    Am I crazy? We do have some monstrously huge squirrels around here, though we don't see them often. The chipmunks regularly risk their lives running into the chicken pen to try and sneak food, but I think chipmunks are far too small (the chickens would loooove to catch a chipmunk... They sure try)
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Yes, squirrels will kill and chicks and poult. Not all squirrels but some will/do.

    Another think I wondered was a small bird of prey? Perhaps you startled the bird away [​IMG]
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    It may be possible, but I think it's very unlikely. If I were convinced of rodent incisors, I would suspect a rat long before a squirrel.
  4. BullCreek

    BullCreek Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2011
    Pacific NW
    I thought perhaps small hawk, but the bite really looked like rodent incisors, and there were no other wounds to be found. Poor guy was very dead and stiff when I found him.

    As for rat, it could be. I considered it, but then debated something larger, as what seemed to be teeth marks were really big... Seemed too large for a rat. If it was, I'm a little more than nervous, as it would have been a really big rat. Yuck. I'm going to try putting traps out. I can't poison because of the dogs. Stupid predators. Grrr.

    One thing I just thought of... We have mountain beavers (they aren't actual beavers), and they get pretty big. I haven't seen one yet, but my guy has. Perhaps one was raiding the turkey food, and the bronze got too close and scared it. Would explain the one large rodent type bite, and why nothing on the bird was eaten, and no other wounds. I'd actually be kinda relieved if that was what happened, as it would have been more of a freak accident than a predator-type attack. I doubt I'll ever find out for sure.
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Yes a squirrel could but probably wouldn't. I do know red squirrels will take song bird nestlings but a turkey poult is kind of big for them.

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