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Disappearing birds.....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Grum P Oldamn, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Grum P Oldamn

    Grum P Oldamn Out Of The Brooder

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    This started a month or so back, something came in, ripped off three 1 mtr long planks that were held in by 3" screws and my entire flock of 10 ducklings and 4 goslings just disappeared.... no blood, no sign of anything. A week later something tore open the side to my chicken coop, all the birds escaped and greeted me in the early hours of the morning........

    Now a month later in the space of three days a guineafowl has disappeared in daytime, and yesterday one of my chickens didn't come home to roost (see, chicken....it is pertinent to the topics :) ) I have looked all around, no sign of a scuffle, no feathers lying around, none of the other birds are spooked.... intriguing.

    Now I know that there is a fox around, Barney, my dog chases it off, or something else that he sniffs from time to time.....I know that I had a bear in the forest and I know we have wolves and lynx.... I live in the countryside so I have to expect these things, and I respect them too, but..... what could take them and leave no trace of attack? Apart from a two legged predator?

    I've checked that the chicken isn't nesting somewhere (she started laying about three weeks ago and sometimes doesn't lay in the nest box.... there is a lot of ground to cover so maybe I'll see her next month with her brood.

    But seriously guys..... any idea how these animals can disappear without so much as a trace?
     
  2. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe you should try using a game camera. It will take a picture of what getting into your yard. Sounds like maybe a bear to me. You also might want to think about getting some electric fencing. Good luck.
     
  3. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the bear taking the boards off the coop. I know of a neighbor who had the plywood ripped off his coop by a bear, so they can destroy anything we can build! All of my losses have come during the day, and I have dealt with fox, bobcat and raccoons. Sometimes I have an explosion of feathers, other times there is no evidence except a missing bird. I have 2 game cameras set up. One takes pictures every 10 seconds, all day long, and the other is set to take pics when triggerd by motion. I also set up an electric net fence around my free range area. This will keep out any but the most persistent predator. Like you are finding out, the hardest part is not knowing what is getting your birds. Hope you figure it out - when you do, let us know.
     
  4. Grum P Oldamn

    Grum P Oldamn Out Of The Brooder

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    Well last night was the final straw.....two nearly full grown geese taken, and quickly too....they were grabbed and dragged out of the goat compound, one of them clearly dragged through the pallet gate, which judging by the number of feathers lying around was a very tight squeeze.

    I sleep in a front room facing the open fields, with my window open so that I can hear strange noises at night. (I live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, situated just kilometres away from the Estonian and Russian borders - a fantastic lifestyle.) I was just falling asleep when I heard squeals, by the time I was up and out with the dog (about 2 minutes) and I had got to the compound allI could find were a few feathers, five rather nonchelant goats and no geese.

    Barney, my dog, had disappeared off into the gloom, obviously trailing a scent trail, this morning I will be harnessing him and go look for the culprit, or at least the direction that it had taken. I intend to remove the predator from the equation, permanently.

    Guys, thanks for your replies, I am liivng a subsistence lifestyle (by choice. and succesfully), my income is lose to zero, so I am unable to purchase 'fancy' equipment, my priority is no longer identifying the predator but the eradication of such (and a slow painful death for it would be preferable. - just my anger at the situation speaking not my intention.) So, I am going to have to change my daily routine and start to stake out at night ready to take out this unwanted invader.

    So, fingers crossed that this issue is dealt with quickly so that I can return to my priorities of food production and supply.
     
  5. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for your losses. Let us know how the hunting expedition goes!
     
  6. Grum P Oldamn

    Grum P Oldamn Out Of The Brooder

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    My untrained rescue dog never ceases to amaze me, he has tracked down and pointed to escaped rabbit kits, shown me where the free ranging goats are, he is totally at ease with my entire range of livestock, and today he took me tracking through the long grass to where I have found a pile of goose feathers and on towards what I think may be the lair, although I did turn back, as much as I want to track the lair, I had more pressing things to do.... Anyway, I now know the direct that the fox/predator is coming from, so this afternoon I have positioned the van, set up four snares and I will spend the evening in the back of the van ready to take out the first predator I find entering my field of vision..... cruel but necessary.
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Good luck. I don't view flock protection as cruel.
     
  8. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can I borrow your dog? I have had a number of fox attacks and can't determine where they are coming from - the feather trails go off in a different direction each time!
     
  9. Grum P Oldamn

    Grum P Oldamn Out Of The Brooder

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    I would love to bro.....but that would leave me out here, in the middle of nowhere, all alone..... and I don't have an envelope big enough :)

    he's my buddy, and has been after I found him dumped, 4 yrs ago in -16 C weather.....however, if I find a girl for him and they have pups I will gladly send one :)
     
  10. Grum P Oldamn

    Grum P Oldamn Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, no neither do I.... already lost too many to this animal....but there are those out there that think otherwise......

    Looking forward to returning to normal duties....haven't done night sight patrols since 1987! LOL
     

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