Flock of turkeys dead overnight....?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Barniejana, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Barniejana

    Barniejana New Egg

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    Hi I am new here, very frustrated right now........ looking for some ideas, experiences of others?

    We had 16 turkeys in a large pen that is chain link fenced, has a top mesh (strong nylon) , all the sides have wire buried into the ground, weighted down with heavy posts inside and rocks outside. This pen is inside our fence that goes all around the property also chain link.

    Last night everybody was good, today I came to feed the birds and they were ALL lying down on their sides, first I thought they were sleeping it was fairly early, 6 am, but when I came closer I realized they are all dead!

    There were no torn, partially eaten, headless or other wise hurt birds, just as if they fell asleep and died! I started exploring, found a spot of blood and a few feathers in one corner went to check the fence there and found a hole, something dug into the pen from within the property (had to cross, fly, crawl over(?) the outside fence) went in did whatever and left. No feathers outside, no blood, no clues I I can find.

    When I was loading the birds onto a buggy I noticed one with a little wound on its back not big just scraped skin and two had blood under their wings but no bites or deeper scratches from a cat like animal or a coyote or?

    My first thought was poison, food manufacturer was changed but that was week and half ago, we also have pheasants and meat chickens, they were fine (in different pens) any idea/theory would be helpful.
    I am thinking could something crawl in scare the birds so they would have a heart attack? If at least a few survived I would not wonder but all of them is a little bit too strange.
    We have never had problems with birds, you loose a few that is understandable we have coyotes, cougars, bobcats, hawks, owls you name it but this was something small like a small dog (judging by the hole) and it just disappeared into thin air......

    Normally we have dogs here but my husband took them camping, they are due tomorrow, so hopefully he can find more once he takes some feather off (he is the one doing all the butchering) but any thought will be greatly appreciated .

    Thank you very much

    Jana
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    The one with some blood - sounds like weasel or mink, if you have those in your area. Very odd about the others - if you find no wounds at all on them. Is your house close enough to them where you would have heard an attack going on? I'm wondering if dogs or other predators charged & panicked them from outside the fence - that may be able to bring on heart attacks.

    Are any neighbors unhappy about your flock? Possible poisoning. I'm really stymied on this and wonder what other responders can come up with. Sorry for your loss.
     
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. I'm really sorry for your losses. I know how much it hurts to lose part or all of a flock. The description of the condition of your turkeys (all dead with some wounds but no partially eaten or headless birds and a hole dug under the fence) definitely sounds like the work of a dog. It likely grabbed the turkeys and shook them to death, leaving very little external damage. Before you get more birds, you need to extend a hardware cloth skirt (at least partially buried) a couple of feet out from the outer perimeter of your pen. This should keep any more predators from digging into it. Also, if your fencing is chicken wire, I would cover it with hardware cloth as there are a number of predators that can tear through chicken wire or pass through the openings in the mesh. Hardware cloth has saved many poultry owners a lot of tears. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in replacing your turkeys.
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us! I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. My first thought was also mink, or something similar. There are articles in the Learning Center, under "Maintaining a Healthy Flock" about the different chicken predators and their method of kill. I hope you can find out what did this.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Oh, I am so so sorry. [​IMG] That is just awful. I hope you can solve this mystery soon. I am so sorry.
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! So sorry about the loss of your flock. You might also want to post in the Predator forum for help with figuring out what you are dealing with https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/13/predators-and-pests if you can take pictures of how the the birds were found and their injuries etc that might help
     
  7. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Sorry for your losses!
     
  8. Barniejana

    Barniejana New Egg

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    Thank you all for your replies and suggestions!! They HAD bite marks on their necks hidden in the feathers that is why I could not see anything.

    We have to add weasel to all the predators that roam the land, we just never had one before, and of course you don't see them. I thought they just kill maybe a couple but 16 give me a break, must have been extremely greedy or hungry one. We thought about trapping it but then what, can't kill the poor guy it won't return the turkeys so we will have to improve the fence I guess.

    Thanks again and have a great day:)

    Jana
     
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Weasels, minks, some other preds will eat some or drink some blood and just slaughter the rest because they can. Your predator is NOT some poor little guy feeding a large family. He needs to have a very short expiration date. He didn't kill them all because he was starving - he just wanted to - I feel worse for the poor turkeys. If you don't kill him he will be back and find other ways to get to your replacements or other birds.

    If you relocate him he will be back. Also it is no kindness to dump him where some other unsuspecting chicken owner will suffer the same plight. If you want to see how little, poor and defenseless weasels or minks are - try to pick one up. Sorry but, I'm on the side of the good guys vulnerable turkeys, or chickens or ducks, You never hear about poultry killing off the predators..
     
  10. Barniejana

    Barniejana New Egg

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    Well my husband is on the war path. He is ready to kill him, I would kill something only if I catch them red handed harming my animals ....

    Will see what happens in a few days, we gather once he/they found a source of easy food they will be back.

    Cheers
    Jana
     

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