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Great-horned Owl Fun in 2015

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by centrarchid, May 12, 2015.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Two young-of-year GHO's have taken to coming onto property early each night for the last week. Tonight they perched on powerline in front of house with two chickens roosting on motorcycle about 125 feet away. One of the dogs hid somewhere outside before bolting at owls flushing them off. I do not think the young birds are hunting much yet but their parents are certainly doing so. I will have to figure out how to get the owls to do their business elsewhere since a lot of young chickens will be going out in the next couple of weeks and they will be vulnerable to owls unless dogs right on top of them.
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2012
    I use to have a 20 foot tall multi-floral rose bush that had some canes as big around as my wrist. It grew up around and was supported by a scrub oak tree and my young pullets loved to roost in both the rose bush and the oak tree because its thorn studded, mushroom shaped canopy provided a measure of protection from predator attacks. From the ground no predator, not even a coon would brave those wickedly sharp thorns. When I started missing pullets I checked this roosting place and found a mummify pullet laying in a crotch of this multi-floral rose bush. Closer examination revealed one large hole in this pullets neck so the killer could only have been a GHO who killed the pullet but couldn't pull her out of the thorns or else the pullet was just beyond the GHO's effective reach. My friend Victor relocated the GHO and everything was honkey-dory.

    Multi-Floral rose bushes make good chicken escape cover but depending on where you live it may be illegal to plant one because they are classified as an invasive species in some areas. I think that Missouri is one such area.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have several multifloral roses about and in the process of eradicating them to make room for the similar sized native roses. They do not get more than 10 feet or so tall around here but do provide good daytime cover. Every effort will be made so owls can not see the chickens on the roost without getting below them first. Then dogs can stop owls.
     
  4. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    E Washington
    I have lost a few birds to GHOs in the past year. Had one the other night "casin' the joint"

    Had a hawk that tried to swoop down on a bird yesterday but thankfully it was a flighty one that got away...me hollering like a turpentined cat didn't hurt.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2012
    Yeahee..... a turpentined cat, LOL I like the imagery. Which do you prefer.... a white cob or a red one?
     
  6. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2014
    E Washington
    [​IMG]
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    We are going to be vewy vewy quite, we a messing with owls. My buddies have started going after chickens and got lucky killing a couple young dominiques. They could not get away with carcasses, just heads and necks. As caught and put the more exposed birds in a cage within a cage the chickens made a ruckus like they would if attacked. Owl came in within 60 seconds and it was not even dark yet. I flushed it and it left and came back three times in 15 minutes. I intend to have some fun with this. My GoPro is charging and I figured out how to link it with my new tablet.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    No nightshot mode on GoPro Hero 3+ Silver.

    Will have to use camcorder tomorrow night. I left one chicken carcass for owl to work on tonight. It was tied so owl cannot simply pack it off. Tomorrow night I will swap out remains so owl has more to work on in front of camcorder.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Owl took carcass left out for it last night. It clearly had to deal with binder twine to do it. It stayed as sun even with me looking at it up in tree. I was able to flush but we both now it will be back tonight. Another GHO was in crag to east where sun was coming up. I could see a planet directly behind it. I have four GHO's running about. Need some way to record sounds but they stopped once youngsters get their fill. I think adults are the one actually working the yard.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    16,649
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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Owl came back at 1959 (7:59 PM). It landed in tree about 50 yards south of cockyard and stayed there for about 15 minutes before dog activity pushed it off. I think I got a recording of the chickens giving their very particular alarm call for owl. Then I set up camcorder and GoPro. GoPro setup so owl will nearly step on it while manipulating chicken carcass tied to pen. Camcorder is recording a larger area encompassing the GoPro while in nightshot mode. Camera will run for just under two hours before exhausting batteries.

    I am operating in single parent mode to two small children making all this very difficult. Also had to deal with chicken loss issue near house caused by dog(s). Not confident my pup did it.
     

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