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headless puzzle

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Romeacresfarm1, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. Romeacresfarm1

    Romeacresfarm1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, we have multiple high fenced barnyard/pastures as we used to have deer (still have some elk) but the one behind our house and barn is full of ducks, turkeys, chickens and guineas. Some are roosted on high posts, some are on buildings within the yard, some are on the ground but there are a few hundred out there. My question is, once in a while, we find a headless guinea, they are usually half grown ones then last night, one of my baby turkeys who was supposed to be in another enclosure with avian netting over the top but it was found OUTSIDE the fence but still within the high fence. It must have slipped out as it was a small one who could possibly have gotten out the gate but whatever got it had to have been sitting up on one of the high posts to have gotten it where it was found at the back as the guineas are usually near the front by the house and roosting on one of the grow out pens but still within the high fence.
    Any ideas???
    Thanks,
    Kimber
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Many predators eat the head first as the brain is rich in nutrients. This is a very common practice of the Great Horned Owl.
     
  3. slipshift

    slipshift Out Of The Brooder

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    Sourlandis right, Great Horned Owl. Game cameras are cheap nowdays and not only will it take a picture but will record the time of the event.[​IMG]

    Jim
     
  4. microchick

    microchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some hawks will take only the head and sometimes the breast meat out of birds, leaving the rest of the carcas behind.

    I had this happen with a bird feeded I once had. I was finding beheaded birds all over the yard most with the head and breast meat missing. I had no idea what was causing the carnage until a neighbor across the street informed me that she was looking out her front door and saw a sharp shinned hawk swoop down upon my feeder and carry off a bird. Mystery solved

    Unfortunately most areas protect birds of prey. Your best bet is to cover your run and keep your birds confined. A game camera will catch the culprit in action but short of calling in conservation officials to help you if it is a bird of prey, because you yourself cannot harm a feather on the little murderer's head.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I mess with GHO's almost every night. Several anti-owl options used. Most birds simply penned at night and kept clear of pen sides. In my setting I have lots of heavy vegetation on ground which even adult birds will roost in to avoid owls (this seems to work only in pasture type settings. Also dogs work but that option is very expensive.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have had spates where owl control measures came up short. Usually that associated with juvenile birds that all of a sudden started roosting up in exposed locations. The headless condition of kills was standard. Victims flushed frost and dispatched on ground by talons to neck and bites to base of head. Anything weighing more than 1.5 lbs usually consumed on ground. Larger kills visited over two or three night until reduced enough for owl to fly with. I now leave kills out to give more time for getting other birds covered.


    Kill below made by adult with one or juveniles helping to consume in first night. It was an American Dominique pullet weighing about 3 lbs.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. bigmomma85

    bigmomma85 Out Of The Brooder

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    Large f1 savannah cat make short work of an owl. motion sensor water sprayer good option too. Owls hate be wet. Bright blinding lights, and a good dog. Owl tough get rid of. shiny hat on chicken sometimes work, owl think is eye of other owl. Try many things.
     
  8. Romeacresfarm1

    Romeacresfarm1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hawk was spotted on high tree across the field over looking the west pasture. Do they hunt at night also?
     
  9. bigmomma85

    bigmomma85 Out Of The Brooder

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    If you notice tree owl choose to hunt from, find best climber in neighborhood and send him to tree to hang bells. As many bells as you afford. If you have lots of tall trees on perimeter of property, hang bells as high as you can from as many as you can. You want bells that ring very easy. Your chicken hear, your chicken run. Yes owl hunt mostly at nighg, but will during day to feed chicks, or if food is just too easy to pass up. English is not my first language, so I hope I help enough for you to understand. I see some people in Germany use spiked hen saddles with really sharp spikes to keep owl off back.
     
  10. Romeacresfarm1

    Romeacresfarm1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    a LOT of trees surrounds entire property and also 12' - 15' poles for high fences so predators have a lot of high points but we can certainly put the bells on the high points that directly over looks our main pens. Thanks for the suggestion.
     

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