I knew the day would come--help IDing a predator please

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by miss_thenorth, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    This morning at 6:30, I found a dead duck. Out of all my animals, she was the only one killed. Her breast had been eaten, and she had bite marks on her tail and back of one wing. There was a feather trail of about 15-20 feet, starting with little pin feathers, leading to the spot where the duck was found. Around that spot, some bigger feathers wer found. asI said, most of her breast was eaten. There were no flies on the carcass at all, so I am assuming it happened probably minutes before I awoke. ( I spotted her outside my bedroom window). I didn't check to see if she was still warm though.

    All my chickens free range, as do my ducks. But she was the only one taken. And please I don't need to hear I anything along the lines of--you shouldn't be free ranging blah balh. I knew the risks, and in four years this is the only time. What I am looking for is help identifying the predator, so I know how to take care of it.

    Predators known to be in our area are--racoon, oppossum, great horned owl, coyote and fox. There are mink and weasel also, but I know it wasn't one of them, as from what I am told, they chew off the head and suck the blood, and kill many animals as they can.

    Any ideas? I'm sort of leaning to raccoon, but not sure. I bought a large size live trap. But need to know what to bait it with.

    Any insight appreciated.

  2. ShortCircuitRanch2332

    ShortCircuitRanch2332 Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    Oak Hills
    I have to go with great horned owl or raccoon mink and weasel will kill all they can, coyotes will take there kill.
    raccoon will eat the head/breast area as will a Great Horned Owl so sorry for your loss
  3. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I had suspected maybe an owl too, but the marks on her back were bites, --not claw marks. I had to put down a cat once after an owl attack, so I know what the marks looked like. Although it would make sense as in theyare silent, so that the dogs would not have heard it. So that is why I am leaning to raccoon also. But I wasn't sure of their killing/eating style. so, they kill one at a time, and will eat the breast? that's good to know.
  4. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    Could be any predator in the area. The problem is you have been found and they will be back for more. You need to do something or they will wipe you out. Maybe a secure coop to lock down in at night or a electric fence perimeter to stop non-flying critter entry. If it was a owl, raven or hawk, you're not gonna stop it but a couple brushpiles to hide in may help. If you don't have a rooster, you might get one as they are good skywatchers and their warning might give the hens a chance to hide.
  5. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    thanks. I am aware I need to do something, which is the whole reason for this post. [​IMG] I can lock them up in their coop, but I just haven't bothered, since we have been here four years, and not one incident. they will be locked up at night until we catch teh thing. And I have two roosters. I did go out an buy a live trap, which I willl set up tonight. Hubby is on night shift, and I doubt I will get much sleep, so my dear friend Ruger and i will be spending some quality time together tonight. But insight as to what it might be will help me identify their habits, so I know how best to handle this situation. I know my sil just dealt with a mink, lost a whack of her silkies. The mink came back three days later. It is now in Mink heaven. She had also lost her geese to coyotes. due to her experiences, I know I am not dealing with either of those two predators.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  6. smoper

    smoper Hatching

    Jun 15, 2011
    To me it sounds like a dog.Most other animals would not have left it behind-all you would find is feathers;nothing; or if it was a weasel/mink just the head with surgical precision.Dog owners teach their dogs "play"behavior,like with a stuffed animal/toy;they rip it apart then get bored and move on.-------4 years huh?...any new people in the 'hood with dogs?
  7. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    We do hasve newish neighbours ( 6 months) just up the road. they have a boxer who is scared of her own shadow, and an old dog that can barely walk. Both dogs are kept in at night. My experience with dogs though, is they will kill bu not eat. Hmmm...

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