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identify a predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by vergeL, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. vergeL

    vergeL Just Hatched

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    Apr 15, 2017
    Oxford Maine
    I had an incident that has me baffled. In my coop I house almost 30 chickens which include two roosters, plus a Tom turkey (royal palm) 4 turkey hens, 2 being a royal palm the other two are bigger Bourbon Reds. I know for a fact that a fox has gone after my chickens when they free range but has not succeeded in catching one, but all the chickens I have lost were attacked by neighbors dogs. Other than that I know there are other predators out there, bobcats, mink, fisher cats...the usual that I haven't seen or seem to not have any issues with yet.

    what has baffled me is that I had my Royal Palm turkeys in the coop (I just got them and they are not used to free ranging yet) while the chickens were out free ranging and I left for an hour. when I came back all my chickens were in the coop and up on their high perches all safe but my grown Royal Palm turkey hen was laying on the ground badly beaten up. She didn't make it as I think she had internal injuries, I think something dug under the coop and dug into the chicken run attached to it (I have since fixed that issue). I do have a chicken door open from the chicken run into the chicken coop. What predator would pass over all the chickens and go for a grown turkey? would the fox be bold enough to do that? Or am I possibly now looking at something else coming around? any ideas of what to look for would be helpful. unfortunately when this happened me and my family had been sick for a few days so I wasn't on top of letting my two dogs patrol the area to keep the predators at bay.

    The turkey was laying on the ground with her legs straight out behind her unable to get up. her beak had a break in it and I didn't see any bite marks but one whole side of her the feathers had been plucked out.
     
  2. angel4tlbl

    angel4tlbl New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2017
    Hillsborough, NJ
    This could've been a fox. Two of my beloved ducks and hens were stolen from me just leaving a mess of feathers. You mentioned that you thought something had dug under the coop, and a fox is very capable of doing that. My advice is to only let your birds out when you are watching, set a Havahart box trap FAR away from your animals with very smelly food like tuna, canned fruit, or a somewhat rotting leg bone. And be sure to check up on them every hour or so.
     
  3. vergeL

    vergeL Just Hatched

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    Apr 15, 2017
    Oxford Maine
    I have an update on this. We have now found out that we have several dogs that are the culprits. yesterday I didn't see it happen but they ran through my flock and grabbed my two roosters and ran off (we were able to piece together the information after the fact). thought at first that more had been taken but by nightfall all had returned except one rooster. very happy that one neighbor rescued one of the roosters but the other was killed. They chased the fox through my yard as well and looks like they are chasing the local deer and I am suspecting that they have killed some deer. So will be following up with this and trying to identify who owns these dogs.
     

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