Interesting Owl Problem

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by centrarchid, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Most of my birds are free range. Most of those retreat to roost that are relatively owl resistant. About ten birds have still insisted on roosring in trees which are not owl resistant. Great horned owls are coming in at about midnight each night causing all sorts of fun with those ten birds. They are knocking the chickens out of tree but not actually taking any once they are on ground. Normally owls will take chickens once they are on ground. I think my dog is stopping owls from finishing job or owls are treating activity like "tipping cows". I am also sleeping under stars once fun starts to drive owls off and place wayward chickens in desired roost locations. Owls are helping with that process since chickens will not return to same location once disturbed at night. Only losses were a couple weeks ago and that was a very small bird.
     
  2. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well hopefully they'll learn without another loss. cow tipping.....haven't heard that in a while!
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:I do not have a good idea of how great horned owls think but this time of year food is easy to come by and defining territories seems to be increasingly important. My owls do not appear to have produced young for 2011 season either. Maybe they will play with potential food if they are not actually hungry?
     
  4. mrpekinduck

    mrpekinduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Ducky Land!
    That's really weird good luck protecting your hens!
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    GAME GOT MORE INTERESTING LAST NIGHT



    Over last few nights many of my birds that will not move into constructed roost were being disturbed and could be found walking on ground shortly after midnight. Great Horned Owl(s) I think are culprits pushing birds from trees. This morning I went out and found following feather pile about 100 feet from remote roost a couple of the "lost birds" were roosting on, not in as intended. Apparently owl caught and killed one this time. Juvenile lost was about 2 pounds, just light enough for a Great Horned Owl to pack off.

    [​IMG]


    Upon closer inspection I could see evidence of when juveniles was killed. Look near center of larger feather clump.

    [​IMG]



    It is the contents of the juveniles crop. Particilates that can be made out are dominated by scrath grains. Based on overall mass of contents, juvenile was killed well before dawn, otherwise mass would be much smaller or nonexistant.
    [​IMG]

    Tonight I will make certain everyone is nest inside of rather than on top of roost. Something that aggrevated situation is that Scoob (dog) or I did not wakeup to engage predator. We went on a 10 mile walk yesterday afternoon wearing both of use out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  6. mrpekinduck

    mrpekinduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Ducky Land!
    Oh I'm so sorry for your loss hope you dont have anymore losses I'll keep my fingers crossed [​IMG]
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Losses are part of the business. Objective is to keep losses minimal. Chickens need to take better advantage of resources provided or I need to find a better way to get them to do so. Bird lost repeatedly failed to use roost provided for reasons I do not understand.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Great Horned Owl back about 0415 this morning. No loss but a pullet was squawling in distress causing Scoob to go under roost location and do a lot of standing on his hind legs trying to see what was going on. I am unable to see damage on pullet from below other than some feather loss. I think since she was under tarp owl could not get a good purchase with talons, or something is wrong wih owl. It has caught very few birds (one) for all the disturbance it has created.
     

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