large turkey tom carcass found outside of pen -- so upsetting!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickenannie, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    I've had zero predators for over 2 years! What could possibly have killed and dragged a 12-pound turkey tom under a tiny 3-inch gap in the fence???

    I thought maybe a hawk, or owl had gotten him because there's a big mass of feathers, but then the trail leads to a place where the bird was dragged under the fence, about 3-4 inches big. And I cannot figure out how any animal could have gotten such a huge sized turkey? The only wildlife I've ever seen around here are skunks and groundhogs and medium size barncats. The carcass was not even eaten much... the head was gone and part of the breast meat.

    Unless a small critter (a skunk?) snuck up the ladder when they were sleeping? I heard the birds shrieking late last night and ran out with my flashlight, and I just saw the mess of feathers, but couldn't do anything about it till morning.

    I was so upset about it... and worried about my 22 other turkeys living in the same pasture. I can't possible put a cover on their pasture -- it's too big -- and they would absolutely hate to be locked up inside the barn.
     
  2. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    coon or fox could.
     
  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    I've never seen a raccoon here in 5 years, but I guess it's possible they're around.
     
  4. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    then i'd say fox,,,, with a hole that small.
     
  5. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

    428
    0
    139
    Apr 15, 2008
    I am so sorry for you. We lost four grown turkeys a few weeks ago to what we believe was a fox. Very upsetting. We only have one adult left, and 11 poults. What we plan on doing is enclosing a lean-to that is on teh barn with hardware cloth. That will be their "night-pen" so far, we aren't dealing with daytime predators in our yard anyway (the turkeys that were killed were killed in an adjacent field where they weren't supposed to go, and it was mid-day) For the daytime pasture, since they keep hopping the five foot fence, we plan on running a couple of strands of electric fence wire, (but not electrifying it) in rows above the fence, making the total height about 7 feet. This will (we hope) prevent them from perching on the fence rail and leaping over, which has been their method of escape. Also going to be running a hotwire along the outside perimeter of the fence about a foot off the ground-and hope that will discourage foxes. Losing those turkeys was a big financial and emotioanl blow- they were so big we made the mistake of thinking they were not vulnerable. On that same note, we lost a full-grown goose to a great horned owl because of that same line of thinking. Now, everybody gets locked up at night, no matter HOW big they are!
     
  6. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    ya,,, birds are dumb at night,,,, im surprised they got yours during the day tho,,,thats 1 brave fox. ,, at night it really dont matter about size,, them idiot birds ( i lost 5 guineas 20 foot up a tree 1 night to CATS) will let something eat em alive,, and the bird sitting next to it, will sit and wait till its their turn. [​IMG]
     
  7. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    We put our turkeys away at night From the time we put them outside we put them into a house at nightI put alittle food and water in the house and they run right in. Where we live nothing is safe at night. If you get them into a routine they will gladly go inside. Its better dthan the alternative.
     
  8. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

    592
    7
    151
    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    Sounds like a raccoon to me. I had coons drag big fat chickens through VERY small openings...even pulled one's head through a chain link and bit it off. [​IMG]

    They almost always bite heads off. Now I have small hardware cloth fencing around the bottom 2 feet of my chicken run and across the windows in the chicken house.
     
  9. SewingDiva

    SewingDiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Hi Jim - just curious - how would a fox do it? I know they dig like other canines, but could they actually get through a space that small? I don't know much about thier habits, but we do see them (and their tracks) once in a while, and once winter sets in I want to be sure our chickens are safe.

    ~Phyllis
     
  10. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    a fox is like a cat,, if their whiskers can fit,, they can fit. you'd be surprised how small of hole they can squeeze through,,, and if they need to take it away to eat,, they are even more determined!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by