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Lost a Goose last night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cgmccary, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. cgmccary

    cgmccary Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    I rarely lose something to a predator because I have two dogs out and they do a great job. I also have a Donkey (intact Jack). I lost my white Guinea last month, but she always ventured in the woods (off the property where the dogs can't go) & stood out like a sore thumb. I have lost another Guinea to an owl out in the trees (but considering there's about 30 of them roosting in the trees, I guess losing one isn't so bad). Last night, I was up late watching a ball game and both dogs had come in; I fell asleep, both dogs stayed in until about 4:30 a.m. (first time both were in during the night). Everything was locked up tight except the 8 geese but they sleep up next to the house or in the barn closest to the house. This morning a goose was missing. I searched everywhere, took me awhile and I found four piles of feathers on the hill in the woods about 100 yards away. Whatever took the goose carried it up the hill in dense woods and ate it completely. I found one bone in the pile of feathers and it was completely cleaned of meat. I couldn't even discern what the bone was. I found no feet, no wing (I had found only feet, a wing of my white Guinea, a few bones -- and its bones were cleaned). It was peculiar because the four piles of goose feathers were distinct and piles close together (maybe 15 feet apart). In one pile were all wing feathers (like it had pulled them out first) and then other feathers in the other three neat piles all about equal amount of feathers. Whatever carried it up the hill did not drag it but carried it (no sign of drag on the ground -- in the woods would have been easy to see). All the other 7 geese were not touched, no wounds.

    Oh, and my donkey, I had isolated him on the other side because he was being aggressive to my cows. Whatever the predator, it approached on the side without the donkey. [Today, I got rid of the intact Jack and instead, got a Jenny who was with cows so she is out roaming both sides & dogs are back out. The dogs have been real active running to that side of the pasture and up in those woods barking and chasing something. It would take a predator with wits & courage to come up so close to the house, where dogs are almost always out, a spot light on out there and it take a full grown Toulouse goose (the 8 geese always stay right together so would have all been right there & one stays awake and keeps watch).

    I am guessing a COYOTE. Does this kill sound like its M.O.? I looked for tracks but its been dry here and I couldn't find any. One thing, I found in one pile of feathers what looked like just eaten grass (I am guessing it was in the goose (do they have crops? it looked like out of a crop).

    Also worthy of mention, I have those NiteGuard lights facing all four directions & well placed where a predator coming from the forest can't miss seeing them. Whatever came up, ignored the blinking things (now we know they don't work -- I always credited the dogs anyway) -- for what it is worth.

  2. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Definitely a coyote. At our lake, we lost a gander who went off by himself and a few days later, he was gone. It was just like you described, several different feather piles, wing feathers, chest and belly feathers all in a different section. They consumed the entire carcass in one night. I'm guessing a small pack or family of coyotes. There were no tracks there, either and another pair of geese have lived in that very spot, off and on, for about a year with no problem.

    There were plenty of lights around there, too. In my case, the big mystery is what that gander was over there at all, especially since he was bonded to another gander and they never left each other's side. And, that gander never, ever went over to where he was when the coyotes got him. He had been acting strange for the last month or two before that, as well. The other gander is still at their hangout without a friend now.

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