My guineas are being killed by something!

kritkorner

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2015
5
1
42
I've lost 3 guineas in the past week, and the problem is escalating. I see feathers, but my husband has already found bodies lacking heads. My hens are shut up at night in their houses. The peacocks nest on the barn roof. The guineas go to relatively low walls between stalls. Something is picking them off, one by one. I have alpacas roaming about freely too, so whatever it is , is gutsy or quiet. This is happening inside fences, so I don't think it could be dogs or foxes. I have seen opossums on a number of occasions, but never a raccoon or owl.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,200
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I have rarely seen owls myself but that doesn't mean that the owls have never laid eyes on me. That is the good thing about trail cameras, they never sleep, and keep watch 24/7.

It sounds like you may have a weak mammal predator like a coon, or else a small member of the weasel family killing your guineas. By weak I mean kill and dine or snack in place instead of kill and scoot or kill and carry the victim away.
 
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hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,941
426
Southern Indiana
Any bird that is not locked into a coop at night, will not survive. Eventually something will take them. Raccoons, I know, will climb to rooftops to snatch birds. Not sure about weasels.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,385
17,757
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Great-horned Owl very often does as you describe. Tie one of the carcasses down. Then periodically go out with bright light and shine carcass from a distance. Even if predator not seen you can get additional information by looking at how subsequent consumption proceeds. If owl, then invest in making so it cannot approach roosting birds. All sorts of methods can be used for that and not all require actually penning up the guinnea fowl.
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,941
426
Southern Indiana
When the OP said the guineas are sitting on "low walls between stalls" , I assumed that to mean about 5 ft tall. (I could be wrong)
How do you keep birds safe when they are sitting on a 5 ft perch outside at night? Or even a 9ft tall wall from an owl or otherwise?
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,385
17,757
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Five foot and certainly nine foot wall would stop most head-eaters I know of. Owl will have to be blocked not only from approach in flight and from flushing victims from perch. That may require to quineas to roost in location guineas do not prefer. If roost could be obstructed from owl's view, then some sort of compromise possible.
 

Beer can

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Aug 12, 2014
9,661
17,975
781
Upstate NY
If there is decapitated bodies more than likely a weasel, voracious little beasts. Yrs ago dad had one wipe out almost his entire flock, just popped the heads off. He finally got it with a big rat trap baited with chicken gizzard.
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,941
426
Southern Indiana
Five foot and certainly nine foot wall would stop most head-eaters I know of. Owl will have to be blocked not only from approach in flight and from flushing victims from perch. That may require to quineas to roost in location guineas do not prefer. If roost could be obstructed from owl's view, then some sort of compromise possible.

My first experience with raccoons was watching two of them walk across a 2x4, that was 9ft overhead in my barn, to reach my chickens on the other side, so that was my concern.
Then they hung from the 9ft tall loft, upside down and tore the wire away from the wood to gain entrance into the chickens .
 
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