Mystery Predator... Strange (and graphic)!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by happyhens120, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. happyhens120

    happyhens120 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2011
    Central PA
    Hi! I've got rather odd situation on my hands... one that I can't quite figure out. We've dealt with predators before... foxes, raccoons, hawks, etc. This is beyond my knowledge on predators and need some help. My hens get locked up every night, but I have two guineas that free range. They aren't allowed in the chicken run because they are mean to my hens and we have them for tick control in our yard. (We live at the base of a mountain.) Our run is completely enclosed to protect from predators and we've been living here for nearly two years without an incident.

    Saturday morning I let the girls out and found one of my guineas dead on the top of the chicken run. It's head was gone and guts removed. I assumed it was a raccoon because of past experience at our old house. It was near the middle of the coop netting so I couldn't reach it and left it for the hubby to help me get. Needless to say, we forgot it. The next day (Sunday morning) it was gone. No signs of attempted entry into the run or coop, just a missing guinea. Monday morning the carcass was back. I was completely dumbfounded. The carcass was stripped except for feathers. It was back in the exact same location that it disappeared from. This morning (Tuesday) it was gone again.

    I cannot wrap my brain around what is going on here. The fact that the body was there, gone, reappeared in the same location, and then gone again has me really freaked out. We put a live trap out Saturday evening and something was scratching at it enough to set off the trap but no predator. I have a hamburger patty and can of tuna in the trap. We set up a trail cam tonight to see if we can get a picture or video. Can anyone give me some ideas of what is going on??
     
  2. Poticus

    Poticus Just Hatched

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    Jun 9, 2016
    Louisiana
    Hmmm....that is weird. An owl maybe?
     
  3. happyhens120

    happyhens120 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2011
    Central PA
    Wow, I had never thought of that. I Googled it and there is a video that shows a great horned owl eating a chicken and it's description is very much like mine. The head and neck are eaten, which this website says is common for an owl. http://www.avianaquamiser.com/posts/What_killed_my_chicken__63__/

    I still don't get why it would bring it back and take it again, but this is my closest bet. I guess I'd rather deal with an owl since all my other birds are locked up or in the barn and it seems like an owl won't get them there. Yikes... scary! Thanks so much for the suggestion!!
     

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