Night Attack

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by deserthotwings, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. deserthotwings

    deserthotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2011
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    Last night between 11:00pm and 6am we lost 2 mallard ducks and 3 chickens, 2 silkies and a large white cochan. The cochan was plum gone but had a lot of feathers pulled. The other birds were only decapitated with the heads missing. We have a large, over an acre, with a 6 foot block wall all the way around. There are tracks, dog or coyote about 4 foot off the ground going up the wall and a couple of white feathers on top of the wall. Nothing but desert behind us and I have never seen a stray dog. We have a pair of resident Great Horned Owls that I'm sure accounted for the headless birds but does it seem likely that a coyote and Owl would both attack the same night and would the large owl be capable of carrying off the big hen.
     
  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very sorry for your losses. You'd think a 6' high wall would be enough to keep predators out. If you have access to a trail camera, I would set it up. Most likely whatever is was will be back. Do you have a coop you can lock the birds in overnight?
     
  3. deserthotwings

    deserthotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I will try a trail camera and see what happens. I keep the birds locked up almost everynight but let the ducks stay out last night and payed the price. I've had trouble with the owls before but this is a first for the coyotes. I wouldn't have believed they would make it over a six foot wall either if I hadn't have seen their paw prints on the inside of the wall.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Some coyotes will resort to decapitating as a means to immobilize victims it can catch in mass. Doing so gives it more time to move catch to another location with prey scattering. Owls also decapitate more regularly but usually one victim per visit.
     
  5. deserthotwings

    deserthotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the responses. One thing that puzzles me is when you butcher a chicken or bird there is a substantial amount of bleeding. These birds that were decapitated did not bleed. Was it because they were already killed before the head was removed.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    When I have lost birds to owls for certain, the amount of bleeding usually minimal. Chicken killed before consumption begins. This differs from situation with hawks where consumption can begin on a still struggling victim. Still very little blood. Chicken blood, like bird blood in general clots very quickly.
     
  7. chickenboy190

    chickenboy190 Overrun With Chickens

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    It may have been a raccoon. This summer I lost 3 ducks to a coon. This coon would eat some of it and then leave it. And there were also feathers. Sorry for your losses.
     

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