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Owl killed my goose

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wamtazlady, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was surprised to see a huge owl out in the back yard today, sitting in the snow. He was just sitting on the ground in the snow. When I went out to scare him away I could see the remains of my African goose. I didn't know an owl would take on such a large bird. The hawks and eagles never bothered my birds. Now I have to worry about owls. The geese are being kept in a pen surrounded by electric poultry netting. Their house is just 3 sided filled with straw to give them a place to sleep out of the wind. Never expected they would fall prey to an owl. Can't build another shelter now as it's just too cold. Will have to build in the spring if I have any geese left. Will call Fish and Wildlife to find out if owls are protected animals.
     
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, this one was mostly brown. It was also HUGE. Will have to look up owls and see if I can figure out what kind it is.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    Great horned? Or Grey Owl, maybe - they come down from Canada in the winter.
     
  5. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From the pictures I looked at and from what I remember, it appears it was a Great Horned Owl. It was large, mostly brown with the big ear tufts. I read a Great Horned Owl will go after prey that is larger than it is and the African goose was pretty big.

    I would have thought the owl would have eaten its fill and gone back into the woods to spend the day. I've lived here 11 years and never seen or heard an owl before. Where I used to live in WA I would hear the neighborhood owl at night.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  6. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The owl will be back, so you need to protect your other geese. A farm near me lost 60 pekins ducks to an owl in 6 days. He'd kill a duck, take the head back to its young, and do that 10 times a night. The farm had to move all their pekins into a barn to keep them safe. Can you add a run to your shelter using panel fencing? The panels come in 4x16 lengths. You can build 4 sides and a roof pretty quickly.
     
  7. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I figured he'd be back. He was back this afternoon to eat more of the one he killed. I thought of removing that one but figured he wouldn't kill another one until he'd run out of food. It's below 0 outside, too cold for me to spend more than a few minutes outside. I was able to persuade 2 of the geese to go into the screened in porch. We're going to have friends over tomorrow and am hoping they will help me get the other 2 into the screened porch. Then I'll remove the dead goose. Am hoping if I keep them locked up for a few weeks the owl will go somewhere else to find food. I'd hate to have to keep them on the porch for the rest of the winter. It's going to be a real mess out there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  8. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you get the geese in to safety? Hopefully keeping them in for a few weeks will persuade the owl to move on to better hunting grounds. What about the shed / coop in your avatar picture? Can the geese go in with the chickens?
     
  9. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Two are safe. The others will be safe tomorrow as I have friends coming over who will help with the other geese. I figure the owl won't kill another goose as long as it can feed on the one it did kill. The screen porch is 18 feet by 15 feet, which is a good size for the geese to spend a couple weeks. People who have lived around here for 50 years don't remember ever having problems with an owl killing poultry. Hoping the owl is just passing through while on migration.
     

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