Owls - threat to turkeys?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by stephienoodle, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. stephienoodle

    stephienoodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2013
    near Charlottesville, VA
    I've got 4 adult Narragansett turkeys that are pretty ticked right now. They are shut in the chicken coop because I witnessed an owl flying off after killing one of the guineas who usually sleeps on top of the coop with the turkeys. Two other guineas are missing and a third went missing about a week ago. I'm not certain what type of owl this was (I'm in Virginia and I'd guess it was similar to the size of a turkey), but do I have to be concerned that it will harm or kill one of the turkeys? I have no problem being the mean human who locks guineas and the stubborn Amerucana in the coop at night, but I know the turkeys are really uncomfortable in there.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I'm guessing that you are dealing with a Great Horned Owl, and if hungry enough they will take on a turkey.
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    An owl picked up my MIL's poodle and flew off with it, then dropped it (it didn't make it). So they will even lift a small dog. And my MIL was standing outside with her dog! I am not sure about turkeys but they are very strong to carry a dog.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Great horned owls like many raptors will kill and eat at the site of the kill. Unless prey is quite small they do not fly off with it. They will even cache half eaten prey and return for it later. Yes, they have been known to kill cats and small dogs, and skunks are on their list of favorite prey.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Interesting - there's a video 'streaming' showing GHO attempting to take over a bald eagle nest site. I once saw the converse - a pair of redtails trying to take over a GHO nest. While checking some fox snares I bumped a male GHO out of a cedar tree that he was hiding in. Shortly thereafter I heard a redtail scream. I looked up and saw a pair of redtails dive into a GHO nest. Hawks and owl came tumbling to the ground and all flew away as I approached. I'm guessing they got brave when the male GHO was flushed away by me.
     
  6. stephienoodle

    stephienoodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2013
    near Charlottesville, VA
    One of the two missing guineas returned, but we found many feathers under nearby trees... matching the other missing guinea. I called the state game department and they said I can harass the owl(s) as long as I don't hurt them. We're working on "Operation Owl Annoyance" and shutting everyone in at night.
     

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