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racoons or what?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ironjerry, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. ironjerry

    ironjerry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2007
    medina, ohio
    This morning 3 guineas, 1 turkey 6 weeks old dead inside a 2'x4' cage made of 1/2''x1'' welded wire left outside overnight. All bodies inside cage with head off but inside cage. Some feathers outside cage. I am thinking birds panicked at one end and coon or whatever grabbed through the wire. 3 turkeys and 1 guinea still alive and intact. Any ideas?
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I'm so sorry about your losses. It certainly sounds like a coon. I've also heard that cats can do the same thing but I'd bet on the coon.

    I'd immediately put hardware cloth around the entire cage to protect the rest of your birds.
     
  3. Salve&Fluffer

    Salve&Fluffer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2008
    I do not know what attacked your birds,but the same thing happened to us. Our Black Silky Bantam,Peap,was eaten by something, and we only found her head and feathers.[​IMG] I am sorry about the loss of your birds.
     
  4. ironjerry

    ironjerry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2007
    medina, ohio
    I am going to put the survivors in the big pen. I had my wolf dog chained out in the back yard until last week and never had a critter problem before. I guess I should put the dog out there again cause I'm sure whatever it was will come back.
     
  5. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2008
    The heads were pulled through 1/2 inch x 1 inch wire ???

    How is that even possible?
    Do you think something tunneled in?
    Or is the wire larger on the top?

    Try to leave the rest in a closed dog house or some solid wooden structure that would be their coop ...overnight. Try not to leave them loose in the run.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Coon or weasel.

    You're going to need 1/2" welded hardware cloth.
    A great investment, just apply it over your existing wire.
     
  7. mickschicks

    mickschicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Hi [​IMG] I am new to this message board and found it only today. I signed up and sent a message but not sure it was sent right. Anyway this morn when going out to let the chickens out, we found one had been attacked:( ( the door had not been secured last night), signs of struggle evident in the small yard around their coup - one hen dead - her head was gone. What kind of predator takes only the head?

    Thanks for any help you can offer,
    Mickschicks
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Welcome, mickschicks, sorry about your girl. The question is really: What kills and takes the head of only one hen when others are also available? Could be the predator was distracted (got nervous and took off). Maybe a young raccoon, then again, maybe not. Get a live trap and set it up at some distance from the coop/run. Most raccoons and `poss' prefer the easy meal.

    Good luck and lock the coop (it'll be back, they always come back...).
     
  9. mickschicks

    mickschicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Thanks Ivan3, you are right - what takes out one and does not go back for more - would a coon though only take the head? 2 years ago our turkey babies(size of small cats) were attacked (in the same pen area but the door was shut and the predator(s) pulled a wing off one and pulled one small turk through the fence and took only the head. SAD [​IMG] Live trap - yes I will try that!

    Again thanks for the info and hope your day is great!
    Mickschicks:D
     
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    mickschicks, yes, a raccoon will sometimes take the head. I was guessing young/inexperieced? Guessing at your location as well (what preds common to your area), but the description of the previous attack seems coon related.

    It is often difficult to know what did the deed as pred's foraging behavior is often not what/when it is `expected' to be like, adapting behavior to fit the environment, i.e., hanging out at the human provided buffet.

    You have a nice(r) day too!
    Good luck getting whatever it is!!
     

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