Two legged predators!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Rosalind, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    [​IMG] Today, I got home, and someone had let my turkeys out of their pen.

    They have a very serious latch on the door that requires human thumbs to open and close. There were no scratches on the pen, although it is framed with wood. None of the wire mesh was even pushed out of shape, let alone torn. Their waterer, food dishes, were all strewn about as if there had been a big dust-up.

    Now, because these are big heritage-breed turkeys, they can fly decently well, and because they are penned every afternoon, the ones that had flown out were all hanging around in a big bunch with the toms standing guard and the hens in the middle. From the tracks in the snow, it looks like they wandered around the backyard and the garden, did not go far. Yesterday they didn't want to go out in the snow at all--they didn't even come down from their perches to eat very long before hopping back up, they don't like the snow and there's still plenty on the ground. So not only did someone unlatch the door after DH went to work in the afternoon, they must have had a heck of a job trying to get them out of the pen. I got home at 5:30, at least they weren't out for long.

    All of them are present and accounted for. I didn't socialize them at all and they really hate humans. Anyone who tries to handle them gets boxed. Last weekend I got a black eye from one who was standing next to the food dish when I re-filled it. If anyone was fool enough to try to grab one bare-handed, I know they got a heck of a surprise. Both the girls and the toms are MEAN.

    I'm putting a sturdy wire loop on the door tonight, and after this weekend when the culls go to freezer camp, I will move the others into one of the barn rooms that has a lock. DH will keep an eye out and ask the neighbors if they saw anything; our nearest neighbors are retired and spend most of their days watching the backyard birds, so hopefully they were around today to notice. If it happens again, I guess we can file a police report for trespassing or something, but it just makes me furious. This neighborhood has never had any problems like that!

    And of course this was the one week that I have to keep my livestock guardian indoors to mind the other dog, who is sick and unable to help him guard in this weather.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I'm just venting. I know you guys will understand.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Can you imagine some idiot saying to himself "I know where there are some turkeys at some farm. Hey how about I go grab one for dinner? No big deal. They won't miss one. They have lots." I'd love to have seen the look of horror on the idiot's face when confronted by several angry and irritated Toms once the door was opened. I'll bet the guy is still running. [​IMG]

    Seriously, I am glad everyone's OK. Time for a padlock.
  3. Ibicella

    Ibicella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    Most likely some bleeding heart wanting to "free" the birds, or maybe a punk kid wandering where he shouldn't. Hope your turkeys gave them a good thumping that they won't forget!
  4. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    If there are Turkey tracks in the snow, shouldn't there also be human footprints? You didn't mention any. If there were I'd take pictures of them and file a report now.

    I padlock my coop every night after I had 3 chicks "disappear" without a trace (no damage to the pen, no blood, feathers or evidence of killing, latches either still latched or re-latched, no predators subsequently caught in live trap) but my chickens still free range in the daytime. Much harder to catch free chickens than caged ones, IMO.
  5. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    As far as I know, that would be my biggest danger to my flock.....a 2 legged. I'm not much of a turkey person, having had nothing but bad luck with them myself, but I can't fault anyone for raising them. They grow real fast and make a great meat bird. I thought I had a 2 legged preditor going to my coop a few days ago and I gasped. I had just turned on the light to lock them up and make the silly araucanas go in the roost and I saw a really big man.......turned out to be my son, going in to save me the trouble. [​IMG] But it did make me aware of my one weak area. I person would know how to unlatch the doors. I have to think on that one.
  6. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Somebody probably thought that they could fill their freezer. I had a similar incident. I came home to an open pen, loose chickens and an injured pullet. I think they tried to catch her by the legs and hurt her. She didn't recover and passed away. At least they had the misfortune of opening the pen with the big, protective JG roo. I'm sure they got a lovely flogging for making one of the girls scream. I'm glad none of your turkeys were lost or injured.
  7. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Thugs: 0 Turkeys: 1 [​IMG]
  8. lighthawk

    lighthawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    Just something else I need to integrate into my coop design. Padlocks for the coop and run. Seems as econimic times get worse the 2 legged predator will become more of a concern. Better be prepared. Thanks for the heads up. [​IMG]
  9. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    lighthawk.......I really think a lot of us feel exactly the same way.
  10. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    Quote:I looked for some in vain, but all they had to do was walk along the paths in the snow that DH and the dogs and I already made. [​IMG] There's two paths from the front yard to the backyard that loop around to the coop (one of which goes right by their outdoor pen), one from the back door to the pen, one from the front yard to the back door. If there were any tracks right around the pen, they were muddied up by me and DH rounding up the birds and herding them back in.

    DH made a better fastener w/ a lock this morning. If someone had a wire snips, they could cut the wire, but apparently the predator didn't bring one of those--they were all safely in their pen today.

    *sigh* This neighborhood is normally SO safe. The kind of place you leave your doors unlocked, you know? The only time anyone ever stole from us here has always been shady contractors of some sort who were working in the area and decided to "borrow" our stuff: cans of wood sealant and paintbrushes, freshly-planted rosebushes, occasionally a shovel. Once in a great while we get a bunch of bratty teenagers playing mailbox baseball. This sucks!

    You guys are the best. I knew you'd understand.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009

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