What killed my Guniea fowl?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Tricorn, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Tricorn

    Tricorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Need help figuring out exactly how one of our guineas died and what to do to protect the rest of them and the chickens.

    Scenario:

    Today was the first time we've had no one on the farm in months. We let the Cornish roos out to range as well as our 7 turkeys. Kept the layers in. Left around 12, came back at 2. We found part of one of the guineas about 10 feet away from the barn, the rest of it was inside the stall the Cornish sleep in. There's little to no chance I missed seeing it the morning. The remains were dry enough that I thought I had indeed missed it, but they were in full sun. The parts in the stall were very wet. It was eaten completely, all that was left was a leg attached to a few organs (Outside), the heart/part of a rib cage (Outside) tips of both wings and a heap of feathers. (Inside) Meat was all stripped off the bones. We did find one of the barn cats with the head, but they are very small cats and it's not possible it was them. More likely they found it in the stall.

    The weird thing is, everything free ranged together in one big flock. Never more then 20 feet from each other. The guineas are also way faster, way meaner and way better fliers then the chickens or turkeys. What would take down the hardest this to kill and leave everything else intact?? The rest of the flock does seem a little restless, hanging out by the barn but not going too far.

    We do have a dog who was out at the time (Labrador), but she has never once killed anything. She has cornered guineas before, which is why I suspected her enough to giver her a through once over, but there's no signs of blood, feathers or anything on her. Then again I've never seen a dog kill anything, so I don't know how messy they get. Right now she's sitting on the porch watching the remaining ones eat without showing interest, so now I kind of doubt it was her.

    I have NO CLUE what happened here, and am very freaked out. Should I put up traps? A camera? I have no way to keep the broilers contained so they're going to continue to free range, but I would like to keep them safe!

    ETA: What a nasty day, just checked on the sick turkey and she looks like she's on her last legs...
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I am guessing you have multiple eaters at work. I am not sure who did the initial kill, but it is rare to have a carcass stripped down so efficiently and so quickly. I am thinking that several animals must have dined on the carcass once the bird had been dispatched.

    Sorry for your loss.
     
  3. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    sorry about your loss, but i dont think that the 20 feet away from each other is true because all my chickens usually free range at the top of the feild all day and only one stays down near the sheds which also wasnt her best idea because a predetor got her because she stayed there
     
  4. chisNchickens

    chisNchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2011
    Your other birds could have picked at the remains. My chickens will take chicken away from my dogs if I'm not out there to shoo them away. They also LOVE to eat deer meat...will flock around a set of ribs and pick them clean.
     
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I`m thinking maybe a fox or 2. Musta got the guinea cornered in the pen and drug it out where it had help eating. Foxes usually carry away what they catch, but maybe a couple spring foxes that aren`t very big, but hungry? Just a guess. Like you said, guines fly well, but they would more often run from a dog/fox than fly, thus sealing their doom. My lab pup plays with my guineas and when he gets too close, they do fly, but guineas that aren`t used to such sport will only run. Hope ya figure it out. One thing`s for sure, in 2-3 days, when the meal is digested, whatever it was will be back.......Pop
     
  6. Tricorn

    Tricorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Something was back today. I had the donkey and mean old gelding in the pasture with the birds though. Didn't see anything, but heard something scream. Sounded like a dog that got stepped on, but I know next to nothing about what different predetors sound like. Hopefully my two stompers will keep whatever it is away for now. I have a skunk sized trap in the attic, is it worth dragging it out or should I go get something bigger?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  7. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Yup, something bigger. TSC has a "bobcat" sized trap that will catch a dog, or coyote sized animal for about $60-70. I`ve had one of similar size for years and it`s worth it`s weight in gold.If you still have the remains of the first kill, that would make excelent bait, but as you say, your stompers may solve the problem..........Pop
     
  8. Strikefalcon

    Strikefalcon Out Of The Brooder

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    I saw a coyote sneak in grab a hen and walk away while the 5 other layers and 2 Guina fowl with her barely moved 5 feet before returning to scratch. So don't trust the guinias to be watchdogs. Just my experiance.
     

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