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What's killing my quail?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Campine, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Campine

    Campine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The facts:
    1)The flight cage seems intact with the biggest holes being the chicken wire.
    2) The bobwhites have been doing great for months with no problem.
    3) Last week we had about a foot of snow, the quail have been more nervous than usual.
    4) Today I found a dead quail missing the head but the body mostly intact. I picked up the pallet that's in the cage and found 5 more, only one was pretty tore up, but most have their heads removed. The ones under the pallet could have happened over the past few days.
    5) I found a small hole in the ground under the big hollow log. It was the size of a mouse hole. Couldn't find any other evidence of animals.
    6) This is southern Indiana.

    Ever heard of shrews killing bobwhite quail? The only other guess would be a very, very small weasel.
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like raccoons to me. They'll reach through the smallest opening and grab whatever they can grab. They love to eat heads off, but they'll chew up just about anything.

    Sorry about your losses. That stinks. :(
     
  3. red golden

    red golden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could also be a large rat or mink. We have what we call wolf rats here in the south ( the one on charlotte's web ) . Sounds like you need some wire on the ground to keep out pests.
     
  4. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rats.
     
  5. Pineapple

    Pineapple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 5, 2013
    I don't know much about quail predators in general, but I know a lot about rats. They're very, very, smart, and will eat anything (that's part of their success), including quail. If a rat's whiskers can fit through a space, its whole body can. That means most wild rats can fit through chicken wire, believe it or not!
     
  6. Campine

    Campine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The cage is pretty tight, wire goes into the ground. The dead quail were not at the edge of the cage so it isn't raccoons reaching in.Went out this morning and no dead quail but I left a dead one in a live trap and it was moved to under the pallet and the trap wasn't sprung. I've never seen a rat around, but I guess that's a logical suspect. Can't wait to kill what ever it is, I love my little friends.
     
  7. red golden

    red golden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What kind of trap are you using and the size is it.
     
  8. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I loose few quails to a possum. My suggest use the remain quail body parts with the live animal trap. You can get whatever it is in a few days. It hard to know the predictor until you catch it. Good luck!
     
  9. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another tips... block all access in the back of the trap to force the predictor enter from front of the trap. They are very smart and could use their claws to grab the food from the back or side without enter the trap.
     
  10. abluechipstock

    abluechipstock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    fort ashby, wv
    i've had rats do the exact samething, raccoons will pull their heads off through the fence but this is typical rat behavior
     

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