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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    Everyone recall the man hanging himself in a room with nothing but a puddle of water under him puzzle? Well I have one that I need serious help on.

    I'll try to leave out the fluff, but if you are interested in greater detail, let me know.

    Last night I put 3 young turkeys with a mass of a bit larger than a softball, weighing just over a pound, in a rabbit style cage. This cage has a consistent, unflawed grid of 1/2" x 1" squares, Cage itself measures 18”x36”. Cage door is a pressure latch that might possibly be opened by an animal, but definitely could not be re-latched.

    This cage is sitting right next to a chicken coupe that is fully enclosed and has 18 full-grown chickens in it. The coupe wire is 2" squares, but the bottom is not secure, meaning something as large as a small dog could squeeze under. There are also 6 full-grown barnyard ducks roaming free that appear unperturbed.

    Something killed all 3 turkeys, inside the cage, and did not bother the chickens. 1 turkey was simply eviscerated, another completely cleaned and only the carcass left in the cage, the 3rd completely removed. Outside the cage there is not one feather indicating which side of the cage the bird was even pulled through or where it was taken.

    This is the second set of 3 in as many nights I have lost. At $7.00 a pullet, I’m a little concerned. I don’t think a fox would have the reach necessary to do the damage done, a bobcat might, but the cage was not moved one inch. You would think that kind of carnage would cause the cage to be displaced.

    Ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
    Posts
    406

    Post

    I would wonder about a weasel or a mink. Probably could slide right in through the grates. Are any of the corners or edges at all loose? You could sprinkle flour underneath to try and get tracks the next time, but birds that little are pretty vulnerable. If that is really where you want to keep them, you could try wrapping the cage in hardware cloth.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,887

    Post

    Common animals that eat my chickens here in Nebraska:

    Most likely:
    Skunks
    Possums

    Less likely:
    Racoons
    Foxes
    Coyotes

    So far the possums have been the biggest problem. They will just take a bite out of a full grown chicken or eat the head and leave the rest. Somtimes they will eat some of the guts. Sometimes they leave them alive with parts of them missing.

    Probably whatever it is prefers the smaller turkeys to the more intimadating, larger chickens etc.

    The flour sounds like an idea, or wet the ground well enough that they will leave tracks in the mud. A live trap is useful for these situations. I seldom use a leg hold trap because I don't want to catch my chickes or my dog in it. If it catch them in the box trap I can always let them out.

    As to how they would get in the cage etc. I can only say that I have seen racoons open a zipper on a tent, undo the latch on a cooler and other complex tasks you would not think they could. Possums are just as smart and quite dextrous.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Sad

    Had forgotten about the potential of a weasal. They couldn't get their body through the grates on the rabiit cage, but their reach is certainly long enough.

    I do infact have some screen steel window screen mesh. I think I will wrap it around the cage this evening and sprinkle talc or some other powder around the cage to get an idea. Of course if it gets through, I'm out 3 more turkeys.

    Due to their size relative to a full grown chicken or duck, that makes sense too. I couldn't figure out why a fox or bobcat would bypass a chicken, which is actually easier to get to, to take the turkey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    Yes Michael, but did said Raccoon close the cooler exit the tent and zip it back up? Cage was still closed. I hope it's not a skunk etc, because of course that adds honey to the menu list.

    I don't have a cage handy or I may try and trap; for now I'm going to attempt to get a track and decide what to do from there.

    Live and learn; we had instituted a moratorium on hunting when we moved to the farm, but out of necessity, that may have to be lifted.

    Deer are nice, but they eat all my pumpkins.
    A Fox is neat, but he tends to like Pig feed which isn't cheap.
    Now a {weasel?} seems to have a penchant for turkeys in 3’s, which definitely is hitting me in the checkbook!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,887

    Post

    >Yes Michael, but did said Raccoon close the cooler exit the tent and zip it back up?

    I never notices. I was too busy cursing the raccoon for eating all of my deer jerky ahta was closed up in the cooler.

    >Cage was still closed. I hope it's not a skunk etc, because of course that adds honey to the menu list.

    I never had a problem with skunks eating honey. Eating bees, yes.

    >I don't have a cage handy or I may try and trap; for now I'm going to attempt to get a track and decide what to do from there.

    At least it's a starting place.

    >Live and learn; we had instituted a moratorium on hunting when we moved to the farm, but out of necessity, that may have to be lifted.

    If you have livestock, defending them is part of the unwritten "contract" you have with them.

    >Deer are nice, but they eat all my pumpkins.
    A Fox is neat, but he tends to like Pig feed which isn't cheap.

    I always figure everything is nice in moderation.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I used to raise game birds, pheasant, quail, chickens, and turkeys, of all types.

    I used the rabbit (1" x 2") wire on my main house. I would find birds missing their heads on a regular basis.

    What was happening was that the animal was grabing the bird and the only part that would come through the wire was the head. Unfortunatly it takes a lot of heads to make a meal.

    If your animal was eating the bird inside the cage it would get too fat to get out.

    In the suburb where we were living at the time there were only a few possibilities, the most likely was racoon, then opossum, and skunk.

    I trapped all three on a regular basis, gawd I hate trapping a skunk. I would lay the corps in the street and call the city to come and retrieve their animal

    The best way for me to protect the birds was to let my Norwegian Elkhounds roam the exterior of the birdhouse. Except I would loose sleep, I'd have to go out and take the remains from them or knock the opossum off the fence so the dogs could play with it.

    I agree with MB, make a contract, "If you eat my pumpkins, I'll make jerky out of you.", however, I'm not big on opossum jerky...
    Bill

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Post

    A cat!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,887

    Post

    I have lost baby chicks to cats, but once they get very big the cats seem to leave them alone. Maybe a very large cat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Lightbulb

    how about a large snake like a rat snake or a blue racer both feed on birds.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    mn, wi, tx
    Posts
    174

    Post

    Martians have a penchant for 1# turkeys in a cage. They simply beam them out.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571

    Post

    my guess would be weasel.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Wink

    Could be the rock tree bandit>>>>>Mark

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    ended up being a grey fox. I moved the turks to the back porch, on a table. Yesterday morning early I was looking out the back window when the fox came by the back of the house, nose to ground, followed the scent right up the steps and paced around the cage. Hadn't expected that so I did not have a gun, by time I did, he was gone. His front legs are longer than I had thought.

    I'll get him.

    Thanks for all the replies

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    97

    Question

    Bullseye: Do you happen to breed Norwegians? We used to have one, great dog! My grandfather has mentioned getting another one, (snakes are getting bad again). Not sure how serious he is about getting one, but would like to have a number ready in case I can talk him into it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    The best thing any of us can do is adopt a retired showdog.

    In the last twenty four years I have had seven mature dogs and one litter or eight pups. I learned a lot about proper breeding and who it should be left up to. Even though the pups we raised were gentle and loving pets, none of them had show qualities.

    The dog I have now is a rescued show dog, a finished champion. People who show dogs will retire a dog after they win all that they can. All these dogs are well trained and obediant and make great companions. That could be a problem, as they are very used to being with their human and constantly groomed and trained.

    Go to the Norwegian web ring and there is a link there that will help you find show people that are looking for adopting parents.

    Bill

  17. #17

    Cool

    la chupa cobru!!! {spelled wrong} moved north from Mexico.. goat sucker

  18. #18

    Post

    Foxes killed forty-one of our hens in one night. In fact, we've lost close to 200 hens to the foxes. We've been trapping (leg hold traps -- use the coil spring type and make a dirt set [I can tell you how we do that if you want]) and that seems to have partly taken care of the problem. So has closing them up at night in their greenhouse-type shelter.

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