predator identification

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by keithil53, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. keithil53

    keithil53 Member

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    I had 2 Muscovy ducks killed and only the head eaten.Any ideas?
     
  2. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

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    It's a secret

  3. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Owl. Can't remember which kind, great horned maybe. The male rips out something in the throat and presents it to the female as part of courtship. Shelter your ducks at night.
     
  4. backwoods

    backwoods Well-Known Member

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    A weasel type creature called a Martin bit the heads off 45 of the neighbor's chickens and killed between 5-8 a night. This kind live in Piney woods. Some of those it killed were left "stacked" like cord wood. It bit the heads off everyone of them, and left the rest of the carcus untouched. Their son saw it licking the blood up as a chicken bled out, but didn't have a gun at the time. One thing is for sure, it WILL be back. They finally caught it in a trap, and haven't lost another chicken. Good luck! Hope ya get rid of 'em!
    backwoods
     
  5. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) The list of critters who just love ducky hors d' oeuvres is about endless.

    Just protect your birds at night and don't worry about it then. Easy to do, but a hard lesson to learn.

    LQ
     
  6. smokie

    smokie Well-Known Member

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    weasle or mink, try to catch it. most likely it will be back. your lucky thats all they killed, they like to kill for fun. just two i am leaning more tward a weasle.
     
  7. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    I vote owl, especially if the body cavity has been eaten without other damage to the body.
     
  8. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Possibly a skunk. If it is, there will be evidence (smell) and usually they hang out somewhere close like a dugout under the coop somewhere.
    An owl is also a good possibility.
     
  9. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Not a strong possibility, but were they against a fence? If so, something (unidentified) probably enticed them to stick their heads through, then grabbed them. If not, see above.
     
  10. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    Descriptions from the Wildlife Damage Handbook are graphic (if you have access to the book you get the color photos). Text does give you give you the gory details on how identify damage from predators (also tells you what to do about it).

    This is what it said about a couple of guesses:

    Weasels and Mink (under Carnivores & Other) have similar feeding behaviors, killing prey by biting through the skull, upper neck, or jugular vein (Cahalane 1961). When they raid poultry houses at night, they often kill many birds, eating only the heads of victims.

    Owls (listed under Birds). Unlike mammalian predators, raptors usually kill only one bird per day. Raptor kills usually have bloody puncture wounds in the back and breast. Owls often remove the head. Raptors generally pluck birds, leaving piles of feathers. Plucked feathers with small amounts of tissue clinging...

    http://wildlifedamage.unl.edu/handbook/handbook/allPDF/dam_id.pdf

    This is a .pdf file and it must be pretty big - I had to wait a bit.