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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Bad predator problem

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Dave H (MI)

06-11-2014 08:06:31
50.105.88.162



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Something is killing our turkeys. We have raised Narragansett turkeys for the last 10-12 years and heavy geese for decades. Never much of a problem. Geese can take care of themselves and the turkeys roost on an elevated A-frame with two levels, one about 4 feet up and the other close to 8 feet high. We have two toms that sit on the ground. Started about three weeks back when a hen brooding 7 chicks was attacked in the night. Killed the hen, all the chicks missing. About a week ago a hen was attacked on her perch at night but we heard it and rescued her. Never saw the attacker. This morning a hen was found dead on the lawn. Since they roost high my first thought is a raccoon, but this hen (based on the feather trail) was chased back and forth over a two acre enclosure until she was finally caught. Was eaten right out in the open. Head and neck gone and internals eaten out of body. Intestines piled on ground near body. Most of the breast area eaten also. Does this sound like a coon to you all? Seems like it went to a lot of effort to catch her and we don't generally have trouble with them attacking the larger birds. I am putting out the usual Coke/fly bait cocktail for the next few nights and will continue until I kill everything in the area. If it turns out to be a coyote, fox or feral dog will these take the bait also or do I need to put out something else?

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KEH

06-11-2014 14:45:28
67.231.175.190



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  

Friend has been losing chickens and ducks to grey fox, which he has seen. He set out live trap with no results, was told to set trap with fox scent on it to cover human scent. Scent can be bought from sporting goods store. Put trap in plastic bag, cover with leaves, make the plastic into a tunnel leading to the entrance to the trap.

He thinks the fox comes about 4AM. I'm going to suggest he install flood lights to shoot by, and sit up with brother 12 gauge.

KEH

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teddy52food

06-11-2014 20:46:20
184.94.175.179



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to KEH, 06-11-2014 14:45:28  
You sure have a lot to learn about trapping foxes.



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J.Wondergem

06-12-2014 16:47:30
70.210.65.197



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to teddy52food, 06-11-2014 20:46:20  

To add to what was said about setting the trap for fox, roll a tarp out so you keep your scent off the ground up to the trap. When you're done setting it, roll it back up and take it with you.



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KEH

06-12-2014 05:03:02
67.231.175.190



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to teddy52food, 06-11-2014 20:46:20  

Enlighten me and I'll pass it on to my friend with the problem.

KEH



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teddy52food

06-12-2014 07:55:12
184.94.175.179



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to KEH, 06-12-2014 05:03:02  
Never put a scent on a trap, the fox will dig it up. Keep the trap clean so there are no smells on it. Wear gloves. Cover the trap with sifted dirt using a pan cover not a bag over the whole trap and or leaves. Google dirt hole set & find out how to place the bait and trap.



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KEH

06-12-2014 16:15:44
67.231.175.190



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to teddy52food, 06-12-2014 07:55:12  

Thanks, I'll pass it on.

KEH



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Dave H (MI)

06-11-2014 14:53:27
50.105.88.162



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to KEH, 06-11-2014 14:45:28  
I gotta tell you, I must have been out like a light to sleep thru a turkey being killed right under my open bedroom window. I hope to heck it is not a fox because the only way to stop it is to leave the Labradorks out all night, or at least our female, and she can be overzealous in her alarm barks. Fireflies, a coyote howling five miles away, siren on the freeway two miles away...

Slept thru that bit last night, though. Whatever it was it killed it 100 feet from a sleeping dog and right under my nose.

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El Toro

06-11-2014 10:53:25
96.244.7.206



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
We had that problem when we were on the farm. Something was catching the chickens. I set a trap and caught a coon. A 22 took care of that.
Hal



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Spook

06-11-2014 10:42:29
68.34.158.98



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
I had a similar problem a couple of years ago. I lost about 20 full grown chickens, including some 10 to 12 lb Black Marans. It started off losing 1 every few days, then escalated. One morning, I heard the crows start screaming, I looked out, and a fox was on top of my rooster. I ran out and shot at him, but I missed. I ended up shooting at him 4 times, never hit him. The attacks ended after one of my boxers chased the fox out of the yard. She ran into a fence, cutting her nose. She missed the fox by inches. I think a bullet whizzing by the fox"s head is a abstraction. A big, fast dog with big teeth is endcoded in the fox"s dna as something to avoid. I"ve seen a fox in my front yard, but haven"t had a fox attack since. The birds killed were missing the heads, and sometimes the heart and liver eaten out. I am north of Howell.

Btw, I came to rely on the crows. When I heard them go nuts, I knew the fox was around. I could listen and track the fox by listening to the crows.

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Dave H (MI)

06-11-2014 13:55:11
50.105.88.162



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Spook, 06-11-2014 10:42:29  
Yeah...I am real worried about that being the problem. Our farm is just a few miles SE of your place, but the birds live at the house in Brighton. We have been seeing fox out during the day in Howell but nothing around here. They are here, just don't see them. Fox would definitely be something that could run down the hen. She's gonna be back on her perch tonight...what's left of her...with a four set of leg hold traps hidden underneath. The rest of the turkeys are locked up in the game pens. Geese are in with the goats. Probably not much to worry about there.

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bison

06-11-2014 14:33:48
69.168.144.134



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 13:55:11  
Chupacabra on the loose ;)



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Rick Kr

06-11-2014 10:23:42
198.208.251.24



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
Dave,
I had a mink that was able to take down a full grown male Muscovy duck. Not quite as big as a normal goose, but they are a stout bird. They can be fairly mean too, if you have more than one drake.

We he got into my 10 week old chickens, he killed 10 in one night, just ate the crop out of the neck.

We he got the Muscovy, he ate the neck but also most of the breast meat and some of the intestines. When I saw the tracks I couldnt believe it was a mink, didnt think they were that aggressive to go after a full size duck. But caught him on the trail cam and seen him live.

I have never had a problem yet with raccoon or 'possums. Just mink, owls and hawks.

I have seen one pine marten in all my years of hunting and it was north of Grayling. Not sure there are a lot of fisher around either. Probably no martens or fishers in the southern lower.

Rick

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Dave H (MI)

06-11-2014 13:49:33
50.105.88.162



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Rick Kr, 06-11-2014 10:23:42  
I used to have a lot of Muscovies here but the drakes were beating the k-rap out of everything on the place. Coons take the hens. Nothing yet has taken a drake off the place.



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Rick Kr

06-11-2014 19:58:54
198.105.227.115



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 13:49:33  
I agree with you. That"s why I got the Muscovies, supposed to be one tough duck. But the mink got two of them.

I always would take the meanest drake and put him in the smoker. Stuff the cavity with an orange and put raspberry jelly on the breasts. Came out pretty good for a big ole" bird. Dang, I am making myself hungry.

Rick



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cb in wisc

06-11-2014 10:04:20
140.146.214.218



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
Had the same problems with chickens, eat the head, neck and entrails, and leave the carcass. Found the culprit one early morning, turned out it was a possum. Took care of the possum and no more problems.



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Dave H (MI)

06-11-2014 13:48:12
50.105.88.162



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to cb in wisc, 06-11-2014 10:04:20  
Have to be one heckuva fast possum. Hen turkey can outrun a girl point guard...seen it.



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ryaninks

06-11-2014 09:22:35
174.79.111.200



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
Got any badgers in your area?



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Dave H (MI)

06-11-2014 13:46:51
50.105.88.162



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to ryaninks, 06-11-2014 09:22:35  
No, thank heavens. :)



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fergienewbee

06-11-2014 09:09:10
99.181.129.176



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
I'll side on a dog. Mink and weasels usually just bite the head/neck area. Doubt weasel could move a turkey hen and mink would be a struggle. I don't believe these two could eat that much at one sitting. JMO.

Larry



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prawn farmer

06-11-2014 08:42:12
69.160.179.223



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
We had that problem and turned out to be mink and weasels. The mink weren't big enough to cart off the entire ducks they killed so just ate until full. They were havoc on our prawn population, too. Some live traps will tell the tale the first night.



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Pale RIder

06-11-2014 17:29:51
50.106.22.232



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to prawn farmer, 06-11-2014 08:42:12  
Prawn,

I was curious as to what you decided with regards to a tractor rifle.



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Dave H (MI)

06-11-2014 09:09:12
50.105.88.162



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to prawn farmer, 06-11-2014 08:42:12  
There are no marten or fisher in this area. We do have mink but the are rare and they stick to the bottom land. These birds are housed on land that is just a few hundred feet shy of being the highest spot in SE Michigan. It's possible but not sure on that one. Weasels around here are really small. Small enough that a turkey might actually eat the weasel. Never saw one big enough to kill a 20+ pound turkey but, even if it could, it couldn't eat the quantity of meat this critter ate last night. Weasels are here on occasion but never had trouble with one. Thinking this is something bigger.

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glennster

06-11-2014 09:39:11
162.204.229.223



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 09:09:12  
bobcat would be another thought.



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prawn farmer

06-11-2014 10:36:06
69.160.179.223



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to glennster, 06-11-2014 09:39:11  
Yeah - they seem to be on the rise everywhere. The weasels/minks went for the heads mostly.



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macec3(TX)

06-11-2014 08:37:14
66.171.1.10



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
I agree with Billy NY. A game camera picture will also show what time the predator is coming to you place. May give you an edge by letting you know what time to be expecting the varmit.



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glennster

06-11-2014 08:22:20
162.204.229.223



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
could either be a weasel, mink, marten or fisher cat. coon would eat all the insides and most all the critter.



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oldtanker

06-11-2014 08:31:44
66.228.255.183



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to glennster, 06-11-2014 08:22:20  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Gotta agree, sounds most like a weasel to me.

Rick



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glennster

06-11-2014 08:31:08
162.204.229.223



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to glennster, 06-11-2014 08:22:20  
a bridger 120 bodygrip trap would get em .



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Billy NY

06-11-2014 08:20:36
66.67.105.23



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
I'd get a game cam set up, knowing what you are dealing with will certainly help. It sounds out of the ordinary, with no clues, any tracks, signs, fur or anything, sometimes you have to look real close. Racoons and Coyotes will leave scat nearby, I find it when they are around here, + you will likely hear coyotes at some point, they will howl. I'd opt for some kind of camera set up, valuable information. Won't hurt to keep the bait out as long as your pets or wanted critters don't get to it.

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Dave H (MI)

06-11-2014 09:12:34
50.105.88.162



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Billy NY, 06-11-2014 08:20:36  
I have one. Left it set up for over a week in various areas. Only pictures I got were of turkeys. They like the shiny lens and stand in front of it all day. No night time photos yet but still trying. The other thing is that larger predators like coyote and fox are really tough to catch on the trailcam. Either they move faster than the shutter or there is another problem. I have had a camera at the farm for 3 years. Lots of deer, lots of coyote tracks...only pictures of deer. Spooky how they don't get snapped. Only two pics of coyote/fox in three years.

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Billy NY

06-11-2014 10:37:01
66.67.105.23



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 09:12:34  
That is odd, I'd really want some surveillance information, if I have nothing else to go on, tracks, scat or whatever else. There has to be something out there for this, hopefully not expensive, given those kind of losses, something definitely has knowledge of and will continue targeting prey. On Sunday morning, I fired one round just over the top of a coyote, made a loud crack when it it a small diameter tree behind it, I've heard no howling since, next time it won't fare so well, course I don't have any livestock, but the neighbors do have small dogs.

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Jeffcat

06-11-2014 08:19:44
173.72.116.197



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
Go to a gun show and pick up a pair of night vision goggles. The Russian ones are cheap enough and with a little practice you can use them to shoot through. DO NOT expose them to daylight! Let us know.



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Mike Groom

06-11-2014 08:18:17
69.197.94.120



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Dave H (MI), 06-11-2014 08:06:31  
Sounds more like a dog problem,coyote or fox will carry it off and will not waste anything,dogs kill for fun and only eat part of it.



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Dave H (MI)

06-11-2014 09:15:45
50.105.88.162



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 Re: Bad predator problem in reply to Mike Groom, 06-11-2014 08:18:17  
When the first one was killed that is what I told the girls. There was an aspect to it of mauling that made me think that it was no experienced predator. And it had been carried. If it is a dog he is as good as dead. I will shoot it if I catch it but don't have to. In this county a couple of years back two people were killed by roaming dogs. Policy at the courthouse now is to have ALL dogs destroyed who have any reported aggression. They are really serious about it. You just have to drop a dime.

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