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Fox, Coyote or something else?

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  • Fox, Coyote or something else?

    This morning around 2:30 my dogs were going nuts, I chalked it up to ugly storm coming our way. I took the dogs out to pee, then put them in the basement so I could get some more sleep. I'm kicking myself now because while I was outside with the dogs I heard our guineas making noise but nothing unusual or alarming kind of noise. It should have been a red flag to me that it was still dark & they were making noise. But the dogs didn't bark or put their hackles up when they were outside like they do if a coyote is nearby. Then this morning when I went to feed our guineas many were gone & only feathers remained. My husband found parts of their remains up in our riding ring & woods, it looks like something crawled under the fencing & took them one by one. Total we lost 5, thankfully what ever killed our guineas left the two peaccocks that were in the same pen, and the other two pens of guineas were left untouched, for now. My husband feels it was a fox trying to feed her babies, he's so angry he said he may kill her if he sees her. Normally we don't kill fox here at our farm, we enjoy their presence & have seen them kill rats & small groundhogs so we like having them here, not to mention seeing the adorable kits play around the farm. I felt it was probably a coyote because we haven't see any foxes lately & we noticed the fox move out of the area when the coyotes are around. I just don't believe a fox would methodically take five full grown guineas one by one out of the pen like that, but maybe it's wishful thinking on my part. One of our feral barn cats are missing too, I'm praying he shows up when I get home today, but this has me worried, he's always in the hay shed waiting for breakfast, especially when the weather is ugly. Does anyone else have any ideas what could have done this? Thanks for listening, sincerely, Lisa

  • #2
    Raccoon or skunk maybe? Not sure if Guineas are too big for them.

    Do you have a game cam? Set that up and find out!!

    Or around 2:30 go out and see if you can find what it was in the flesh.

    Sorry about your birds.
    I LOVE my Chickens!


    • #3
      Very sorry about your loss ~ jingles for your cat to come out of "hiding"

      Jingles ~ how TERRIBLE !

      AO ~ for your feral to come out of "hiding" ~

      Again, very sorry ...
      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


      • #4
        Weasel or fisher, maybe? We had a fisher take 10 turkeys in 1 night. They are nasty creatures.
        Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch


        • #5
          So sorry about your birds . I have kept different types of birds for almost thirty years and have had predation problems several times. It sucks terribly to see animals in your care get hurt or killed.
          My biggest problems have been with raccoons. A year and a half ago a family of raccoons got into my pigeon loft and massacred half of my flock. I found the bodies of about fifteen birds, torn to pieces. They didn't even eat most of them!
          I trapped four raccoons over the next three nights, three young ones and a huge adult.
          If you have raccoons in your area I would put them high on the list of suspects.
          "Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of passions." David Hume


          • Original Poster

            Goodness, I sure hope it's not a fisher!! I didn't think they were in our area, but I guess they could be. I saw my first fisher in Canada, what ugly demonic looking creatures! As far as it being a weasel, I sort of think it wasn't only because I remember a friends flock of chickens getting nailed by a weasel & all the weasel did was go for their jugulars and feast on their blood, most of the chicken was left uneaten. Would a skunk or raccoon carry the birds out of the pen to eat them? That's probably what has me the most baffled, husband said he found where he could see the birds were taken then eaten, he felt if it was a raccoon there would've made more of a mess in the pens, but raccoons do have those little hands, maybe they did carry the birds away. I mentioned maybe a neighbors dog but hubby said dogs kill mostly for fun & make more of a mess & seldom eat the whole bird. What ever killed our guineas did it to eat them, because there's hardly any mess and they ate most of the bodies.

            I wish we did have a game cam, I'm thinking we should invest in one now. My husband said he might sleep in a tent outside tonight to see if he can catch the predator coming back. He said now that it knows where the easy food is it'll be back. I'm very worried for my feral barn cats, they have some street smarts but won't stand a chance against a fox, coyote or fisher.


            • #7
              Fox will make multiple kills in one foray. And this time of year they are feeding babies.
              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
              -Rudyard Kipling


              • #8
                We had a raccoon get a baby goose. Raccoon jumped down from a tree onto the pen, broke the top and carried it off. Blood and feathers, but definately not eaten on the spot.


                • #9
                  It sounds like a coyote to me, but you will only know if you set up a camera. Can you enclose the pen so no one can dig under it? When we had chickens, we had buried chicken wire that was attached to the sides of the pen. No coyote or other predator could dig in. We also covered the pen with sturdy netting so hawks could not fly in. There is a coyote in our neighborhood, who neighbors say has killed one of our foxes. I understand foxes and cats, as well as poultry, are at risk if a coyote moves in.


                  • Original Poster

                    update on what we think got our guineas & a hopefully happy ending

                    Well last night my husband & I spent the evening reinforcing our bird pens & scouring the farm for the guinea remains. We found only bits & pieces of the birds. We spoke to all the neighbors & found out the one lost 18 chickens in a night, & he has seen 3 coyotes running together. The other neighbor lost chickens as well but assumed it was a hawk but now he thinks it too may have been a coyote, he's the one that shot a coyote this winter the size of a german shepherd. I took our black lab up & let him sniff the feathers & he immediately started tracking something (he a great tracking dog), he ended up finding three piles of scat with feathers in it and barely noticeable tracks in our riding ring. The scat was larger than what I've seen fox do on the rocks around our place. Then the ray of sunshine was we found our one guinea hunkered down by a wood pile, she's injured & scared to death but we're hoping she'll make it. She made it thru last night so our hopes are growing she'll live, she has a bite mark on her back that there's no way a fox could have grabbed her, sigh of relief from me, only because my husband was hell bent on going out & killing the mom fox & all her kit if he found them. Now that he thinks it's a coyote at least he won't kill the fox, but to tell you the truth I haven't seen any fox lately. And more good news our missing barn cat showed up!! I wish I could lock them up at night in our hay shed but they can get out, I'm going to try to entice them into our tack room at night & shut them in there, but with them being a feral colony we rescued I'm just gaining their trust so I have to be careful not to lose that. The neighbors are getting together to get some live traps to see if they can catch whatever it is killing all our birds lately. The one neighbor wanted to use a leg hold trap but we tried to talk him out of that because of all the other wildlife & pets around. I also read somewhere that putting pee around the pens helps, saw this on a guineas forum, so last night there's my husband peeing for all he's worth around the pens, he said "hey what do we have to lose by trying". I thought okay I'll do my part too & peed in front of the hayshed in hopes the coyote won't go in there, I know it's a long shot but I'll try anything. And I'm shopping for a game cam so we'll know for sure what we're dealing with. So that's the latest on the saga here.


                    • #11
                      The idea of yoou guys walking around the farm peeing made me laugh! Reminded me of the scene from "Never Cry Wolf" when Farley Mowat does the same around his tent

                      Sorry about your Guineas.

                      It's my understanding that you will have a hard time catching a coyote in a live trap. There was a thread about it and bait to use, called somethiing along the lines of "best bait to catch a coyote". I'd link but I'm on a smartphone and don't know how

                      I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                      R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


                      • #12
                        A while back a coyote raided my chicken coop (chickens were locked up but I didn't block it heavily enough to deter something like a coyote). One casualty.
                        Actually, two. The coyote will be back from the taxidermist sometime in October.
                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                        -Rudyard Kipling


                        • #13
                          I am so sorry for your loss.
                          We have a fox killing Guineas in the day when they are free. He will come right in the yard. Last year WHH cast hounds here several times and he stayed off the area. I know they must be feeding kits. He got my beautiful male. I think I am giving up on birds for a while. I have also had the coyotes come through at night but birds are in a coop at night.


                          • #14
                            maybe you have something that has moved in that isn't normally there

                            I caught this jaguarundi in our back field (we are in the middle of Dallas/Ft Worth)...Considered to be extremely rare in Texas it's normal range is five hundred miles south of me in the brush country of extreme southern Texas in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy counties

                            It stayed here for about a year