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Thread: 26 Dead Poults in Pen

  1. #1

    26 Dead Poults in Pen

    As above, all with heads missing. Guess what I'll be doing over the next few nights...

  2. #2
    That will keep you busy for a while, cubs more than likely.

  3. #3
    Yep, I would agree.

    At least there is a bit of a wind just now. Last couple of times I was out it was completely breathless and the one I managed to call in stood at an angle that meant opening the door to go across the bonnet. Off the second it heard the click.

  4. #4
    try mink ,polecat doubt cub what about pine martin your way ,unless you have lifted the wire on yr pens you dont say ! is your pen pop holed anymore info .....
    regards norma

  5. #5
    Although 26 is a lot, I would look to birds of prey, buzzard, Tawny or goshawk, mum and dad showing youngsters how it's done.
    Fox don't bother with decapitation, they just grab the bird, chest or wing and bite hard, end of story.
    Over the years I have had a lot of poults decapitated and nearly always found tawny Owls to be the culprit.
    Hope you get it sorted soon though.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Robin View Post
    Although 26 is a lot, I would look to birds of prey, buzzard, Tawny or goshawk, mum and dad showing youngsters how it's done.
    Fox don't bother with decapitation, they just grab the bird, chest or wing and bite hard, end of story.
    Over the years I have had a lot of poults decapitated and nearly always found tawny Owls to be the culprit.
    Hope you get it sorted soon though.
    + 1 on the owls
    A clever man knows his strengths, a wise man knows his weaknesses

  7. #7
    All the above went through my head but given that several foxes have been seen recently going about by the herd, I suspect them. I have never seen a gos, polecat or mink in this area.

    To explain the situation. This is ground that I have stalked on for 15 years and the Roe are outstanding on it. Under no pressure from owner and I'm in the nice position where I can manage as I see fit. However, as a thank you I have looked after the pheasant shoot for about 12 years now. The owner's wife is a great hunt supporter and has always asked me to leave the foxes alone for them. I had no issue with that as it was their money buying the pheasants. I would shoot the odd fox when seen though and would keep it between her husband and me. Last winter he lost almost all his ducks on the pond when it was frozen over and the foxes could get to them. Then the peacock was found with the head also missing (doubt that was an owl). He phoned me 3 weeks ago asking me to start lamping them as he was sick of the local hunt saying they would come up and then not doing a decent job. Yes, it is a bit of shutting the gate after the horse...

    I lamp ground roundabout and the ground west of us is keepered. I don't know if that then creates a sanctuary on us or if it helps...

  8. #8
    Fox obviously a possibility but I would be thinking mink or owl. Is there water nearby the pen? Had this two years back, sat out at pen - mink.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Robin View Post
    Although 26 is a lot, I would look to birds of prey, buzzard, Tawny or goshawk, mum and dad showing youngsters how it's done.
    Fox don't bother with decapitation, they just grab the bird, chest or wing and bite hard, end of story.
    Over the years I have had a lot of poults decapitated and nearly always found tawny Owls to be the culprit.
    Hope you get it sorted soon though.
    I don't know where you get your information but decapitation is normal practise with foxes especially when hunting for sport as opposed to food I would expect its cubs that are responsible.

    I have lost plenty poults in release pens to foxes and just as described, tawny owls and other birds of prey will decapitate poults, but that is easy to tell as owls and other birds of prey defecate when they make the kill you will see a perfectly straight white line of shxt right next to the body of the poult.

    Oh have you found any of the heads ? if not its almost certainly fox.

  10. #10
    Have had a bit of trouble this year with tawny s only in the first week or so when birds were still on the floor ....650 in one pen most it had was 4 in one night don't seem to be so much trouble now they roost in the trees .in my experience if a fox gets in it will do as much damage as possible until disturbed ....keep Your eyes peeled good luck

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