headless poult

CDSG Shooting Sports

gizzard

Member
inside several of our release pens we have been finding poults with their heads and necks bitten off, there is no other part of the body eaten or marked. the pens have double electric fencing around and there are no holes where a fox can enter.
could anyone make a guess as to what is killing these poults please.
thanks steve.
 

norma 308

Well-Known Member
+ 2 tawny owl go to the middle of the pen and do a silent arhhhhhhhhhh.! Makes you feel a little better .
​norma

I buy the small led AA powered light ,they are round with a magnet on the back .fix to post on pen and dangle a cd rom from a short wire and string that hangs in front of the light it lasts a week or so .looks like someone is flicking a torch about I hang em every 100 yards or so around pen .
 
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gizzard

Member
thanks for the input fellas, looks like the tawny owl is the culprit then. good job I hung onto my boney m cds , at last they are going to come in usefull.

steve.
 

arron

Well-Known Member
pluck the feathers of the back and up to the neck , i have had this many times ,an owl will usualy leave bruising /puncture marks on the back where they drop on them , dont rule out stoat either , are they tucked away or look as if they have been dragged anywhere ? as this is generaly stoat tell tail signs ,hope you soon resolve it ,atb arron.
 

willowbank

Well-Known Member
inside several of our release pens we have been finding poults with their heads and necks bitten off, there is no other part of the body eaten or marked. the pens have double electric fencing around and there are no holes where a fox can enter.
could anyone make a guess as to what is killing these poults please.
thanks steve.

Had this problem couple of years ago and bought a massive Eagle owl decoy, placed "Eddy" in a different part of the pen everytime I visited, the problem stopped immediately.

Good luck with it,

Regards WB
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
Interesting. I wonder if the eagle owl decoy would frighten the pheasants at all. And I wonder if any other raptors or crows would try and buzz it. I've tried the CD's before with some success and even a scarecrow with a reflective jacket on.
 

bewsher500

Well-Known Member
have you considered a hedgehog?

viscous things hedgehogs. had one eat a pigeon's head after we rescued it and put it in a stable to recover. we forgot that the resident hedgehog still lived there.
​Think he though we had brought him a midnight snack!
 

perdix

Well-Known Member
have you considered a hedgehog?

viscous things hedgehogs. had one eat a pigeon's head after we rescued it and put it in a stable to recover. we forgot that the resident hedgehog still lived there.
​Think he though we had brought him a midnight snack!

​Had a big hedgehog cause me some real problems one year at the pen.Not one of my favourite creatures at all
 

arron

Well-Known Member
out of curiosity ,have you got a top net on ( although they can still get in ,as i no ) it just some times makes it hard for them to get out of , abit like a crow cage , down side is pheasants are at the mercy of stoats and mink etc if they get in .
 

norma 308

Well-Known Member
Another reason I dont have mine till at least 8 wks as they are a wee bit bigger ! Better off dying at the game farm than in my pens .
​norma
 

Malxwal

Well-Known Member
We used to suffer this type of thing in open topped pens regular as clockwork, but netting them over the top has eliminated it (my headless poult had it's head pulled off thru the chicken wire). The CD's I think did little to deter the owl/raptor predation in my experience, we should have tried scarecrows etc.
 

gizzard

Member
I skinned the dead poult and found bruising around the upper chest area and one small puncture wound in the ribs, I then dissected the whole chest area and found the puncture wound had crushed the whole rib cage on the right hand side. it looks very much like a talon wound, very neat entry hole not like a tooth . it is all pointing to the tawny owl as others have suggested so have put up a load of cds and a flashing light, fingers crossed.
steve.
 

Cumbrian 1

Well-Known Member
With a tawny owl the neck stump should be sticking out as they pull the head of as oppose to biting it through, also some birds will just have a puncture wound on either side of the head.
 
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