Monday, September 13, 2010

Still can't let it go

I can't stop thinking about what it was that got the turkey 2 nights ago.  I feel like I need to figure it out or I won't be able to solve the problem or stop worrying about it.  Maybe someone reading this can help me figure it out.  I've already talked to several people and they had many different opinions about what it could have been - owl, raccoon, coyote or bobcat.

Here are some details about the crime scene:

1.  There were feathers all over the place, kind of like a trail as if the predator was walking or running around with it.  Could Chy have been chasing it?

2.  Whatever killed it left the body in the pasture.  Only the head and breast were eaten, not the entrails.  A coyote usually carries off its prey to somewhere safe.

3.  The night of the kill there was a cat sitting in the shrubs just outside the goat and turkey barns.  I was about 8 feet from it and shined my headlamp on it and I felt certain that night that it was a domestic cat, though I only saw its head.  I wish I had had a brighter flashlight.  James saw a dead bobcat in the road recently but it was several miles from our house.

4.  The turkey probably weighed somewhere in the 15 to 18 lb range.  It would take a pretty strong animal to drag the turkey around.  Any animal could catch a turkey at night because they just sit there.  There were feathers all over the place.  I read that owls pull feathers out before they eat.

5.  Our fences are 4 to 4 1/2 feet high with no electric above or below them so many animals could have scaled or gone under the fence.

6.  We've smelled skunk a lot this week but I don't know if a skunk could kill a turkey and do this much damage.

Last night I locked the girl goats up in their barn just to be safe.  We processed the remaining turkeys yesterday so we didn't have that attraction.  The guineas remain free to perch wherever they want.  The chickens and ducks get locked up but the chicken's coop could easily be broken into.  I want to move them to their sturdier coop but I'll have to take their other coop away because they'll keep returning to it.  Last night Chy was lying down in the boy goat's fence with Shiloh and all the boys nearby.  I've never seen her do that.  She usually stands out in the pasture.

Here's a link to a site that tells about different predators of turkeys and their behaviors.


  1. According to the link you attached, Racoons eat the head and turn the animal over to eat the breast. Have you seen any of them around?

  2. Another friend suggested that too but in 12 years I don't think I've ever seen a raccoon in Arnold's Valley. It's possible though.

  3. racoons wont come around guiness.also they wont putup the fight to pull feathers only if its already dead.its not very likley that the coon is big enuff to drag the turkey around.skunk is not out for afraid to say easy pray for a bobcat.he shakes his prey untill dead so thers your feathers .coyota takes his meals with him so if the cat has striked once it will be back.just wanted to tell you.locall game warden will catch it in a cage but if i was you shoot the dame thing.from wayne

  4. Everyone is wrong! It is a FOX. See, you have been out foxed!

    Gail L.