Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sad morning after an unwelcome visitor

Saturday morning brought a startling realization. It is predator season again. As we drove down our driveway heading out for deliveries we noticed several patches where the turkeys are kept. Further investigation revealed the sad truth.
We lost at least 4 turkeys, possibly as many as a dozen. There were 3 half eaten or untouched carcasses left behind and some known birds missing. The pasture looked like a battle zone spreading from edge to edge of the 3 or so acre area.
We didn't have time to look for tracks but did notice a few, none plain enough for uneducated eyes to determine the attacker. Most likely it was a pack of coyotes or a big cat. There are reports of both coyotes and cougar in the area recently.
One odd thing is the bodies are either misssing completely (carried off)  or mostly untouched. One of the three left was disembowelled and left. Grass was compressed heavily for several feet aground most patches denoting a heavy predator.
We usually pen the turkeys in the coops at night for safety, but last night they were out. With the rains so heavy we let them out to forage and prevent the concerned traction of feet trampling the ground when we can't pull the coops easily. Appresntly the predator took advantage of the opportunity. Good once give to find Kish our autonomoues solar powered coop movers!
The turkeys are safely locked away now, and it looks like I will have a few nights of little sleep. In these times I prefer to get up several times each night to check on things.
Tomorrow the county trapper is heading over. Perhaps his trained eye can at least determine what we are up against this time.

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