Sunday, May 29, 2011

Monster Hunting and New Chicks

Just a quick post with no pictures.  The camera is out in the chicken coop, and I don't want to walk out in the dark.  Besides, Randy is out there hunting all night, and I'm not allowed to disturb the area.

First - the horrible news.  Another guinea was killed Saturday morning.  We got up at 4:30 AM and Randy went out to hunt the guinea-killing monster, but he was too late.  The small female guinea was already killed and missing, leaving feathers behind.  That makes 3 guineas in 3 nights.  And so Randy is spending the night outside tonight.  On the previous nights the guineas were killed I never heard a sound, and I was up by 5AM.  Most likely they were killed before I got up, and that's why I didn't hear them. 

On Friday Randy cut down the tree in the woods that he thought held a monster nest.  He thought it was a hollowed out tree.  A trail of guinea feathers had gone from where the guinea was killed at our front door to the tree in the woods.  The tree had a big hole in it, and the trail of light colored feathers was easy to see going into the hole.  But there was no nest in the tree.  The monster must have sat in the tree and eaten guinea dinner??  Hmmm, that rules out fox, I think.  I still do not think that raccoons are fast enough to hunt, chase and kill a guinea.  But that's just my opinion.  Owl, maybe?  Today after doing the crime scene analysis of the latest guinea victim, we noticed the biggest, strongest guinea feathers were just sheared off in half.  Something very strong grabbed that bird and ripped it's strongest feathers into 2 pieces like they were twigs.  Hmmm, great horned owl???  Eagle?  But it's a night hunter.  Scratch eagle.  Great horned owl.  We will see tonight.


Just as I was writing about the monster, it attacked outside.  I honestly didn't hear anything inside the house.  With the new windows we have, noise doesn't travel inside at all.  Randy just came in to replace flashlight batteries.  He said suddenly all the guineas screamed and flew out of the pine tree, scattering all over the yard.  And of course Randy's flashlight started dieing at that moment when he turned it on.  He never saw or heard what scared the guineas.  Luckily he was able to pick up the white male guinea off the ground and put it in the chicken pen for the night.  One is safe.  The hunt continues into the night.


In other news, today we got 4 Rhode Island Red chicks and 4 Cuckoo Maran chicks.  We wanted some dark brown eggs.  And so we will have 8 new chickens in our flock.  Probably 4 will be roosters anyway and we'll sell them!  We gave the chicks to 2 of the broody hens in the chicken/keet nursery.  


Robin said...

How frustrating. I wonder what is killing them all. Hopefully Randy can catch it.

suburban farm girl said...

Pls hurry up! Catch this monster and post it on your blog!! You have me on the edge of my seat.

Im so sorry for your losses how upsetting, get the little bugger

LindaG said...

I'm sorry to hear you lost another guinea.
I was thinking it had to be a flyer, otherwise why leave their tree?

I hope you can get your guineas into the coop tonight and not lose another. Good luck figuring out what is going on!

CeeCee said...

My goodness, you've had such a run of horrible news about your guineas!! I'm so sorry! I'm guessing your monster is a raccoon. Owls pluck most all the feathers out and eat just the meat/bones. You'd find more signs of blood and body parts. Raccoons are relentless and will follow an injured bird all over the yard. Go Randy, Go!!

PS....Congrats on the new babies!

Chai Chai said...

I have found the guineas to be next to helpless at night, they seem to be sluggish. I hope you catch this thing, I am curious to see what is causing this horrible situation.

cmarlow41 said...

When I read your blog to Tim, he said it was probably an owl. Are they protected? Can Randy shoot it if it is killing your flock? I'm so sorry for your losses and I, like suburban farm girl, get up every morning anxious to read what is happening.

cmarlow41 said...

Just did a little research and, if it is a great horned owl, it is protected by the Migratory Bird Species Act but you can apply for a depredation permit when it harms your flock.

The dogs have gone crazy every night since Wednesday. You could borrow owl might take Bandit down.

Perri said...

Yikes! We are experiencing our own monster (a fox) this spring.

Good luck catching whatever it is.

I've sent an award your way. Come by and pick it up when you have time.

Razzberry Corner said...

Robin - he didn't catch it Sat night. He's out there now watching, waiting...

SFG - I am very curious myself.

LindaG - Thanks for the luck, we NEEEEED it!!

CeeCee - but what if an owl is feeding it's babies? Wouldn't it take the guinea body to it's nest? We searched everywhere and never found any of the guinea bodies, just feather piles.

Chai Chai - Guineas are very blind in the dark. Randy was able to pick up the white guinea and carry him to the chicken pen without much fight. If it was during the day, he would have had a hard time holding onto the bird, not to mention catching him!

Cindy - Wouldn't Peaches take out a guinea if she had the chance? Isn't she a hunting dog? :)

Perri - I'm on my way, will be right over!!! :D


Gail said...

I know this is awful.

Dad used to catch predator birds by placing a trap on a tall post close to where they may light. The trap must be secured to the post. Owls will come in to a high post and observe before they attack.

We also used to use flour to be able to tell what was coming in...the tracks can be seen in flour.

We are loosing eggs so I suspect we have another snake...

Good luck, wishing you swift success.

Knatolee said...

Oh no, i"m sorry you're losing guineas. I know how upsetting losing birds is. Hope the monster goes away soon.