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New predator to worry about  

 

Trevor Hodges
(@trench)
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10636
08/11/2020 8:03 pm  

A couple of weeks ago I moved three pigeons that had been recovering from what I'm pretty sure was a bout of Paramyxovirus, from a basket in my shed into my old 6x4 pigeon shed. Most of my birds had been vaccinated so thankfully only a few birds that hadn't been done were affected. The four worst affected were two 2019 late breds and two late bred squeakers from this year. Sadly one of the 2019 late breds died but the remaining three were well on their way to full recovery so I was planning yesterday to move them back into the main loft. I decided to clean the loft out first so I could get my other birds in before putting these three back. While I was cleaning out the loft I heard a bit of a commotion in the shed, I looked across and saw the two youngsters sitting in the front of the shed, although one was hanging onto the wire front I didn't really think much of it and carried on cleaning. I heard one or two more flutters but assumed it was just the birds stretching their wings and knowing I was shortly going to move them I just continued my cleaning. When I finished cleaning out the birds were still flying so I put the traps up and went to get the three birds from the shed before calling the others in. When I went to go in the shed I couldn't believe my eyes as all three birds were dead on the floor, at first I thought it must have been a rat as there was a small hole (about 2"x1.5") down near the floor which I now wish I'd repaired before the birds went in there. I picked the birds up to check that they were definitely dead, one had its head pulled through the hole but I was surprised that there was little or no blood around. I layed the birds on top of a pigeon crate I had in there while I fed the other birds, some of which weren't too keen on coming down. I left them to it and got a bag to put the dead birds in, when I got back to the shed one of the babies was back on the floor with its head through the hole, I went to pick it up but something still had hold of it and when I pulled it away the poor things head came off. I could hear scrabbling on the outside of the shed so went out to see what was there just in time to see what at first I thought was a stoat disappear around the end of the shed. I took the bodies out and went up to the house to tell Lisa what had happened, while we were discussing what we could do and were looking out of the Kitchen window we saw it on top of the shed and now wasn't so sure it was a stoat. I went back down the garden buy couldn't see it anywhere, the chickens were very nervously huddled together and some of the pigeons were still circling the loft. I did eventually get the other birds in and got the chickens shut away and will now just have to wait and see if it was just a random one off attack or whether it will be back now it knows where there is a potential food source. I have done a bit of research today and am now pretty certain it is a Mink not a Stoat as its attack was so clean and quick and it killed all three birds and not just the one it wanted. Our Mum lives just across the field from me and she is right next to a lake, over the years she has had problems with Mink (that live near water) killing her chickens so had to give up keeping them. I checked all three birds over this morning and found fairly small but obviously fatal wounds to each of their necks, the really sad thing is that these birds had beaten the odds to recover from the virus they had only to meet such a horrible end. As you can imagine I spent most of last night beating myself up over what I could and should have done. Nature can be such an amazing and beautiful thing but can equally be very cruel. All has been quiet down there today so I will now just have to wait and hope it doesn't come back.

All the best.  


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buster121
(@buster121)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 22170
08/11/2020 8:48 pm  

Sounds like a pine martin, stoat or a lost ferret mate, may even be a rat mate so sad for the losses after all they have gone through already


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killer
(@killer)
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Posts: 12471
08/11/2020 9:31 pm  

Not good the things we have got to put up with in this game ,would break most people’s hearts 


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Andy123
(@andy123)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10617
08/11/2020 10:25 pm  

I know you told me about it yesterday but it was horrible for you. Hopefully it was a one off. You’ll have to make sure everything is locked up at night. 

Your right Killer. Most people wouldn’t be able to go through what we have to go through. 


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rainbow
(@rainbow)
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09/11/2020 1:49 pm  

many years ago my house was n the Thames river and I had a problem with rats so when I move into the country I put mesh wire down before I laid the floor

P1030882

 


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Trevor Hodges
(@trench)
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10636
09/11/2020 6:43 pm  
Posted by: @rainbow

many years ago my house was n the Thames river and I had a problem with rats so when I move into the country I put mesh wire down before I laid the floor

P1030882

 

Very good idea that George 👍🤠

At the moment my main loft is pretty safe once its shut up at night as it's about 9" off the ground and as of yet hasn't had any vermin chewing holes in it. The shed the birds were in was just sat on paving slabs and we had a problem with rats when Lisa used it for her Guinea pigs which is where the hole cam from. I permanently have poison down so can generally monitor the coming and going of Rats/mice, I think this Mink just got lucky. Touch wood it hasn't been back yesterday or today but I'm sure it will try again one day. 


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Trevor Hodges
(@trench)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10636
09/11/2020 6:44 pm  
Posted by: @buster121

Sounds like a pine martin, stoat or a lost ferret mate, may even be a rat mate so sad for the losses after all they have gone through already

Yes mate it was a bit sickening, I did feel guilty for not protecting the poor little things. 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Trevor Hodges

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Trevor Hodges
(@trench)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10636
09/11/2020 6:48 pm  
Posted by: @killer

Not good the things we have got to put up with in this game ,would break most people’s hearts 

You are right there mate, it can be a heartbreaking and frustrating hobby. 


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rainbow
(@rainbow)
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09/11/2020 6:48 pm  

same here Trevor when my loft was only on 2"x2 the rats come up through the floor


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Trevor Hodges
(@trench)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10636
09/11/2020 6:53 pm  
Posted by: @andy123

I know you told me about it yesterday but it was horrible for you. Hopefully it was a one off. You’ll have to make sure everything is locked up at night. 

Your right Killer. Most people wouldn’t be able to go through what we have to go through. 

It's been quiet so far Andy 🤞🤞 hopefully as it went away hungry it won't bother coming back but I won't be holding my breath. They are all shut up safely at night but are open during the day, that's the biggest concern as that it attacked in broad daylight with me and our next door neighbour only feet away 😕🤨😕 my neighbour was power washing his car at the time so it was pretty noisy too. 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Trevor Hodges

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Trevor Hodges
(@trench)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10636
09/11/2020 6:55 pm  
Posted by: @rainbow

same here Trevor when my loft was only on 2"x2 the rats come up through the floor

The little buggers don't take long to chew their way in when they want to 😡😡


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Andy123
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09/11/2020 7:45 pm  

@trench I know you were thinking of using that shed as a stock loft. I think you would need to lift it off the floor first, then it should be ok, as long as you repaired the hole of course. 


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stevekulpa
(@stevekulpa)
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10/11/2020 10:33 pm  

Sorry to here about your misfortune Trevor. I think you need to get yourself a live catch trap, It will be back and when you least expect it.


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Trevor Hodges
(@trench)
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10636
11/11/2020 6:58 pm  
Posted by: @stevekulpa

Sorry to here about your misfortune Trevor. I think you need to get yourself a live catch trap, It will be back and when you least expect it.

Thanks Steve, I think you are right, I am hoping to borrow one tomorrow. 


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Trevor Hodges
(@trench)
Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10636
11/11/2020 6:59 pm  
Posted by: @andy123

@trench I know you were thinking of using that shed as a stock loft. I think you would need to lift it off the floor first, then it should be ok, as long as you repaired the hole of course. 

Yes Andy I might still do that, I have already sorted the hole out. It could be a little tricky lifting due its position but I will look into it. 


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