Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Raccoon Attack (I think)

Two more guineas passed on.
This time, it was a bit more gruesome than a simply protozoan infection. They were mauled and eaten.
Two died. Two are alive, one with nasty injuries.
One of the survivors. Poor thing has some serious gashes on its neck and left wing.
I was training them that the garden and orchard area is "home." In doing so, I had them in a dog crate with very narrow slats, thinking they were safe from predators within its confines.
Not so, apparently.

I honestly have no idea how they were killed. The guineas were too big to escape, so there's no way that something bigger than they could have gotten in, then back out, and done the deed.
Based on the crime scene, it looks like the raccoon (my best guess) stalked them by the waterer and reached through the openings in the cage to grab them and eat them. Mind you, the raccoon would have to be outside of the cage whilst the guineas be inside.
Evidence pointing to this was in the form of a cluster of feathers and some uneaten parts (including a single leg) right outside the cage. Feathers were stuck to the cage bars, and there were more immediately inside.
These feathers are all that's left of two of my poor guineas.
Since 2/3 of my guinea population has been decimated (4 out of 6 dead now), I went ahead and let the remaining two free inside the electric net. They're safer there within the 10kV, and with the 20+ chickens and three sheep.
There is safety in numbers, if not in dog crates. :(

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