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#111203 - 12/27/13 04:26 PM HEN ROOSTING ON GROUND TO AVOID GREAT-HORNED OWL
Theropod Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 12/23/13
Posts: 189
Loc: Missouri, USA
About a month ago I had several birds, mostly hens, roosting on cock pens. An owl started coming in and knocking birds off roost but only managed to kill a cockerel and even that left owl without a meal owing to efforts of dogs. Even though owl could not get away with a meal it still kept coming back night after night knocking birds off roost. Birds so knocked would move to another location the following night until penned. One hen I could not catch because she quit roosting in the typical locations on pens. I went out on consecutive nights even checking locations some distance from pens. I then assumed she was roosting on ground which was confirmed this evening while watching her.

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#111222 - 12/28/13 12:56 PM Re: HEN ROOSTING ON GROUND TO AVOID GREAT-HORNED OWL [Re: Theropod]
Theropod Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 12/23/13
Posts: 189
Loc: Missouri, USA
Here is current site she has been using for about a month.


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#111244 - 12/29/13 07:50 PM Re: HEN ROOSTING ON GROUND TO AVOID GREAT-HORNED OWL [Re: Theropod]
Theropod Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 12/23/13
Posts: 189
Loc: Missouri, USA
Picture using night shot mode of same location after dark with hen in place. Notice in preceeding image no sign of feces. She is no deficating in her ground roost site. Her first feces in morning when can be found is huge also indicating she holds it in all night long.




Dogs woke her up otherwise she would have hed tucked.

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#111261 - 12/30/13 04:57 PM Re: HEN ROOSTING ON GROUND TO AVOID GREAT-HORNED OWL [Re: Theropod]
Moderator2 Offline
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Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 330
Loc: Eastern USA
Very interesting. I have some 12 week olds who are not roosting at night, but sleeping on the floor of their coop. I have not noticed feces on their fluff. Perhaps they are holding it through the night also.
Is that a piece of fencing to protect her?
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#111262 - 12/30/13 05:42 PM Re: HEN ROOSTING ON GROUND TO AVOID GREAT-HORNED OWL [Re: Moderator2]
Theropod Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 12/23/13
Posts: 189
Loc: Missouri, USA
It was not put to protect her. She consistently chooses locations with at least some overhead protection. I am pretty sure it is to avoid owls.

What interests me is what stimuli result in defecation being suppressed. Is it feet being held open or tail being held up?

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#111283 - 01/03/14 05:38 AM Re: HEN ROOSTING ON GROUND TO AVOID GREAT-HORNED OWL [Re: Theropod]
Theropod Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 12/23/13
Posts: 189
Loc: Missouri, USA
Snow and now intense cold hits here. This hen now likely has warmest roost of all my outside birds. She leaves clear impression in roost location. She walked from roost yesterday but I think she flew back last night. Will check for tracks. Like many of the birds she would not eat and went to sleep with empty crop.


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#111294 - 01/05/14 12:01 PM Re: HEN ROOSTING ON GROUND TO AVOID GREAT-HORNED OWL [Re: Theropod]
Wieslaw Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3769
Loc: Denmark

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#111299 - 01/05/14 01:25 PM Re: HEN ROOSTING ON GROUND TO AVOID GREAT-HORNED OWL [Re: Wieslaw]
Theropod Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 12/23/13
Posts: 189
Loc: Missouri, USA
Great-horned owl does not get that much time on my place; dogs get into it real quick if stays about once birds get scared. Also, my adult birds are too heavy to just pack off making defending them easier. Person with pens in videos needs a dog then birds would be safe from owls and a lot of other predators.

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#111300 - 01/05/14 01:30 PM Re: HEN ROOSTING ON GROUND TO AVOID GREAT-HORNED OWL [Re: Theropod]
Theropod Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 12/23/13
Posts: 189
Loc: Missouri, USA
I have seen great-horned owl going after chickens in trees by hiding in blind nearby. Owl seems to want knock bird to ground before dispatching victim. Such events frequently followed by red fox visit. I have owl knock many birds from roost but not take any on multiple occasions.

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