Aussies Living Simply

Goanna vs chooks

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #254365
    clarecc
    Member

    On a rural block with free range chooks, well one of four that survived dog attack and a smaller one bought to keep the survivor company. Had a goanna walk within 5 feet of me and I chased it off. It came back less than an hour later so is it seriously hunting my two chooks or maybe it’s found the hidden nest the one layer has made somewhere? I love seeing the chooks free range but having seen dogs, cat, fox and a hawk swoop on them and now a goanna stalking maybe I have to admit its too dangerous to free range? Would be a shame as they have a great time scratching among the trees, but I don’t want to find any more dead bodies. Are goannas just looking for eggs or do they eat chooks? The little chook is more than half grown.

    #489583
    Steve
    Keymaster

    I’d say it is chasing the eggs, clarecc

    #489584

    I have had a real big goanna grab one of my chooks before.. had to smack it with a stick. Also seen a cat wounded by one before. Don’t know if it would have eaten either, but they bruise bad and leave terrible wounds that need to be left open and bathed heaps.(they have terrible dental hygiene )

    Saying all that, eggs are an easy meal for them, so will go them first and mostly attack if they feel threatened.

    Also be careful chasing them.

    #489585
    clarecc
    Member

    Well the plastic egg is missing from nesting box in chicken tractor – I hope it passes through ok, hopefully their guts are adapted to small skulls going through. I’ll have to decide if it’s worth the risk of free ranging although I’ve already given in to the indignant squawks for release today. Thanks for the advice.

    #489586
    Sonya
    Member

    We have goannas after the eggs – we leave the chooks locked up in the morning, gather the eggs then let them out. We’ve had a grey goshawk take one, so we put overhead bird netting across their yard for protection – we also have a lot of things like big gingers, galangal and cardomon plants nearby for protection too.

    We did have one old chook die a couple of days after being hassled by a goanna. And my husband has seen a man with huge scars on his chest from a big goanna running up him when threatened.

    Cheers,

    Sonya

    #489587
    Wisey
    Member

    Yah thats one my dad told me when around goannas don’t stand still or they’ll climb you like a tree. Also been told big ones get lock jaws and have to be killed to be removed (don’t know how true it is). One thing to remember with them is they are an apex predator so be careful when intimidating bigger ones as they may feel they can take you on.

    We had a 6 foot race horse goanna on the farm when I was growing up who I remember used to face the dogs down. I hadnt thought much about him till I returned 18 months ago. Dad said he had seen him a year or so before I came back and that I’d need to be wary of him as he was becoming aggressive towards humans but I havent seen him since returning (thankfully :blush: ). He would have been over 30 years old and Dad estimated about 8 foot.

    Oh and DEFINETELY egg thieves!

    #489588
    thejamtin
    Member

    On a picnic at Commodore Heights once a goanna ran right through the middle of us and grabbed a bbq chicken. Brave bugger only ran off a couple of metres and devoured the whole thing. None of us were game to try getting it back.

    Freaked out the tourists, I can tell you.

    So, in my experience they do eat chook, but they prefer you cook it up for them first! 😛

    #489589
    jcj57
    Member

    Use to live on acreage years ago. After coming face to face with a goanna leaving the laying pen (dont know who got the bigger fright me or him) I ended up leaving a couple of eggs in the same place away from the chooks at the edge of the garden every day….. they never ventured near the chooks again and the eggs were always gone. It is easier to call a truce than try to get rid of them.:)

    And my dad told me the same story about laying flat if one comes towards you, if frightened they tend to run up the first upright object they come to.

    #489590
    Paradiso
    Member

    I live with free range poultry next to rainforest so encounter goannas taking eggs and smaller (up to 7 inch long roughly) chickens and ducks. I like the idea of leaving some eggs out each day to satisfy the serpent, if one is getting enough eggs to spare them.

    Goannas here are fine to chase away… they just run up a tree in my experience. I catch them by putting a rake spine behind the head and grabbing them carefully then I relocate them sometimes but try to avoid this because it is tricky and also the goanna’s home too.

    The best thing I find is my 5 little dogs who behave as a pack, barking like banchees and chasing the goannas away as soon as they hear the chooks disturbed. Dogs in the last 5 years have worked out how not to corner the goannas and no injuries have resulted.

    We probably lose about 5 eggs a month here to the goannas regardless… when the dogs aren’t here or quick enough.

    I lock my poultry up if I go out for more than 2 hours during the day wherever possible. The goannas come out in the hottest hours.

    best wishes

    #489591
    trandto
    Member

    Paradiso post=304845 wrote: I like the idea of leaving some eggs out each day to satisfy the serpent, if one is getting enough eggs to spare them.

    I don’t, I find the idea of artificially feeding them a bad one, as it will cause the population to increase with the increased food supply, exacerbating the problem.

    Paradiso post=304845 wrote: Goannas here are fine to chase away… they just run up a tree in my experience.

    True enough. That’s all they do here. I have heard the run at me thing but they bolt before I even get close. The biggest I have seen would only be about 1.5m from tip to tail down here.

    Paradiso post=304845 wrote: I relocate them sometimes but try to avoid this because it is tricky and also the goanna’s home too.

    True enough

    Paradiso post=304845 wrote: I lock my poultry up if I go out for more than 2 hours during the day wherever possible.

    We have a VERY LARGE fenced and roofed chook run (35 to 40 meters x 10 metres), that can share a common door to the fenced and roofed orchard (netting on the roof, wire on the walls) to double the chook run size. They have free roam of this at all times. We let them out at about 3pm and put them in about 7:30pm (NSW daylight savings time) at the momeent, adjust this back a bit in winter.

    Paradiso post=304845 wrote: The goannas come out in the hottest hours.

    Hell yeah, the most I have seen is 5 at one time in the yard at various places, I thought I was being invaded ! Most hot days you will see 3 at least. They can get through chicken wire easily enough, they just muscle through it ! I have never lost a chook or baby chick but have lost large numbers of eggs 👿

    #489592
    NavChick
    Member

    Yep the lie-down-if-one-comes-at-you is true, don’t think it’s an urban legend at all!!!

    Also, it was recently discovered that they are actually venomous, so if you (or a dog or chook) do happen to get bitten by one ensure you treat it appropriately and seek medical help if required. Note – they don’t have fangs as such, it’s a sac that releases venom into their mouths which then gets into the bite wound.

    http://uninews.unimelb.edu.au/view.php?articleID=3009

    #489593
    clarecc
    Member

    Thanks for all the replies esp the BBQ chicken story! I’ve decided to leave the two chooks locked up in a chicken tractor (moved frequently) until I can build a safe run for them. Just as well as the dogs came back and tried to dig under but gave up. Haven’t seen the goanna since but will certainly try to avoid finding out first hand about it’s venom, or even just it’s claws. I just hope the plastic egg went through ok.

    #489594
    jcj57
    Member

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8331

    Lizards’ poisonous secret is revealed

    * 18:00 16 November 2005 by Emma Young

    Monitor lizards – commonly kept as pets – and iguanas produce venom, according to surprising new research that is rewriting the story of lizard and snake evolution.

    Until now, nasty swellings and excessive bleeding as a result of a lizard bite were blamed on infection from the bacteria in the creatures’ mouths. Venom had been considered the preserve of advanced snakes and just two species of lizard – the gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard. And scientists had thought these lizards evolved venom production independent of snakes.

    But research Bryan Fry’s team at the University of Melbourne, Australia, now suggests that venomous lizards are much more widespread than anyone realised. Furthermore venomous lizards and snakes are in fact descended from a common ancestor that lived about 200 million years ago.

    In a related paper published in the journal CR Biologies this week, two of Fry’s co-authors, Nicolas Vidal and Blair Hedges of Pennsylvania State University, US, christen this new toxic taxonomic clade Toxicofera. They also suggest a complete overhaul of the conventional classification of lizards and snakes, based on new DNA analysis.

    “These are very exciting papers,” says Harry Greene, a herpetologist at Cornell University, US. “They threaten to radically change our concepts of lizard and snake evolution, and particularly of venom evolution.”

    #489595
    TalkingTrees
    Member

    I busted this guy yesterday, sleeping the chook shed with a belly full of eggs.. I chased him out with a broom, but he was in again today..

    The chickens have only just started laying, so are abit inconsistent with the time they lay… so we only started to get a little suss after the fake eggs went missing..

    As we free-range, we are faced with the same problem of how to keep him out/reduce eggs going.. The chickens and him don’t seem to be interested in eachother (lucky!), …I guess the eggs are satisfying his appetite! :dry:

    I guess as the chickens start laying in the morning, we can collect and let them out later – but at the moment some eggs are only arriving late into the afternoon! :whistle:

    Any other ingenious schemes out there?

    Attached files

    #489596
    Ravyk
    Member

    Maybe google roll away chicken nesting boxes. The eggs roll away once the hen has left the nest into a little section. I’m sure you could build a modified version where the eggs roll away into a goanna proof section.

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