Backyard Poultry Forum

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Author:  honkcheep [ Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Goannas!

Hi I have written about this previously but just want to know does anyone have any trouble with goannas taking their chickens or ducks? I have had a terrible afternoon watching the hugest lace monitor munching on my beloved mini lop rabbits completely helpless.Two days ago it broke into the cage and ate all my guinea pigs and now my rabbits.I am terrified that it will start on my chooks and ducks?Anyone had any experience with them?

Author:  tori [ Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

It is only going to keep coming back because it has a captive smorgasbord. Relocation?

Author:  Bronze [ Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

We have a lot of goannas around and they are trouble.
One recently killed a 2 week old chicken. My son made it drop it, but the chick died a few minutes later.
I have had them kill chicks before.
You need to keep out of their way, as they are dangerous.
We have one huge old mongrel that took on the 2 large dogs down the road - and it didn't lose.
He is so big that he is a lot slower than the young ones though.
He turned and growled at us with his huge mouth open. It was scary!!
Hopefully we have the pens secure now. :aaah!

Author:  wazza o1 [ Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

we get the big yellow ones out here (5_6ft long) they dig under or break through chicken mesh :aaah! , so my pens are weldmesh and they are on legs 3ft high, :yess my 2 big hunting dogs have relocated a few to a better place, so we dont have a problem anymore, :thumbs:

i started with nothing and still have some left

Author:  globi [ Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!



I posted these pictures here some time ago, the first of the goanna stealing all the eggs and the second climbing out of the chick run over a 2m fence. We get large goannas every year and I have seen one catch and eat a good size feral rabbit. It is quite difficult here, as the chooks are out all day and the doors into houses and runs are open.

They have never injured or killed a chicken or duck, but one year one went in to the nesting area when a hen was laying and I found a handful of feathers. I’m extremely scared for chicks, they are behind mesh fence with electric wire.
This year I have found that a broom makes a good tool. I simply pushed the goanna away and slammed the little door into the chook house shut in his face.

Author:  chookyinoz [ Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

We have goannas here too and they will take eggs and the occasional chook or chicken.

Their primary food is road kill though and road kill generally goes through a number of carrion and decomposition stages. With fresh kill its generally foxes, magpies, crows and even raptors who have a feed off it. If fact its not long ago that a large kangaroo was dead in the middle of the road and was being fed upon by a large wedgetail eagle. As I slowed to a stop primarily to move the carcass off the road, the wedgie was prepared to take on the car to defend its "prize". It flew away as I got out of the car though.

Back to the goannas - the net phase of road kill is the putrefaction and dehydration phase. This is the blowfly and maggoty stage and it ends up with dehydrated and mangled carcess. This dehydrated carcass is the particular phase is the phase that goannas evolved to devour. You often see a very old dried carcass in the middle of the road in the early mornings. It is the goannas who drag it into the middle of the road as its warmer there (they are cold blooded) whilst they feed off it. Goannas are rarely interested in fresh road kill.


Author:  Squeaker [ Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

We have a couple that visit here regularly, they pinch a few eggs and occasionally I have found a few feathers where a chook has been caught on the nest, but we have never had a bird killed or injured.
I quite like seeing them around because I know that just about all of them in this area and coastal Queensland have survived eating a cane toad at some stage of their lives and learnt never to eat one again. The goanna and red bellied snake population was decimated with the introduction of the toad.


A pic of one of ours.

Author:  Bronze [ Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

Does anyone know the natural predator of the goanna? Is there one?
They are certainly increasing in numbers in the 16 years we have been here. I have seen a group
of Kookaburras dive bomb a large one. They drew blood and knocked it out of the tree, but then it
climbed inside a hollow - obviously the kookas had a nest up there. The kookas were just screaming
to each other for more assistance and attacking it violently.
I'm for the wild birds and their eggs - not the goannas. :thunder

Author:  Lawton_Park [ Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

A natural predator of a goanna is a gun.

I had trouble with one a couple of years ago, I chased it off a few times but it kept on coming back.

With little kids going out to the chook pen it was a risk I wasn't going to take

Author:  globi [ Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

Goannas are welcome at our place. Not to eat the chicks and eggs, but they go after rats and rabbits. And according to new research native predators play a much more important role than was previously thought. I would much rather shoot the stray dogs and cats we always seem to get here.

Author:  honkcheep [ Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

We'll thanks for all the replies.I am scared that I am going to lose everything even though he doesn't seem too interested in my girls or ducks.Having said that I didn't think it would kill my rabbits either.It has been so hot here I have been letting them into the pen of a day he must have been fast to catch them however they are confined I suppose. I have been losing eggs for a while and suspected it was him I can handle that but not my livestock I guess I will have to rethink everything .By the way I have heard of people "baiting" some eggs with Tabasco sauce? Anyone heard if that is successful?

Author:  globi [ Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

I doubt it as they swallow the eggs whole. Ours also eat the plastic eggs and a golf ball I had as a nest egg.

Can you cover your pens or have an outrigger wire? Ours climb over the mesh of the run, even with the door open next to them, but now I have bird net over one of the runs.
Listen for the Magpies (and the chooks) giving the alarm of its presence, then attack it with a broom or garden hose.
My big one has not been back since I pushed it out with the broom.

Author:  Barnz G [ Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

The main natural predator of the lace monitor is definitely man you may be best off trapping it humanely and relocating it, depending on how big it is a possum or fox trap might do the job, don't try to handle it directly though, claws and teeth very dangerous. Careful.

Author:  honkcheep [ Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

Well I know it's been a while since I started this post but I thought I would give an update!Goannas are still causing huge havoc,I want to live in the bush and beleive that the native animals have more right than I do to be here but I a losing big time I would like to find a compromise, I get no eggs ,they attack any rabbits that are housed out of their shed,(even in a metal cage),they push through my chain wire fence! And any hen that is sitting on eggs!Wow they love them. I had a hen in a wooden cage ,you know the ones that house rabbits ?,sitting on a dozen silkie eggs. I went up to total devastation,the cage lock was broken off ,the eggs were gone and every piece of straw and paper was strewn all over the pen. The poor hen was very distressed running around everywhere until she found someone else's eggs to sit on :-P .This is an everyday occurrence,as I mentioned before my pen is about the size of a tennis court with 6 ft thick chain wire fence and metal posts . The wire and posts are all into concrete but they have bent the wire and go straight through! It's the type of wire that I didn't think possible to bend! So I was thinking electric fence? I haven't priced this yet but it is the last resort,any suggestions,has anyone else done this?

Author:  ClissaTSoyFreeChooks [ Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goannas!

Electric mesh is what you need. But you need 2 rows of it with one acting as the earth while the other is the live wire. It comes in a few widths. The trouble is your enemy is long & thin so can get under the mesh. You have to erect the mesh so the lizard must go over & get caught across both rows.
You will need to use strong posts to hold the mesh & the 2 rows need to be strung tight enough that they cant touch each other but are close enough to be less that half the length of the lizard.
Also due to their thick dry skin they sometimes don't feel the zap so you might have to keep the ground wet (muddy) enough for some to stick & create a place on the lizard where the zap will get through.

Other ways to put goannas off is to harass them right back.
Chase the bugger with a big strong 6ft stick or shovel & be sure to hit it many times as often as you can find it.
It's either you & your flock or it. There can be only 1 winner so make sure it is you by not missing when you hit the thing. You wont do it much damage physically but you will frighten it enough after several sessions that it might stay away & find another food source.

There are 2 strengths of chain wire just like with fence wire, you have soft & high tensile (domestic & industrial grades).
I would hazard a guess & say you have the normal soft chain wire. There is no way to deform the high tensile chain wire. They use it around prisons! You would have had to order it specially from your rural supplier & pay a fortune for it. If you didn't do that then you have the ordinary soft chain wire otherwise known as domestic grade. You need industrial grade.
Any self respecting goanna has no problem forcing through domestic chain wire.

If, after repairing all the holes, your chain wire fence is still ok , you could erect the electric mesh fence right next to it & use the chain wire fence as the earth. During the process of forcing through the chain wire they would spend enough time to get zapped once they touched the electric mesh. But be prepared for that one touch to destroy your mesh. Then the bugger will get the eggs anyway.

A very big hungry pig dog will also work. Or have you thought about a donkey or mule? Apparently they are really good at patrolling against goannas, emus & the like.

Another thing that might work is several strands of really slack barbed wire all knotted & strung out so the lizard actually gets tangled in it. If you had that & it got a lizard I would leave the lizard there to almost die then release it & wait for it to come back. Aaannnndd repeat! :D It worked against all versions of military personnel during 2 world wars. Surely it would work against one determined goanna!

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