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Have you ever noticed that a predator will find your favorite fowl every time?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I live in a very rural area..So Ive had to deal with predators all my life..This winter I lost a few to owls that tore into a lot(Ive since replaced that particular run of wire with welded wire) Of course the chickens I lost were all very good breed wheaten ameraucana hens:he ... Every time Ive had an incident of this "magnitude" its been some of my very best birds..Not that I don't care about my other chickens but its like they will walk right by mixed breed layers to kill my marans and ameraucanas..:barnie

post #2 of 7

It always seem to turn out that way. Maybe get some "sacrificial" bantams - great broodies if you hatch your own chickens. 

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 7
Totally agree with you. The first chicken I lost, to a bear, was my absolute favorite- the super tame girl who would jump into my lap and follow me around the yard. Of course I didn't want to lose any chicken, but part of me was like "why couldn't it have been the mean little white one who isn't friendly at all?" I'm very glad that I live in a rural area like you though. At least we can take care of predators. Have you read the thread about coyotes?They're a problem for someone in California right now and they can't do anything about it because of HOA regulations. Makes me feel really bad for chicken owners in neighborhoods with regulations like that.
post #4 of 7

If you want to keep livestock, living in an HOA isn't a real good choice.

 

A lot of the reason people lose their favorite bird is that the traits that make for good pets often make for poor survivors. I had a bad coyote attack last year - I lost most of my flock of purebred birds - one hen (who happened to be the closest to standard, yay) and 2 roosters made it through (out of 15 or so birds).

The leghorn based barnyard mixes though - who are flighty as all heck, mean, and unhandleable? All fine. They were all up on the roof - while the expensive birds were all running around on the ground.

post #5 of 7


Crazytalk you nailed it.  You are exactly right.

 

A few years back I too had a coyote attack in broad day light and while I was home.  I witnessed it. 

 

My mixed breed bantams, mixed leghorns, mixed Americanas, mixed Minorcas all took to the wing and either flew up onto the outbuilding roofs, into trees or flew off into the woods and hid.  My marans, buff orps and blue wyandottes just ran in circles for the most part didn't even run off to hide.

 

The scary part for me was when I ran out of the house yelling and screaming I expected the coyote to run off, it didn't.   I knew something was wrong, went in got my shotgun and dropped him.  

 

I called conservation dept and they came and got him and had him tested, he tested positive for distemper.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyTalk View Post
 

If you want to keep livestock, living in an HOA isn't a real good choice.

 

A lot of the reason people lose their favorite bird is that the traits that make for good pets often make for poor survivors. I had a bad coyote attack last year - I lost most of my flock of purebred birds - one hen (who happened to be the closest to standard, yay) and 2 roosters made it through (out of 15 or so birds).

The leghorn based barnyard mixes though - who are flighty as all heck, mean, and unhandleable? All fine. They were all up on the roof - while the expensive birds were all running around on the ground.

I also had a similar experience with my free range game hens.  It took me less than 30 seconds to respond and when I got to the scene every hen was 30 to 40 feet straight up in a sycamore tree.  No chicken dinner for that coyote.

 

Crazy is right, and it would be down right funny except for the fact that the poor chickens must pay the price for their owners mistakes.  If you want a so called "Heritage" chicken and intend to free range, remember that most poultry like RRs, Bared Doms, or silkies and other over bred breeds has been inbred out the wazoo and are prime candidates for a finger licking good feast for either a 2 or a 4 legged chicken predator.  It makes good sense for a flock owner to be able to easily catch or pickup a chicken to either gauge its plumpness or else to wring its neck in preparation for Sunday dinner and usually for both of these reasons.  If you can pick them up at will, a predator can pick them off at will. 

 

KYBOY and scooter147 are spot on as well, because when you have a prize example of the genes that you want to breed to, it always seemed to me that the dang old Great Horned Owls always looked at the foot web markings or else the stud number on either the leg band or wing band before killing one of your hens.  These predators seem to care enough to only kill your very best.     

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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post #7 of 7

I agree with everyone here!  My worst daytime predator attack, a sick mangy fox, got ten nice laying hens.  I swear, he picked the hens and pullets in lay, and avoided the cocks and barren old ladies.  The neighbors were able to shoot him a few days later;  he was very ill and unable to hunt in the cold at night.  The 'sweet' girls get picked off first so very often.  Mary

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