BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Predators and Pests › This was my fault......
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This was my fault......

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

OK, so the debutantes were moved from the garage into their new digs.......and all is well......or was, until I screwed up. Not realizing what the consequences would be, as I was re-filling their feeder, I decided to dump the small amount of old feed left in the bottom onto my garden compost pile, which is adjacent to the chicken house. Within 15 hours, I had managed to attract a skunk and a raccoon to the compost pile to munch on the left over feed.......and in doing so, the raccoon also took notice of the birds hanging out inside.

 

So far, this appears to be the one and only visit the raccoon has made. But enough to convince me its time to order that Duke dog/cat proof raccoon trap and have it ready. If he comes back, he will be dealt with. Reminds me of our Scout trek to Philmont Scout Ranch and the saying they had down there about bears. "A fed bear is a dead bear". Once fed, they will keep coming back, so eventually, it will have to be killed, and since you fed it, you killed it. Fine for killing a bear in NM was $500. Or at least that was what they told us, so we were pretty careful not to feed any bears!!!!

 

Now wondering how many predator problems are our own fault. Are we doing anything to attract them or otherwise bait them in, where they then discover live birds that taste just like chicken?

 

Also, I know all this because I have a trail camera set up and aimed at the open front. So I am able to monitor what goes on out there in the dark. Have, but have also not installed a motion sensor, so not only will I know what is going on, I'll know when. For those wondering what is getting your birds, this is your answer. Install a trail camera. 23,50 40 4a 40

 

23,50 40 4a 40

 

 

Cat is one of three that came with the new place. Hard to say they are mine.......but they live in the barn and I feed them.

 

Among other things, chicken house was built to repel boarders. So far, it is holding.

post #2 of 6

Chickens are great bait for predators, and will attract them in without any help.   While many people kill every predator they can, I find it much better to provide predator-proof housing, as no matter how many you kill there will ALWAYS be another one along.  Safe housing means you don't have to kill animals that, after all, are natural residents of our surroundings.

Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 

Reply

Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 

Reply
post #3 of 6

I found that when I stopped spreading treats outside of my coop and enclosed run, many fewer critters showed up, and there have been fewer predator issues generally.  Those cats are yours, and I hope their rabies vaccinations are up to date at least!  Mary

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

When the former owners asked about leaving the cats, I asked and they assured me they had been neutered and vaccinated. Originally there were four of them. One went missing shortly after we moved in. One has pretty much gone feral and should be trapped and dealt with. The other two stay in the horse barn and seem to be doing a good job of keeping the rodent population down. They are both a blessing and a curse.

 

One thing that had me concerned was what they would do with the chicks. If they were going to be a threat, they would have to go. So far, they mostly ignore them. I have seen them pass by the chicken house all the time and don't even look up or slow down. The picture above is the only time I've seen one even near it.

 

The second test will be in a week or so when I open the pop door to let the birds out for the first time. I'll have up a woven wire fence setup for a playpen, but they will be out in the open vs. behind that heavy wired front screen. That changes things.

post #5 of 6

Cats will hunt anything worth eating, and that can include chicks.  A broody hen will guard her babies, and keep cats away, and big chickens aren't at risk.  My barn cats never bothered the medium to large birds, but I wouldn't trust little chicks with them.  Guard those babies until they are larger!  My cats also were very interested in the coop, hunting the mice there!  They were a big help in rodent control.  Mary

post #6 of 6
Dont blame yourself
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