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Dang predators!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Over the last month, I've lost at least 8 chickens(including two sitting hens) to a hawk and either a fox or cat. They free range during the day and are locked up at night. Due to number of chickens, I can't keep them all locked up. During the week, I'm usually gone from daylight till dark so it's hard to watch then during the day. Ugh!!
post #2 of 4

Unfortunately it does come with the territory when free-ranging.  There are often some steps that can be taken to mitigate the risks, if you'd be interested in some help with that you can post some photos of the area(s) your birds range in so we can see what might help you.  One thing that helps with the aerial predator issue is to provide various cover items for the birds to use if/when a threat is detected above - this can be as simple as a pallet placed up on cinder blocks at a height that the chickens can get under to huddle as most birds of prey will not pursue the attack I they can't get at them from above for the strike. 

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Witchgrass View Post

Over the last month, I've lost at least 8 chickens(including two sitting hens) to a hawk and either a fox or cat. They free range during the day and are locked up at night. Due to number of chickens, I can't keep them all locked up. During the week, I'm usually gone from daylight till dark so it's hard to watch then during the day. Ugh!!

You may need to rethink your management. Your predator(s) will continue to return until they have wiped out your flock. Something that I've read about on here is Premiere electric poultry netting. It would help with ground predators, but not necessarily helpful for aerial predators. Supposedly easy to move and use. (I don't use it, so I can't say for sure). It may be worth considering a run attached to your coop (I have two coops, each with a 12x16' attached run) to contain your chickens until the current predator(s) gets discouraged and moves on. That will work until the next one comes along. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #4 of 4

Curious where the setting hens were and what time of day did they get killed?

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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