Originally Posted by Sylvester017
People on the BYC thread "post your chicken coop pictures here" say that 1/2-inch hardwire keeps out small rodents and snakes out of a run but I free range my hens and the coop pop door is open all day and if someone's pet boa or python escapes in the neighborhood my coop would be vulnerable like yours is. I guess all we can do is to check the coop well every day. We open ours up everyday to clean up the nestboxes and collect eggs anyway. Keep us updated on the scarecrow and if the predator-eyes balloons work or not. Seems like a silly solution but if it works I'll use it to scare the darned wild sparrows and doves! I'm tired of the buggers using my vegetable plants to hide and poop in! We got tired of finding their poops in the chicken water so we invested in a couple Brite Tap nipple valve waterers and the wildlife can't dirty the water any more!
How nice that you have Doms. Ours died before POL so we never got to know how she'd fit in our backyard flock but we absolutely loved her active outgoing friendly curious personality. We have a gentle-breeds flock now and aren't sure how a Dom would fit in. They are a sweet human-friendly bird but never got to find out how a Dom would behave with Silkies and Ameraucanas (not EE) and we're adding a Breda pullet next week. We were sent a Breda cockerel on accident and loved him so much. We had to re-home him with friends but he was so much like a Dominique in outgoing unafraid friendliness that we decided to go with a Breda pullet. A Dom owner thought the Doms might not be good to mix with Silkies in the flock so I'm still wondering. I'm also considering an Orloff and Pavlovskaja but have no experience with either and have been asking a lot of questions about them. They seem like timid birds and I need predator-savvy breeds because of the free-ranging backyard. I know Favies are gentle birds but the feedback is that they are not very predator-savvy or alert.
What are your breeds?
We have RIRS that we picked up at our local TSC to be companions to a lone survivor chick from a group of 15 that we mail ordered, Buff Orpingtons, Buckeyes,and Dominiques. We started out with 19 hens, we lost one at a year to the neighbors (they deny it, but we have seen it in their yard with their 2 chickens) we lost 3 to a fox last fall, 1 BO, 1 RIRS and 1 Buckeye. We dispatched the fox.
The Dominiques are serious forragers. They love treats and won't hesitate to angrily peck at your ankles if you don't produce said treat. We have witnessed one attacking one of our RIRS when she got her saddle caught in the briars. She ran over and proceeded to rip out the feathers on her neck and ate them. We now have three hens that have huge bare areas on their backs. I'm thinking that it's the Doninique. I'm ordering some pinless peepers to put on her to see if the picking stops.
As far as the scarecrow goes, we didn't have any hawk issues after I put it in the yard.
And, I caught a total of 6 black snakes last summer in our coop. We sealed up the soffit with carpenter's cloth wire. I guess that we shall see if it helps that they no longer have a place to hide and digest.