quote name="Davidconn8d" url="/t/759458/northern-virginia#post_16695471"] As for myself, I've been spending the past couple weeks trying to deal with predators. I'm suspecting a fox
It got two of my brand new pullets, then my year-old Ameracauna (who I actually wouldn't miss that much since she doesn't lay) went missing in a poof of feathers left behind. Searched the neighbors backyard and found some pullet legs just over our 5.5 foot fence, in her pachysandra. Then, close to her house, my hen popped her head out of her hiding place. One eye was a little messed up and closed, but she's doing well enough now. Setting a have-a-heart trap with cat food and ground meat has yielded NOTHING, though--not even a cat, and I know there are several that run around outside. I reinforced the bottom of my coop a bit and have to re-roof it before getting some more pullets. We're only allowed to have four or five birds here, so this was devastating. --David
So sorry to hear of your predator issue! Around this time last year (late Feb., early March) a fox came through and finished off most of our flock. We lost our buff orp. (HUGE favorite), speckled Sussex, an Easter egger, RIR, and barred rock. We were left only with our rooster, and the one hen who doesn't lay (go figure). I ordered some new chicks, who have matured over the fall/winter and are now all laying. We are getting 8 or so eggs per day, and it is awesome to have fresh eggs again.
Our chickens are safe at night--- our coop is very predator secure when closed. Unfortunately, our foxes have no issue with coming out for a meal in broad day light. This time of year, I think they may have kits, and they must be hungry. A fox grabbed one chicken while I was standing right there last year.
We now have a fenced in run, no more free ranging at all
. I am sure a determined fox COULD climb over the fence during the day, but so far, the birds have been safe (knock on wood.)Edited by 2lilchkns - 3/15/16 at 4:01pm