3 out of 4 chickens are gone.. how to protect them better

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mistari, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. mistari

    mistari Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    i forget to shut their coop all the time. i try so hard to remember but they were always ok until about a week ago i remembered a few hours after it got dark and went out and there were feathers everywhere and 2 missing. i am really sad about it the chickens were so nice and i enjoyed feeding them and having them follow me around and they hadn't even layed their first egg yet. i forgot again 2 days ago and another one is gone which leaves me with ONE male chicken. last night i brought him into my front room which is basically like a shed and set him up a nice little area in an old dog cage. my neighbor said he will give me some chickens but i am scared to have chickens again bc i don't want them to get eaten. i would let them free roam around the yard during the day and they go into their coop at night. i guess maybe i could put a fence around their coop but would that really keep predators out? idk.. [​IMG]
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Before you keep chickens again, you need to figure out how to take care of them responsibly. Since forgetting to shut the coop results in their death, forgetting is not an option! You need to find a way to remember. Try setting an alarm on your phone that goes off at dusk every day to remind you. Or leave something on your pillow that will remind you to lock the coop before getting into bed.
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    You could give your rooster to the nice neighbor and then in a few years try again. Sounds like you have a lot on your mind.
  4. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    Don't get anymore chickens - you are not responsible enough for any pets or livestock. Too bad these creatures are suffering because of you.

    I smell a troll...
  5. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey Mistari, I doubt there is a ONE of us who hasn't been an hour or two late in shutting
    our chickens in - especially this time of year when it is getting dark by 6pm. You are just unlucky enough to have a local predator who is right on top of the situation! (I'm sure glad I don't!... Knock on wood!) Don't beat yourself up about it, but if you do decide to pursue the chicken thing, having a really secure run (check out the great ideas in the coop section) that you can confine them to when you are NOT going to be able to shut up the coop exactly on time could be your answer. This is certainly the downside of chicken-keeping - lots of clever and alert critters love chicken dinners as much as we do. It took me many years (and many feather-scattering events) to learn how to protect my flock and still have a life. It's discouraging at times, but your chickens still had a better life, and likely a better death, than the millions and millions of confined/industrialized chickens that die their miserable deaths after their lonely, miserable lives... and people are coming down on you for this? Forgetting to shut the coop door? Please!
  6. Shelanie

    Shelanie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2008
    Southern California
    Quote:Well said. It has happened to all of us who have had chickens for any amount of time. Just fix the issue an secure your coop before you get more.
  7. lilcrow

    lilcrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    New Vienna, Ohio
    Quote:Well said. It has happened to all of us who have had chickens for any amount of time. Just fix the issue an secure your coop before you get more.

    Thank you very much. I don't think I would have had the maturity or gentleness to see this initially. You helped me today. Bless you. [​IMG]
    Oh, and I also agree. I'm lucky or unlucky (depending on your perspective) to ALWAYS be here every night and to have nothing better to do than to obsess over my animals, so I've been lucky enough so far not to have lost anyone. I might mention to you, mistari that chickens usually go to roost quite early, even before dark. So you might be able to go check on them a dusk, just before dark, and they will already be in their coop and you can shut them up. Then you can go on with your evening and not have to worry about them for the rest of the night.
    I will say that this is my worst nightmare. [​IMG] I know that coons can and will be the death of my chickens if they get the chance. I had one show up at my place in the last week. I went and got a live trap and set it last night. Since I knew his habits already, I got him right off. The problem being, I couldn't kill him. I trapped him within 10' of my bantam blue cochins. It gives me chills just to think about it. [​IMG]I still couldn't kill him! I ended up breaking the law, driving nearly 20 miles away to a state park, looking all over the place, sitting and waiting for just the right time (privacy) to get him out of the truck, spring the trap and wait for him to waddle away. (He was sleepy since it was the middle of the afternoon). I know, call me a fool, but I couldn't do it! I just can't look something in the face and kill it. Maybe if he had eaten my blues, and I had developed enough personal hatred for him, I might have been able to do it, but that wasn't the case. So tonight there's a raccoon running free in an Ohio state park rather than my backyard. At least I didn't take him to somebody else's backyard. [​IMG]
  8. mistari

    mistari Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    to the first 3 posters... you guys are nasty. if you can't say anything nice don't say it.

    I am going to build a better coop and hatch some more next spring. I hatched all 4 chickens myself and turned their eggs everyday. So I am very sad they are gone but I have 1 left I think I am going to get a hen from my neighbor bc my one is probably lonely now and I will keep them in my front porch where nothing can get them. He seems to like it better in there anyway and it is easier for me to remember to call him in everynight I think.
  9. citrusdreams

    citrusdreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Quote:You're asking how to protect your chickens better, so I'd say: If you forget to shut their coop all the time, try and set up reminders for yourself, like setting an alarm clock on your cellphone, writing on the back of your hand, putting a sticky on some place you'll be around dusk. Maybe someone like a neighbor can do it for you. If you forget to shut their coop all the time, then you'll have to leave it closed. If you forget to shut their coop, they are prone to being attacked by predators. There's no way around that. Either they are shut in and safe, or they are not shut in - and unsafe.

    As to a fence around your coop, yes it does keep predators out but you have to make sure it is very sturdy fencing, and that the holes (such as chain link or woven wire) are not big enough that a smaller predator can squeeze though. I like (and a lot of people use) chain link fence, like the dog kennels they sell at places such as Lowes. You will need to reinforce the bottom so that nothing digs under the fencing. You will need to put some kind of cover on it, such as netting and make sure it is tied down secure, so that overhead predators can't fly in, and smart predators like raccoons don't pull it up. Then make sure that there is no gap in any place where your coop and your pen connect. If you do use something like chain link, you would need to reinforce it with something such as hardware cloth or woven wire with holes about 1/2" x 1/2" so that a smaller predator such as a raccon or opposum can't get their skinny arm in there and pull out your chicken (decaptiating it in the process). This should be a pretty secure set up, and it works for most folks. Some people go the extra mile and add a strand of electric fence about 8-10 inches all the way around.

    We've all forgotten to close the chicken coop at one time or another, but if you simply can't remember all the time (and there's always something some of us can't remember to do all the time), then you'll need to contain them so that you don't have to remember. A lot of people don't free range their fowl, they contain them full time to a coop with access to a pen. So that might be an option for you. You don't HAVE to free range your chickens if they're being picked out one by one.
  10. Cackling Hen

    Cackling Hen Just Scratching Around

    Apr 21, 2009
    Port Angeles Wa
    Quote:That was not nice to say I agree we all forget things...........mistari maybe this time you will remember sometimes it takes something like that and YOU wont forget to shut there door Good luck sorry those people were so mean in the posts [​IMG]

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