ALABAMA!!

alangrg3

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 17, 2014
8
0
39
Rogersville, AL
Thanks for all of the replies. The last place we lived was backed up to the woods, not far from Mark Twain National Forest in the Ozark Mountains. We had plenty of predators there - mainly fox, coyote, plenty of raccoon, skunks, neighbor dogs, wild dogs/cats and bob cat. That said we did not loose one bird to them - it was our own dogs when a couple of hens flew into the dogs chain link fence. That should not be (as big) a problem as we have about 6 acres of pasture and the coop is going up about 100 yards from the dog fence. I have not seen near as many coyotes or anything else around here, except Bald Eagles, that will be a problem. We plan on letting our hens run free and to mitigate birds of prey we are going to put up a few low shelters for them to hid under ( 2 cinder blocks high with plywood (left over siding, tin, whatever) when they get spooked.

We are putting the coop on the north east side of an existing 40 x 40 metal pole barn to provide shade and a wind break - we had identified heat as being an issue for rabbits and thus the location. Glad that works out. We actually got down here toward the end of November and I agree winter is not bad, but that in its self can create problems if the hens do not put on adequate winter coats and condensation build up due to frequent temp changes. I agree that ventilation fixes most of those problems and strong wire keeps the bigger threats out. Using a carport kit should give a good head start on keeping critters out and a solid structure to allow for plenty of ventilation for ammonia control. A lot of design features to work through, given prevailing winds, direction of storms, and sun rise (we want to put on those automatic doors). Good thing I have time to get the coop up.
 

Razadia

The Odd One
9 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,960
804
306
Montgomery, Alabama
They heard the forecast -- 19 degrees for us tonight --BURR!!
It was supossed to be 19 heading into Sunday, but they've changed their tune. It's supposed to be 23 instead.
Thanks for all of the replies. The last place we lived was backed up to the woods, not far from Mark Twain National Forest in the Ozark Mountains. We had plenty of predators there - mainly fox, coyote, plenty of raccoon, skunks, neighbor dogs, wild dogs/cats and bob cat. That said we did not loose one bird to them - it was our own dogs when a couple of hens flew into the dogs chain link fence. That should not be (as big) a problem as we have about 6 acres of pasture and the coop is going up about 100 yards from the dog fence. I have not seen near as many coyotes or anything else around here, except Bald Eagles, that will be a problem. We plan on letting our hens run free and to mitigate birds of prey we are going to put up a few low shelters for them to hid under ( 2 cinder blocks high with plywood (left over siding, tin, whatever) when they get spooked.

We are putting the coop on the north east side of an existing 40 x 40 metal pole barn to provide shade and a wind break - we had identified heat as being an issue for rabbits and thus the location. Glad that works out. We actually got down here toward the end of November and I agree winter is not bad, but that in its self can create problems if the hens do not put on adequate winter coats and condensation build up due to frequent temp changes. I agree that ventilation fixes most of those problems and strong wire keeps the bigger threats out. Using a carport kit should give a good head start on keeping critters out and a solid structure to allow for plenty of ventilation for ammonia control. A lot of design features to work through, given prevailing winds, direction of storms, and sun rise (we want to put on those automatic doors). Good thing I have time to get the coop up.
Don't forget about the snakes. Sometimes you won't see any and other times they're everywhere. Sounds like you've got a plan.
 

JDchicks

Songster
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
1,573
70
168
Southeast Alabama
Thanks for all of the replies. The last place we lived was backed up to the woods, not far from Mark Twain National Forest in the Ozark Mountains. We had plenty of predators there - mainly fox, coyote, plenty of raccoon, skunks, neighbor dogs, wild dogs/cats and bob cat. That said we did not loose one bird to them - it was our own dogs when a couple of hens flew into the dogs chain link fence. That should not be (as big) a problem as we have about 6 acres of pasture and the coop is going up about 100 yards from the dog fence. I have not seen near as many coyotes or anything else around here, except Bald Eagles, that will be a problem. We plan on letting our hens run free and to mitigate birds of prey we are going to put up a few low shelters for them to hid under ( 2 cinder blocks high with plywood (left over siding, tin, whatever) when they get spooked.

We are putting the coop on the north east side of an existing 40 x 40 metal pole barn to provide shade and a wind break - we had identified heat as being an issue for rabbits and thus the location. Glad that works out. We actually got down here toward the end of November and I agree winter is not bad, but that in its self can create problems if the hens do not put on adequate winter coats and condensation build up due to frequent temp changes. I agree that ventilation fixes most of those problems and strong wire keeps the bigger threats out. Using a carport kit should give a good head start on keeping critters out and a solid structure to allow for plenty of ventilation for ammonia control. A lot of design features to work through, given prevailing winds, direction of storms, and sun rise (we want to put on those automatic doors). Good thing I have time to get the coop up.
Unfortunately, the low shelters to hide can be a problem as well. I just lost one about two weeks ago, cause the hawk was able to trap the chicken under it. My dog was able to scare it off, but it was too late.

We are trying out an idea from a fellow chickenholic, she put out extra bird feed to attract crows and such. So far it has been working, I actually saw the crows chase off the hawk just this past Monday. It was pretty interesting to watch.
 

Tomtommom

Songster
7 Years
Jan 14, 2013
2,850
231
208
Montevallo, AL
Unfortunately, the low shelters to hide can be a problem as well. I just lost one about two weeks ago, cause the hawk was able to trap the chicken under it. My dog was able to scare it off, but it was too late.

We are trying out an idea from a fellow chickenholic, she put out extra bird feed to attract crows and such. So far it has been working, I actually saw the crows chase off the hawk just this past Monday. It was pretty interesting to watch.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but inviting birds into your yard is a HUGE biosecurity issue. Wild birds carry all sorts of nasties.

Natural landscaping is good, along with some built shelters. Thick, low brush.. blackberry bramble, trees. Scrappy roosters are good too. They will get themselves killed protecting the flock. And accept we can't protect every single bird. Stuff happens.

Hawks are my main concern here, but since they're in a large run I havent dealt with them anymore. They're still overhead, but they can't make the swoop (too many tree branches and too narrow a space to maneuver in.
 

kimberly35042

Songster
10 Years
Oct 23, 2009
876
43
178
Central Alabama
Biosecurity or not, the wild stuff is here to stay. I don't feed crows and yet they appear every February like clock work to start collecting duck eggs. I've seen them walk into a little nesting box once they learn where the eggs are and OMG when we had runners that would drop an egg where ever they happened to be walking.
Simple life just ain't so simple. Yea they chase hawks, but the hawks really don't give a good dang about it. both are a nuisance that you live with and deal with as you see fit .
 

Razadia

The Odd One
9 Years
Apr 7, 2011
2,960
804
306
Montgomery, Alabama
I just wish I could make the sparrows go away. They're one of the biggest problems around here. There are a ton of cats that either live here or pass through and it does nothing towards making them leave. Even Lily Kitty can't hunt them all. :rolleyes:
 

Tomtommom

Songster
7 Years
Jan 14, 2013
2,850
231
208
Montevallo, AL
Biosecurity or not, the wild stuff is here to stay. I don't feed crows and yet they appear every February like clock work to start collecting duck eggs. I've seen them walk into a little nesting box once they learn where the eggs are and OMG when we had runners that would drop an egg where ever they happened to be walking.
Simple life just ain't so simple. Yea they chase hawks, but the hawks really don't give a good dang about it. both are a nuisance that you live with and deal with as you see fit .

It's one thing when they drop by, another to feed them on purpose


I've been very fortunate with predators.. which is amazing, considering I see dead raccoons and possums all the time in the road. I've seen deer in the street... I've had two hawk attacks, both birds survived though, and lost one 5 week old chick to a rat snake.. never found the snake, and the chick was too big for the snake (found it dead with small holes in it's neck and it's head was soggy upto the shoulders).

I've got triple fences though. Chainlink (with parts being wood privacy fence), 6 foot tall welded wire fence around the run, and rabbit fence mounted onto the welded wire to keep small birds in and to keep the hens from sticking their heads through. Got two dogs living outside that bark at everything that moves. Add to that the guard cat.. He catches moles, voles, squirrels and chipmunks for fun
got mad at him the other day, he caught a bird.. birds are a no-no.. but he ate the whole dang thing in front of me. Bird must've been too busy wooing the ladies to notice the cat.. he does not usually catch birds (not for lack of trying). He catches anoles too, which I hate... I actually WANT those in my garden
But... you're not going to get the hunter out of a cat who was found living in a field. He grew up eating small critters...
 

JDchicks

Songster
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
1,573
70
168
Southeast Alabama
My chickens have coops, pens, yard area -all inside a fence property. But I do allow them to free range during the day. I live with woods around me, so there is no getting away from biosecurity. I have possums, raccoon, foxes, coyotes, deer, boar, hawks, crows, wild birds, cats, ground moles, horses, dogs, livestock. The crows and wild birds are here anyways, and not trying for my chicken feed or their yard.

I was trying something that might work for me.


I will not post here again, sorry.
 
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