Almost lost a hen today

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
25,518
17,568
771
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
You will eventually loose a bird/birds when free ranging. It's a risk you take. I built nice large covered pens for my birds so they have a lot of room. I learned the hard way. I have heard no complaints and I have seen hawks around but apparently they know they can't get to the birds. You can occupy the birds with things like flock blocks.
Flock-BlockRev.jpg
 

Wolfie2

Songster
5 Years
Feb 23, 2016
89
248
129
South of Houston
I have lost birds to predators before and probably will again just because I think they are happier birds by being outside at least some part of the day. The "chicken pen" is 512 sq. ft.with a 8x8 hoop coop inside. Big enough for the 13 birds so they are not unhappy staying inside. But when we go out there in the afternoon they know they are going to go outside. They line up @ the door and RUN out as soon as the door starts to open. I think their happiness is worth the risk. They get to act more like birds than as prisoners in an exercise yard.
Thanks, everybody for the advice and condolences!
PS: Yes, there are federal laws as well as TX. laws protecting birds of prey. I know that consequences can be harsh. But there is little that animal control and TPWD can do because the birds are not residents and will be gone before they can get there. So it will be the SSS method. And all my close neighbors concur.
 

ChickenLord33

In the Brooder
Nov 5, 2020
15
16
34
I have lost birds to predators before and probably will again just because I think they are happier birds by being outside at least some part of the day. The "chicken pen" is 512 sq. ft.with a 8x8 hoop coop inside. Big enough for the 13 birds so they are not unhappy staying inside. But when we go out there in the afternoon they know they are going to go outside. They line up @ the door and RUN out as soon as the door starts to open. I think their happiness is worth the risk. They get to act more like birds than as prisoners in an exercise yard.
Thanks, everybody for the advice and condolences!
PS: Yes, there are federal laws as well as TX. laws protecting birds of prey. I know that consequences can be harsh. But there is little that animal control and TPWD can do because the birds are not residents and will be gone before they can get there. So it will be the SSS method. And all my close neighbors concur.

This is where I am at too. The chickens are too upset if they can't go out. They are too smart. I decided to let them out for a few hours every day around 10AM until 1PM because here the hawks are more active in the AM until 9:30AM and they sometimes come back around 2:30PM. I've added more perches and got them more toys, too. Best of luck! I agree it's better to have happy chickens!
 

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