Always hear about predator problems. why not me? (PICS)

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jmc, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    i live out in the middle of nowhere. of course, there are 18 of us here at the monastery.........we also have a 'non-watchdog' golden retriever who likes to roam around and pee and poop. also have two cats that do the same--IF they are awake, that is... [​IMG]

    i have always locked our birds up real tight at night so nothing can get them. even use buckets loaded with rocks in front of locked doors to coops. only thing that could get into our huge cage, where most of the ducks live (we don't have chooks) is a black bear.

    WE'VE NEVER LOST ANY BIRD OR EVER AN ATTACK.

    True, daytime predation or attacks could be a different story. Our perimeter fence could be surmounted. But then again, our dog and cats are about, and there are usually people around (like me) doing something out there: chainsawing, carpentry in the woodshop, or the backhoe roaring away, etc...........

    But I refuse to believe that you sensible people are being remiss about protecting your birds by night so as to lose them to predators.

    Am I just lucky?

    I know some day we'll get an attack by day. But at night................I just don't see it.

    maybe i can get some pics of our setup

    from the nw. you can see stacks of heavy buckets against the door inside the mootel. in there is the 10 x 16 cage our ducks live and lay in........ three drakes live in a smaller coop.

    [​IMG]

    from the east

    [​IMG]

    here is one from inside the compound. from the south side of the mootel and cage.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  2. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Don't get over confident, your defenses will eventually get tested and they may not withstand the test.

    Never had any attempts by hawks for the first 19 months then an unsuccessful one last Sunday, I managed to scare the hawk off, and I do believe that the hawk got taken out by six crows.
     
  3. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    Beautiful! Just be grateful! I'm having problems with sparrows of all things!
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    I'd guess your retriever is the answer. I live in the middle of fox, possum, hawks, coons, coyotes, etc., etc. and have not lost one in about two years. I never lock them up any more because... two of our dogs are outside all the time. I'll hear them barking in the middle of the night at a coon, skunk or whatever, and a third dog is out part of the time. Not one loss since I got the dogs trained to leave the chickens alone. They don't guard the chickens, they ignore them, but bark at and chase any "foreign" critters.

    Before the dogs were trained and I tried to free range, we lost a lot of chickens; I saw a fox take one on two or three occasions, and trapped coons and possums as well as a fox.
     
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Western MA
    Love your set up!!
    Do you ever see any hawks? We have a ton of them here in Western Mass..
     
  6. cluckiemama

    cluckiemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We, too, have been tremendously lucky in Massachusetts. We have never lost a chicken. However, EVERYONE I know has lost one or more (or ALL) of their chickens - to dogs, hawks, fisher cats etc. We have a fenced in yard (most people in this area don't) and we're outside a lot with the dog - so I think that activity keeps predators at bay.[​IMG]
     
  7. Hottchick

    Hottchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you train a dog to leave the chickens alone? One of my girls somehow managed to get out of her pen and my dog killed her. I upped security in the run so we don't have a repeat but I have another dog that barks at them a lot too.
     
  8. BlackBart

    BlackBart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Beautiful set up....... very lucky birds you have.

    I hate to tempt my fate but I lock mine up very tight at night too, nothing can get in. Never lost a bird at night as long as I locked them up.

    During the day we have lost a few to a Cooper's Hawk (he was relocated to the vineyards) and two young pullets to the Ravens. Dogs chase the Ravens off now.

    Right now we have had a Black Bear roaming around at night. The dogs were the first defense and then I put the electric fence on. No more Bear.

    Teaching dogs to selectively not chase/chase things has been easy for me. I have no idea why.
    I am not mean to the dogs but I am the alpha dog. My Dogs are part of the family but they have rules they must obey or they get the stink eye and a tongue lashing, never had to go much farther than that. Positive reward for positive behavior.
    I must add that one of my dogs was a SPCA rescue as a older animal. It is sort of a crap shoot getting a older dog but she got the program pretty quick. Once she chased the wild cat and she got into trouble and ignored for the day. Ignoring with the odd piercing stink eye glance her direction possibly the worst punishment I could have done to her. She never chased the cat again.
    I have been told my success has been to me taking the alpha position. How I have done that is a mystery to me. Oddly enough the dogs are the only ones who see me as alpha [​IMG]
    I have Australian Cattle Dogs and they tend to be head strong. At least thats the rumor. [​IMG]
     
  9. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just when you think you're safe-----. (How does the theme to "Jaws" go?)
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    New Jersey
    Great set up. Really hope you have not just jinxed yourself![​IMG]
     

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