Am I lucky?? Naive??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rhody josephine, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. rhody josephine

    rhody josephine In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2011
    I have had my 12 girls that I bought as chicks on May 18th of this year. I have read and absorbed as much as I can from Backyard chickens forum. You guys are a wealth of information!! We looked and looked at different coop ideas and finally jumped in and built our coop using bits and pieces of everyone elses ideas. We are free ranging all day. The girls come out in the morning and at sunset I go out, do a head count and lock up. I'm amazed every night that we still have all 12 and they all look healthy and happy. I was so overwhelmed and nervous about all the details with what I have read on the forum. Is it just that people usually only write in with their problems?? Or is the chicken poop about to hit the fan for me and it's only a matter of time?
    Can it really be easy??

  2. ninabeast

    ninabeast Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    I'm in much the same situation you. Predators vary from area to area, obviously. I KNOW there are predators in my area; I have neighbours whose flocks have been wiped out by weasels, and I've seen a red fox on our property. What I've gathered from the experts here is that it can take a while for predators to know your chickens are there. This is the honeymoon period. One of the members said she had no issues for 8 years then, BAM. Predators. And once they find you, and if they are successful in feeding on your flock, they will return.

    So, I'm enjoying the honeymoon, knowing that's what it is. The girls have a secure coop and run, but they spend 2-7 hours a day free ranging. We know we may lose some, but have decided we prefer them to have happy, active lives, knowing the risks. Your mileage may certainly vary. But I wouldn't get too comfortable about predators. From everything I've read, they will probably find you, in time.

    I will be following this thread to see what more chicken owners more experienced than I say...
  3. mylegger

    mylegger In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2011
    Quote:Right now, I'm also enjoying this Honeymoon period too. There are definitely predators in my area as well. I just try to walk the line in between giving them a good foraging life and protection at the same time, knowing at any given point the poop can hit the fan. What I have noticed with the Hawks in my area, is that they are most active around 6:30 in the morning and also around noon, so I let out the chickens later in the morning and for some reason they know to seek closer shelter within the coop around noon [​IMG] Spot on with the comment of When they find you and if they are successful, crossing fingers we don't reach that point.
  4. We've been free ranging for over a year and haven't lost any either. However, everyone on my road has had their flocks wiped out by fox, raccoon, dogs, bear, hawks...

    We just feel like we have been lucky so far. We have had stray dogs, a bear, hawks and a raccoon visit us so far this year.

    This fall they are going into a coop and run pretty much 24/7. I think they will adapt and we may let them out to free range when our dogs are out on the property. I fully expected to lose some to predators by now. Guess no has notified the local animals of the free meal we might be providing them.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  5. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I've had chickens for about 3 years now with no problems. But I have very large guard dogs who chase anything that moves. [​IMG] I have roughly 80+/- right now and I enjoy every second of having them. [​IMG]
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Could be luck or naivete.

    I went 7 years free ranging unsupervised without a problem. Had raccoons, possums, hawks and eagles in the yard. Who knows what else, while I was at work. My luck ran out this year. Lost 2 to raccoons.
    So now I'm planning on expanding the run and reducing the free range time to supervised.

    Imp wishes you all continued good luck.
  7. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Songster

    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    We have only had chickens for 6 months but so far so good. I know we have predators because I have seen the hawk and coons and possum. The neighbors saw a fox in our yard. Nothing has even tried to get in yet but they may not know they are there (except for the hawk). I feel the chicken guilt because mine are only allowed supervised free range. I only have 6 girls and really cant afford to lose any. They range for 1 hour every hour before bed. That is also treat time. Tonight they had crickets from pet smart and edemame from Pei Wei!

    See what chicken guilt makes you do! I ordered the edemame extra to go just for them!

  8. rhody josephine

    rhody josephine In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2011
    My friend lost all her girls (6 of them) to hawks...bit by bit. Just like you said, when the predators find them, they don't give up. We accepted that we may have some loss with free rangeing. She is giving it a break for a season before she gets more chickens..figuring maybe a new batch of hawks won't be able to find them so fast.
    So I'll enjoy this honeymoon period until the jig is up and we are found out!!
  9. doop

    doop In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2011
    n.e minnesota
    You guys seem to be luckier than me. heard the birds squawking so i looked out side and a fox was on my turkey coop. He took off before i could get a good shot but i scared him any way. He came back 2 weeks later and got my favorite hen but my lab chsed him aways and havent seen him in a month, but now i have a coon nosing around my lab got into it with him the other night hopefully he wont come back. Wishful thinking. Hopefully your Good luck continues.
  10. savingpurple

    savingpurple Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    I have not had issues with predators. YET. I am only about 6 months into this, and have had my share of isues. Nothing bad, but more stress than I thought.

    Had one hen that was sweet as pie to me, and my family, but mean as heck to the other hens. Spent a month or more trying SO much suggested on here, and the stress was just too much. I hated to part with her. Miss her every day,as she really took a liking to me, and me to her, heck I saved her little chck life. She has been placed on a farm. Need to go see how she has faired.

    I have one hen that has a limp, and have NO clue what is wrong. She eats well, she is healthy other than this. She seems in pain, but have looked, felt, and nothing seems wrong, Just have no clue what is wrong.

    My experience, has been fun, loving it, hating some things, missing my hen, missing being with my hens when at work, love the eggs, love the chickens......mixed emotions.

    Just getting over rehoming my one hen, and here we go with a injured clue what to do.....what's next???

    Feeling a little overwhelmed, and so little experience.

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