Are my chickens safe?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChickenPeep, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

    May 1, 2011
    Olathe, Kansas
    Hello fellow BYC'ers

    I have 4 chickens. 2 silkies, 1 silkie cross, and a Silver duckwing OEGB bantam.
    Recently, I've been letting them free-range in our backyard. We live in a suburb and there are houses all around us (But we have a lot of backyard).

    Many of our neighbors have sighted a red fox run around in our neighborhood. We too have seen it. It has killed several of our rabbits when they got loose from their cage. One time a while ago, we saw it peering into our rabbit cage early in the morning.This fox has even been seen in the light of day.
    When I write this, it makes it sound like it runs around every day, but it doesn't. We don't see it often, and haven't seen it i over 3 months.

    I was just wondering, is it safe for my chickens to free-range in our backyard? I don't know if I'm being paranoid or if it's actually a threat.
    Knowing me, I'm probably just paranoid. [​IMG]

    Here's my silly birds.

  2. bnjrob

    bnjrob Crowing

    Dec 31, 2008
    North TX
    Anytime you free range you run the risk of a predator showing up when they are unprotected by a run/coop. Predators are sneaky and they are fast and can attack even while you are there. Someone else recently had a hawk start attacking her chickens while she was out there with them. No guarantees - you'll have to decide how much of a risk you are willing to take.
  3. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

    May 1, 2011
    Olathe, Kansas
    Thanks for the quick reply.
    I'm thinking that I'll only let them free-range when I'm out there with them. Otherwise, I'll put them in my rabbit's fence. That way they'll be protected from foxes and hawks, because it's fenced off and under a low tree.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Breeds you have repressent probably the most vulnerable to predation by critters like red fox. Hawks even in urban setting will also be a concern. Oversight while free ranging s recommended and be prepared to do more than watch when predator calls. They will visit while you are present so kick butt.
  5. Suzierd

    Suzierd Crowing

    Aug 8, 2011
    You are not being paranoid a fox will snatch one right under your nose. They depend on you to protect them, I wish you the best of luck in keeping them safe.
  6. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

    May 1, 2011
    Olathe, Kansas
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I really appreciate it. [​IMG]
  7. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Songster

    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    I have had coyotes and fox come up and snatch free ranging birds right out from under my nose while doing morning chores before. Just be prepared.

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