Are predators worse in winter?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by thejohnsie, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. thejohnsie

    thejohnsie Out Of The Brooder

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    This will be my first winter with chickens and am wondering if predation is worse in winter? It makes sense since they are hungrier in winter. Anyone have thoughts on this?
     
  2. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    im not sure on predetors, but pests are more of a prob in the winter...
     
  3. thejohnsie

    thejohnsie Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2012
    Marion, NC
    What kind of pests? Mice?
     
  4. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    talk to your neighbors or feed store people about your predators. They can tell you better if extra precautions should be taken.

    With me, the answer is yes. I live in town and the only predators I really have to watch out for most of the year is cats and dogs. However with winter coming on (depending on the severeness) I will now have to watch for skunks, possums and rats. Rats being the #1 problem since they will come in not only for food but for shelter. I know normally skunks and such hibernate during the winter but winters here can be very mild and so the animals don't always stay asleep.

    I know I'll hear about this one but I don't lock my hens up at night. They are housed right next to the dogs and they don't like any kind of stranger, so alert me to them. But as winter starts I will be locking them up each night. I also remove any food from the coop and collect eggs regularly. My coop also stands 2' off the ground to help prevent rats and other ground diggers.
     
  5. thejohnsie

    thejohnsie Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2012
    Marion, NC
    I lock mine up at night and have a pretty secure coop but I wonder about the free ranging. So far I've been pretty lucky. My coop has a wood floor about 2 inches odd the ground and is totally enclosed . I will watch for the rats and look for possible entryways for pests. Thanks so much for the tips!
     
  6. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, mice and rats....possibly squirrels if its a cold winter
     
  7. gpwelding1

    gpwelding1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    in my experience,definatly yes!i have more trouble with racoons,opossums and bobcats in fall and winter than any other time of year.
     
  8. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had the sense that spring is the worst for mammalian predators, perhaps because they have hungry young to feed, but winter is worst for hawks. We have more hawks coming through during fall migration, but more risky, desperate attempts by hawks during winter, when they are starving. In winter, they'll come down even when I am out there with the chickens. Also, the chickens are more exposed to aerial predators during winter, because the leaves have fallen, leaving them with little cover. I once had one capture a chicken not 15 feet away from me, but the hawk was small and could not lift it and fly off. I ran at it, thinking it would fly away, but it didn't -- I grabbed the hawk and the chicken and pulled them apart. Yes, it sounds stupid on my part (no gloves), but I didn't think, it was a reflex thing. The hawk seemed as shocked to have a human snatch away its prey, as I was to see the hawk make such a bold attempt. Hen was unharmed. I still let them out during winter, but not for more than a few hours/day, and I have to be very watchful.
     
  9. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    wow, that was probably way more exitement than u wanted. good thing the chicken was fine
     

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