Bear, hawk... Coyote!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by leahcim823, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. leahcim823

    leahcim823 In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2013
    So we free range our chickens, live in the woods. I can't seem to win this month!! At the beginning we had a bear go right into the barn (door was open, so they can go in and out) took to chickens. Then we lost a few more (2) not knowing exactly took them... Then lost 1 a few days ago (found dog tracks next to the feathers).... And now my DH just called me and said he found one of my hens in our wood pile with a bad wound, but he doesn't know what happened he thinks it was a hawk!!!! He's staking out the pile to see if the it comes back!
    I'm feeling defeated and horrible they just keep disapearing!!! I feel so bad, these are more my pets then anything. Idk If I should stop free ranging and just expand there coop... Or just let them be free and take my chances.... There so much happier when they are able to free range... But that's 7 chickens in a little over a month!!!
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Sounds like free ranging may not be an option at this time, unless you're willing to face more losses. Don't get me wrong - I free range, too. I'm not against it. But if your chickens are pets and it's a very difficult thing for you to lose them, I'd lock them up.
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    I agree, if you choose to let the free range there will be more losses if not all of them.

    But protecting them from a bear will be a challenge.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Pets or not, to protect you investment you will likely have to invest more. Electrified poultry netting can be deployed even in a wooded area after a little prepping. You can get bear to respect coop using a little hotwire. Restricting free-range time to when you are present can help with predator ID and keep some away. I employed the restricted free-range times with a front porch flock until dogs in place. When you are so intergrated with wildlife you must invest a lot more in managing interactions.

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