Bye bye hens... what to do now?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by homechick, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. homechick

    homechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Mineola, Tx
    I have... or had 5 chickens. I have a very secure pen for them (with a wired roof) but I liked for them to free-range in my backyard a little almost everyday. They got into the habit of jumping on my deck and then on top of the fence.. They must have flew over the fence a few times and I know they can fly over a low part of my fence. That was okay because they could fly back. When I went on vacation, my grandmother fed them and checked on them. She decided that their wings needed to be clipped and did it while I was gone.. without asking. I was worried because I was sure it would make it harder to escape from predators!
    Sure enough, less than a week later, two of my hens never came home. I did find several scattered feathers from Big Mamma (my only standard chicken) but I didn't find any from Abbey (the banty that was missing). I was so sad! Did a hawk get them? I know I've seen one down the road. I feel so terrible about it! I had just gotten my first egg from Big Mamma! So sad.
    Well now I have to make a decision because the ratio is terrible. I have two banty roos and one banty hen. They are only 41/2 months old but they already pester her. I can't start over with baby chicks right now even though I'd love to!
    What do you think I should do? Give them to somebody that has a bigger secure cage? Mine is so small... it seems cruel not letting them free-range ever but I don't want them all to be hawk food! Is there a certain time of the day that hawks don't hunt? I can't expand the cage.. just can't afford it. [​IMG]. Should I trade with somebody? A roo for a hen? If so, anybody interested? Lol.
    Anyway, just thought I'd get yalls opinions!
     
  2. Motherhenandflock

    Motherhenandflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Southeast Idaho
    Oh wow, I'm sorry you lost your two girls. [​IMG]
    Is there anyway you could build a small secure run for them? With only 3, it wouldn't have to be too big?
     
  3. homechick

    homechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Mineola, Tx
    Oh I do have a run. I'll post a pic. But it's so dusty (they've destroyed all vegetation) and sandy.. I like for them to be able to get out on the grass (and weeds) to pick and flap around. Lol.
    [​IMG]

    I guess I HAVE to start out with chicks.. I don't know where to find grown or nearly grown chickens that can be bought in SMALL quantities!
     
  4. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    Unfortunately if you free range there will be some loss. It's either keep them in the protection of the run or let them free range and risk death. I personally choose not free range. I keep mine in a 40'x50' chicken yard with tons of grass to eat and protective fencing and a net over the entire top.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
  5. homechick

    homechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Mineola, Tx
    Man.. how do you keep grass in their run? *sigh*.. oh well.
     
  6. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    Quote:My chickens are very smart...they eat the tops off of the grass and this weird weed that grows in the yard instead of scratching it all up and eating everything.

    Yard with net:
    [​IMG]

    The weird weed that they love and thankfully it never dies:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Raleigh
    Here's an idea based on a thread posted here a few weeks back.

    Every week or so, go to a sod farm and see if they will sell you a small piece of sod. Bring it home, put it in their run, and they'll have grass.
     
  8. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Raleigh
    Is that weed "henbit"? [​IMG]
     
  9. hollyclyff

    hollyclyff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2007
    NC
    I have a question about sod from a sod farm. Do they treat it with chemicals? The other day I picked up a nice piece of sod from the middle of the road that evidently fell off a truck. I thought I'd give it to the chickens, but DH thought it might not be safe, so I didn't. Yeah, I know picking up a piece of sod out of the road is kind of wierd, but I saw it and thought of my girls, so I just opened the door and grabbed it without even getting out of the car. My girls have eaten all vegetation in their run and we have too many hawks that don't seem the least bit afraid of humans to let them out even under supervision.
     
  10. Cracker

    Cracker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2007
    North-West Florida
    Hey Southern28chick, does that weed have a funny smell when it burns??????????????[​IMG]
    Maybe that explains why you have such happy chickens!!!!!!!!
     

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