Can't chickens get away?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Dove1B, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Dove1B

    Dove1B Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe a dumb question, but I know that many dogs love to chase/kill chickens. When my dog was a puppy she killed 2 at the ranch I worked at. I have heard people say a dog/other predator killed over a dozen chickens in a few minutes. So my question is... Can't they get away? I know they can jump/fly pretty high when they want to. Are they not quick enough? Not smart enough to fly onto a high roost?
    My current fence is 4 feet high. I know they could get out if they wanted to, which isn't really a big deal, I'd like to let them free range if I can. But if they jumped out, and a dog came along, would they all be killed or would they jump back in? If I let them free range and there was a predator would they fly into a tree and be safe?
    I also hear about them being killed in their coop, but if I put roosts up high will they be safe if something were to get in?
     
  2. duckboy123

    duckboy123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2012
    clinton ohio
    it all depends.
     
  3. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, they will not escape (usually)...

    Inside the coop with a high roost - Dogs are about the only thing that would get into a coop that couldnt get up to the roost and a dog ripping chickens apart is going to scare them into not thinking to roost but to escape... Like dumb kids in horror movies, they will make stupid mistakes... The other preds that come into coops (mink, coons, etc) would both happily go up to the roost to get them if they wanted to

    Free Ranging - I free range sun up to sundown.. I lose chickens, i accept that and kill as many predators as i can and trap for them daily.. Despite my efforts a loose chicken is not a good match for a hungry animal that spent its entire life catching its own food.. They are good at killing, they have to be.. Especially when their target is a domesticated animal that has never had to learn to protect itself from attack... Would be easy if chickens liked middle of the yard, but they like bugs... Bugs are at ditch lines, edges of fields, etc...

    If you can have a rooster, it can help... I personally have seem my rooster make a noise and every hen was hidden in about 2 seconds as the rooster stood tall waiting to defend his women... Little did he know small planes flying by arent a real threat lol... But he did what roosters do... Sensed danger, and stood ready to fight to the death for his flock... If my rooster saves one hen one time by fighting off a possum then he did his job
     
  4. JennT

    JennT Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh no! We got our chicks yesterday. We plan to free range once they get outside. We live at the end of a county runway...
     
  5. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whats a county runway?? We live surrounded by a combination of a farm field and wooded area... Honestly we dont lose many free ranging, but it does happen... Last summer we lost one rooster to a hawk, and at least 3 hens to (best guess) possum... There are measures you can take... A good flock dog will **** sure keep them safe if you have the desire to have and teach a dog to hangout with chickens all day... Probably what we will do when our old lab passes
     
  6. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also in my free range experience, the deadliest times to free range are at spring thaw and fall... Spring thaw the predators are starving from food scarcity over winter and getting set to mate in alot of cases.. That makes them a little desperate... A hungry desperate animal will gladly steal a chicken
     
  7. Dove1B

    Dove1B Out Of The Brooder

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    With dogs though, if one chicken got attacked, why wouldn't the others fly away or perch up on a fence?
     
  8. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When they are free ranging they usually will get away except 1... But thats all up to the dog and if he is killing for fun or killing for food... If he is killing because he is hungry the others have a chance to get away... If he is killing for fun they probably arent getting away... Reguardless, a scared chicken isnt thinking go up high when under attack, they are thinking RUN!! You seem concernee about the dogs.. If your free ranging your problems dont stop with dogs... Ive never had a dog attack my chickens.. I have however had hawks, a bald eagle believe it or not, possum, coon.. My brother had a mink kill his entire flock inside his coop...

    Problem with a dog attack and the other chickens running away, eventually they will run out of room and stop running and the dog wont
     
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Humming birds chickens are not. If you've ever watched a chicken fly up to a perch high enough to be safe from a dog it may take it a minute or more of looking, thinking, eying the destination, and estimating the trajectory before she takes to the air. Dogs, coyotes, foxes, or any other predator are not going to give her the 60 seconds to figure it out. Besides if a dog tears into a chicken's coop or run the chicken is trapped by the fences like a candy bar in a pilfered vending machine.

    Chickens on the run who do take to the wing fly slow and in a straight line. Any dog worth it's Kennel Ration will be waiting on the hen when she lands. All chicken varieties are bred to tickle the fancy of man. They are not bred to survive in the wild. American Game Chickens comes closest. Besides, if chickens were bred to survive in the wild it would make it too hard for humans to catch and eat them. The whole point to domesticated farm animals was a food source as easy to catch as a watermelon is.

    Off the top of my head I can not think of a single domesticated farm animal that has ever established a breeding population in the wild if the farm animal faced stiff predatory pressure. Even feral swine live in a mostly predator free environment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  10. Dove1B

    Dove1B Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, I get it now. I was mainly trying to figure out if there was a roost or building for them to escape to, if they would but it seems they won't. If I want to free range them though, there really isn't any other option than to accept the risks I suppose. My dogs keep most predators away but there are many stray dogs in the area. I'm a stay at home mom so I'm home all day, if they were to be free ranging I would be home the entire time and if I left they would be back in the coop and secure run or at least in their fenced chicken yard.
     

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