Curious about patterns

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by PeiTheCelt, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. PeiTheCelt

    PeiTheCelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 3, 2007
    Central NY
    It seems like those who free range have a more common loss of 1 or 2 birds, but don't seem to suffer the horrific massacres that far more rarely happen w/ birds in runs... Based on the stories here, it seems like the free range birds scatter if there is a predator attack, and so you loose one or two while the rest run for cover, but this happens more often.. Where as birds in runs are attacked far less often, but when it happens the enclosed area makes it harder for the birds to get away, and so you get a larger percent killed/hurt.

    Is this an actual pattern, or just something my brain is making up?

    (I'm not saying either is better, at all, it just seems to be a pattern I'm seeing emerging and I'm curious if others have noticed it or it's just me.)
     
  2. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    It sounds like a common-sense conclusion to me.

    In my opinion, I'd feel worse about not having provided a safe enough enclosure, than I would having something happen when they were out "doing their thing." With freedom comes risk. With control comes guilt. And the worst part about the guilt is that most likely you built the enclosure as safe as you could. [​IMG]
     
  3. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    The only time a predator got any of my chickens (who free range)SO FAR..was a possum who managed to come early and went into the coop just as they were going in to roost and before I got out there to lock up the door. I managed to arrive in time to find it in the coop and one chick dead. I make it a point to be home at roost time and try to never be late at roosting time to lock up. I am sure I will loose some more to hawks, etc. but it just hasn't happened as yet...knock on wood.
     
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    You're absolutely right. In a pen they'll all squish together so you get trampling losses along with mass carnage.
    Free rangers can at least hide under things and run/fly away so predators get fewer of them.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yep... I free range and used to have a "fence of sorts" to keep them on their side of the drive way area thing for at least an hour or so till they learned to go over, around and under the fenced area for the day...well... I lost 3 birds all against a fence they ran into when they were running away. I took it down and have not had a single day predator loss since. Also never bought birds with large crests again as that was part of the problem. As for massacres, the only one I've had was in my coop/run enclosure during the night when a coon made it through a hole in the back of the enclosure. Had gotten through the rusted out wires and killed all the birds... since doubble layering of wire, large and small mesh, no problems. I accept losses as part of what happens on accidents and free ranging.
     
  6. PeiTheCelt

    PeiTheCelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 3, 2007
    Central NY
    Thank you guys for all your feedback. *laughs* It's funny, although these guys are primarily livestock, I still adore the feathery lunatics, and I have never in my life had to even think seriously about my animals being hurt by other animals (we only take our dog off leash at the dog park, where the dogs are all really well socialized and friendly with one another, and our cats have always been indoor cats).

    This is a very strange thing to have to think about the logistics of and try to "plan" around, both for the emotions and for flock management. (And for the record, we're free ranging except at night, so we're on the "occasional losses, but fewer major numbers lost).
     
  7. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    If anything ever goes wrong, at least you will know in your heart that you did everything you could to give them a high quality of life.
     

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