Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by HomeGrownGudLif, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Raccoons

    3 vote(s)
  2. Opossums

    1 vote(s)
  3. Hawks

    6 vote(s)
  4. Large predators like bears and cougars.

    0 vote(s)
  5. Dogs

    3 vote(s)
  6. Other

    4 vote(s)
  1. Hi BYC world,

    Writing in a bit of a melancholy mood today. Less than a week ago we lost one of our ducks to the neighbor's dogs, and yesterday I went out to discover a hawk had gotten one of our small birds and her chick is missing (that was last night so I am assuming she is dead...). :( Over the last two years of having chickens and ducks we have had a total of 6 losses to predators (including this week's losses) - mostly to raccoons. We had been on a really good streak and hadn't lost anybody to predators for at least half a year. I feel terrible that these critters I am taking care of are dying. I love them a lot and am just feeling very disheartened about the whole thing. We are expanding their run - they are usually free range but since it's garden season they will have to stay in the run until the plants are grown. And they have a comfortable coop that is predator proof. The attacks have always happened at random during the day when we weren't expecting it. Has anyone else out there felt like throwing in the towel? It's so sad to have my heart broken again and again and at the same time they bring me so much happiness. Is this normal for the first few years of chicken husbandry?

    Thanks for your thoughts. I am needing some support and thus turn to the faithful online chicken community.

    R.I.P. Rain, Pawel, Luna, Duck Face, Violet, and Chick'n Little - lost to predators.
  2. schnebbles

    schnebbles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2013
    Indian Lake, Ohio
    That is so sad. Until I came here I would have not realized that so many chickens are dying like this. I'm new and after reading all of this am reconsidering what type of chickens to get. I love the little ones but am starting to think I might be better off with larger birds.

    I would have trouble with it happening once let alone again and again, it would make me feel just like you are describing.
  3. miquwid

    miquwid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2013
    Western NY
    My Coop
    I'm just starting out as well and I've been doing my best to make sure my coop is predator proof I was even thinking about getting another dog to keep watch over the property when I my fence is put in this spring. I hear a lot about this and I want to do my best to them safe. Unfortunlatey though it is a part of life and I'm so sorry for your lost I hope we in BYC can do what we can to help you get through this tough time!
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Unfortunately when it comes to predation standard versus bantam means little. Predators will take any and all, it's the price that is paid for free ranging. If loosing birds is very traumatic then it's best to keep them in a more confined area. People with large, free ranging flocks expect and are prepared for the occasional loss. For those with smaller flocks, myself included, free ranging would mean zero birds in a very short amount of time. Coyotes and dogs are rampant here. So my chickens have covered runs and when they are out it's in a securely fenced small pasture near the house. Still not protected from hawks but I have a good rooster and it's the best I can do while still letting them out to enjoy life.
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Try not to be discouraged. I have lost chickens to neighbor's dogs, coyotes and hawks. It is sad but it is a part of life if they are able to ranging in an unprotected area. I've had to change the area that they are allowed in due to predators. I've lost more to dogs than anything else. I have a Grt Pyr pup who will eventually be watching over the chickens and ducks. He is only 5.5 months old now though.
  6. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    Ya don't let it get you down, chickens are food for everything including us, and it's only a matter of time before something kills them. We have had good luck only losing birds on 2 occasions to our old beagle who got off the chain a couple times, never had problems with birds of prey or stray dogs, had fox and coon in the yard which we were able to see them before opening the coop and shot them. All you can do is make your coop and run as tight as you can afford and have space for. Or just free range and expect to lose some as others said. I never plan on treating them as pets because I know they are destined for dinner eventually anyways but we have had a few that we tried to keep around just because we liked them.
  7. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

    Dec 16, 2011
    I've had chickens for about a year- no causalities yet. My heart is going to break IF one does!!!! Just remember- They might be dying in your care- but it is in you care. Lots of chickens don't have anything equal to your care. I am talking about factory chickens. your chickens will live a life full of love and good food! It might be short life, but it is a good life, compared to lives they could be living.
  8. schnebbles

    schnebbles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2013
    Indian Lake, Ohio
    thats true chicks galore3. Mine will be strictly pets. Im almost betting a hawk wouldn't fly into our tiny yard that has a 6' privacy fence anyhow. Our yard is so small I could cover our entire fence! But, I wouldn't do that b/c we do go out there.
  9. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    Never underestimate how daring a hungry predator can be. Check out youtube.. there's videos of hawks flying into covered pens through an open door to get at the chickens (although one nearly paid for its efforts at the spurs of an angry rooster), into the tinest patios.. etc.. Either always be out there to keep an eye on things or get a dog and train it.
  10. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i think you have to weigh what you want for your chickens and what you're willing to risk. a person can successfully have a predator proof coop & a run that is predator proof. the price (besides dollars) is the freedom for the birds. the other way is to limit the risk in ways you deem right and be willing to accept the loses.
    i started w/26 birds, gave a few away. i left a gate open one morning by mistake - my dog killed ten of my almost grown (had them since day old) flock. it made me sick. i was down to four girls. later i wanted more birds - got five. four of them turned out to be boys & the one girl died (egg bound). i kept the biggest rooster & i now have a flock of four girls & one boy.
    they free range in 1 1/2 acre. i've had one hawk attack. it hit one of my girls. feathers everywhere. my big boy charlie jumped in and fought him off. the girl was fine (a little rattled [​IMG] ).
    every single day i know something can happen to them. my choice is free range. they live their chicken lives to it's fullest come what may.

    my predator risk is hawk. i have two german shepherds that aren't going to let anything get in the yard. the girl who killed the ten - we didn't "do" anything to her. she was about a year old. hubby scolded her. when i came home & found out, i was so mad at her i wouldn't talk to her & snubbed her for a few days. she has never offered to come near them again.[​IMG]
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