everything wants my chickens for dinner!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AHappychick, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    Even though I am litterally 20 minutes outside NYC I have every predator you can think of all wanting a nice fresh chicken dinner and frankly I am not inclined to share. Seriously though I know people who live much farther upstate and dont have the problems I have. So far I have been able to count 4 cooper hawks, 2 red foxes, countless raccoons, my own 2 outdoor cats (they are the easiest to keep away) My boy friends 2 dogs (one by mistakely killed 2 chickens last year one which was then burried feet end up in my sons playset cedar chips until I located it (thank God ds did not see) Skunks, owls and more.

    It is really the hawks that bother me most there have been a few close calls but i managed to not loose any chickens to them.

    Is there anyway to let my chickens free range or is that a hopeless cause? I do it sometimes when I can walk around with them and keep them safe but I always invisioned them roaming the yard (it is fenced in with 6 foot fence) But know if I do that I will loose them to the hawks.

    My boyfriend wants to shoot them but I wont let him kill anything we wont eat. So that is out of the question.
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    With that many hawks, I wouldn't be letting my chickens free range any time soon.

    Get a large covered run.
     
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Yep, you need a covered run, or maybe one of those very cool "lawn tractors" for chickens. I have predators everywhere here in SC, and I have found that my ideas of raising chickens have had to adjust to reality, too. [​IMG]

    As far as shooting hawks? There are laws against that, certainly not worth going to jail or paying a huge fine. Might be a Federal offense, too. Yikes!

    I finally had to expand the run, and cover it to keep the hawks and owls out. Bury wire or pour concrete to keep the coons from digging under, do everything you can to secure the coop and run. It's a pain, but I sleep better now!

    Good luck!
     
  4. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    Quote:I did build them a large run I just was hoping there was another option. Someone told me to tie down balloons with a face on it and with lots of ribbon attatched and that would confuse the hawks and keep them from coming down to snag the chickens has anyone tried that?
     
  5. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    Quote:I would never let him shoot the hawks, you are probably right about it being illegal, even if it was not though I would never harm them I think they are beautiful I just dont want to give them a free dinner lol
     
  6. herechickchick

    herechickchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    Tie CD's on strings from trees. I know people who do that and say the reflection from the spinning CD scares the hawk. As for the others you need to start trapping them and either killing them or take them VERY far away and let them go.
     
  7. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Quote:I did build them a large run I just was hoping there was another option. Someone told me to tie down balloons with a face on it and with lots of ribbon attatched and that would confuse the hawks and keep them from coming down to snag the chickens has anyone tried that?

    As outside air temp changes the air in the balloons will contract, shrinking them.

    CD's are a good way to go.
     
  8. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

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    CD's work really well. I made a "net" sort of, about eight feet off the ground with heavy duty twine. The squares are about 3 feet across. I did that over about 100 ft area, and they use that as their place to retreat to. I also gave them pallets set up about a foot to get under. I'm working now on making the area pretty instead of utility but you do what you have to.

    I didn't have any fire crackers but used the bang of the shotgun to make the area unfriendly when I saw them for awhile. All that together and I have not even seen them in a week.

    I also used a few cans, stripped of labels and their lids tied where they blow together. That helps.

    Wire is important around the base of coops and pens to keep out the digging things of the night.
     
  9. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    Thanks for the cd advise. Presently my chickens are in a coop in my garage lol. It is very nice and large. By this spring I will have built a larger coop and will only use my garage pen for keeping my Roo. (I am an outlaw chicken lover it is against the zoning in my town so the Roo can no longer live outside now that he crows) with a few hens that I wish to breed with him. So at that point I wont be as worried about the animals as much as the hawks. i did have 5 coons trapped and relocated up north this past fall so I am hoping that the coon population will stay down for a while. There is nothing I can do about the fox except have a good safe coop. He is absolutly beautiful and rare for my area so i would never want it moved or harmed.

    Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  10. chickaboom

    chickaboom Out Of The Brooder

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    Stray dogs got into our run this morning. *sigh* It's ALWAYS something. I'm in town too and my girls are the constant "babes in the wood". Fox, Owl, Hawk, Dogs, Racoons, Possum, Rats(I haven't seen evidence but I know they're out there). Poor girls. Tonights predator is COLD! We packed their house extra tight with straw.
     

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