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First Air Assault...what do I do now?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by imzadi, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. imzadi

    imzadi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2012
    So, my chickies have been free ranging during the day since October...and locked up at night. No probs. Yesterday, about 3pm...we heard a loud comotion from the yard (we live in Maine) and hubby didn't like it so he ran out to check.

    Yup...he comes running back in and says an eagle got Marty (our silky roo). I guess the eagle picked Marty up and was flying off with him when hubby got there...about 6 feet up...dropped him when hubby made lots of noise but...came right back at Marty. Hubby DID scare the eagle off...Marty SEEMS to be ok this am...but one wing is pretty bad and not sure about one eye.

    Anyway, we have a smallish (10 x 10 run) that we finally rounded them all up into (was NOT easy...even scratch wasn't getting some of those birds out of their hiding place in the trees and under the pourch!). We put a tarp over the run completely for now...as both hubby and I work and I don't dare leave them uncovered now that they've been found.

    My question is...I assume that this eagle will be back now that he knows the tasty treats are there. The girls (and my two roos) love to free range and we have a goodly amount of evergreens for them to hide it bu...a big open area too. I really don't feel comfortable with them free ranging right now...especially with us gone during the day. But...am concerned about a tarp over the run and them losing sunlight (have heard vit D deficiency is an issue causing rickets in chickens). How long should I keep them penned before I can feel "safe" that they can free range again? Hoping after a week or so the eagle will forget them and move on. Is this just wishful thinking?

    Also...the run is small enough that I COULD put chicken wire (or hardware cloth?) over the entire top...that would let IN the sun...but would it keep out flying predators?

    Thanks for the help. and we were just starting to get some great eggs...oh well...at least didn't lose anyone!
     
  2. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 3, 2012
    My run is covered with 1/2" hardware cloth, top, sides and bottom. It was expensive, but I feel confident that my flock is as safe as I can make it for them. When I am home I have a large fenced in area that is covered with aviary netting, so that they can be out and forage a bit. I haven't seen eagles, but we have a lot of hawks and this seems keep them at bay. Hope your roo recovers quickly.
     
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Taylors, SC
    I think that any sort of visible barrier over the run will deter raptors. I doubt that a raptor would try to fly through an array of cord, if it thought that it might not make it and be entrapped in the run. It has to fly into the run, get a chicken, and fly out.

    I have cord strung from end to end of my run, spaced about 6 inches apart. It is easily seen. I have large trees over the run. It seems to me that it would be hard to make a clean flight in and out through the trees and the cord.

    Anyway, that is how I look at it.

    We have hawks here, but my chickens forage every day. There are many places for them to hide, readily accessible from almost anywhere they might be.

    Chris
     
  4. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    I also had a hawk attack in the spring. I knew the hawk would be back, so i kept everyone locked up and i "roofed" their fenced area with chicken wire. It worked. But i had to keep them locked up a few weeks to be safe before letting them free range again. Now I have standard roosters all grown up, they look out for hawks and protect the ladies. There have been no more accidents.
     

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