- May 26, 2019
Hi All Experienced Chicken Keepers...I have had my first disaster with my flock of 16 hens, 4.5 months old. (Black Australorps, Barred Rocks, Cuckoo Marans, Easter Eggers, Ameracauna, Buff Laced Polish). They've been free ranging during the day, between 10-4. I was gone for 1 hour today and came home to find feathers everywhere, one dead hen, and five hens missing. The 11 I have now came trickling in from the woods throughout the day. I assume a fox....but I also saw a large hawk circling this evening. I know to expect losses with free range....and I've been waiting to see if I have a rooster. None seem to have appeared yet. I have no dogs or other beasts to protect the flock. I guess my question is....always keep them inside the electric fence? Any brilliant ideas out there about free ranging? I'm pretty sad about it all and wonder if I should even have chickens. I lost a Golden Laced Wyandotte, 2 Barred Rocks, and two Polish.