first loss

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by svalentine, May 14, 2010.

  1. svalentine

    svalentine In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2010
    Efland NC
    I had my first loss last night. What can get into a run and steal 2 chickens leaving almost no trace? It appears whatever came under the fence in a very small space and somehow managed to take 2. There are feathers in the coop, on the top of the fence in 2 different places. Did the thing make 2 trips in and out?
    It has gotten really warm here in the south, so we've been leaving the windows on the coop open. So basically unprotected except for the fencing. Obviously this wasn't enough. And we need to close them in at night. But, like I said, it is getting warm.
    I read someone mention hardware cloth over the windows. Will the chickens peck holes in it?
    It is distressful to think of what went on out there last night. Poor dears must have been scared to death. I feel like a failure. I was supposed to keep them safe. Now I know we need to do more.
    I was so concerned with hawks and owls.
    Oh dear.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Hardware cloth is only a term used to describe welded wire that comes in rolls like fabric. It is tough as nails, so nothing can tear holes in it short of a pair of heavy snips. Hardware cloth over any openings will go a long way to securing your birds. Make sure you get something with small openings- 1/2 inch is the usual recommendation- otherwise a raccoon can reach through the wires and pull a bird through a piece at a time.

    Sorry about your losses. Don't beat yourself up too badly. It happens.
  3. svalentine

    svalentine In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2010
    Efland NC
    I see you're from NH so you don't have the heat and humidity to deal with like here in NC. What to do during the summer short of putting A/c in the coop so I can close them in overnight.
    I had no idea it was such a challenge to keep them safe. I was worried about them getting out, or something swooping down. So the poultry fence works for that and the deer netting over the top takes care of the hawks.
    but these night time predators are really stealthy.
    We have to be gone overnight one night soon and all the next day. Maybe I should just close them in the coop. Or maybe it's back to the brooder box in the basement. that is if they'd even fit now.
    I have family in Manchester.
  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    You coop can be open to the world, and have hardware cloth covering all of the openings. Chicken wire and/or deer netting will not do. You need to act today or you will have additional deaths very soon. Below is an example of how I used hardware cloth to secure my windows.

    Tilt out windows.




    Notice that in the background you can see 2x4 welded wire and an electric fence. It may be overkill, but it is secure.

    Build a fort knox.
    This was before I had installed the electric fence.
  5. brendapa

    brendapa Songster

    Feb 2, 2010
    Chester County, PA
    Hardware cloth over windows so I can open the windows and screens at night.



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