First Time chicken owner...So many questions!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by annabananaandfamily, May 6, 2011.

  1. annabananaandfamily

    annabananaandfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
    Maine
    Good morning everyone!
    My family and I got our first 5 chickens last week and have had more fun watching them, gwtting to know them, collecting eggs, etc. Who knew chickens could be so entertaining?!
    I have a bunch of questions that, until I found this site, had no idea who to ask!
    So here goes!
    First, today we were visited by a hungry hawk who managed to get 2 of our girls (one a favorite of my kids:( ). I am really not sure what to do to protect against hawks. We have since strung some cd's in the yard as someone told me the shining would deter predators from above. Any other suggestions would be great!
    My next question ids actually brought on by my first. We also read that getting a rooster would help keep the girls safe. While we do live in an area we can have a rooster in, we do have close neighbors and I really dont want to bother them. How loud are roosters, really? Do you think blacking out the windows in the coop so we can control wake up time more would be helpful? I'm not trying to get then to sleep until non our anything (I have 4 kids, noon stoppedbeing an option a long time ago!), just 7 ish would be great. Amd if we do get a rooster, how would we go about introducing him to the flock?
    Hmm, I think that might be all I have for now... Thanks for the help and your time!
     
  2. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]
    When I had my rooster he wasn't really that loud, my dogs were way louder. He did start crowing about 3am though, and all day long. [​IMG]
     
  3. bockbock2008

    bockbock2008 Why do they call me crazy??

    Dec 30, 2008
    Southwest Indiana
    [​IMG] from Indiana! I'm sorry to hear you've already lost 2 of your new chicks. There is a whole section dedicated to predators. Click on "index" and scroll until you find it. Hawks are a big issue since its illegal to hurt or kill thme just about everywhere. They just show up out of nowhere and then its over. He will probably be back so keep an eye out to prevent his next meal coming from your yard. The best way to be sure a hawk won't get them is to completely cover the run and keep them confined all the time. There is another method of using fishing line but I haven't tried that. Not what anybody wants to hear, I know. I take my chances because I would rather see them out and happy. A rooster will probably not help with hawks. They have gotten my roos too. [​IMG]
     
  4. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    Hello from Oregon and welcome to BYC! I'm so sorry about your loss, especially coming so quickly! [​IMG] CDs help attract Crows who help chase Hawks away and if you hang them closely, so that they spiral, it will help keep hawks at bay. They don't like flying into them and if the strands are run OVER your run and not down into it, the Hawks will hesitate to try to drop down through them.

    All that being said, your best defense is to cover your run with something sturdy like hardwire cloth or other strong, metal fencing. Hawks can be kept away by bird netting but other predators can climb up and fall or chew through netting. Much of what you do will depend on the type of predators common to your area. We do have an open run but it's covered by threads of string, strung with CDs and while we have tons of hawks in our area, they've never attempted to drive through the CDs. The run is also full of low, broad evergreen shrubbery that provide excellent protection against hawks, and the perimeter is surrounded by three strands of electric fencing, which is very effective against ground predators. The only reason it's not covered is because it's simply too big - the size of a large suburban yard.

    All in all, I feel like the chickens are safer free ranging, where they have room to hide and run, than they are in the open run. An inadequately protected run simply cages the chickens so they're easier for predators to successfully attack. Our main run is covered by corrugated roofing material and surrounded by three strand electric fencing and as secure as it is, I still wouldn't call it predator-proof.

    Roosters do help protect hens but they can be awfully hard on them, too! As for how loud they are... well, most cities won't allow them for that reason. We have country neighbors with roosters that we hear all day every day but they're so far away it's just this faint, lovely sound.

    Okay, that was a really long response. I'm sure you will get many different opinions. I should add that I'm not an expert. I'm simply speaking from personal experience.
     
  5. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    Post script: A friend's rooster attacked and killed a hawk that swooped down on his hen. The hen and rooster were both scratched up but recovered!
     
  6. bockbock2008

    bockbock2008 Why do they call me crazy??

    Dec 30, 2008
    Southwest Indiana
    Quote:My rooster must just be big wusses! [​IMG]
     
  7. cackydoodledoo

    cackydoodledoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2011
    Crazyville, USA
    Quote:My rooster must just be big wusses! [​IMG]

    I agree! If my rooster had a tail it would be tucked all the time.

    As far as blacking out the windows I wouldn't bother. Roosters will crow whenever they please. Mine sits out there and crows at midnight!!!!!!

    Oh and [​IMG]
     
  8. white01

    white01 Brady Brook Poultry

    May 11, 2010
    West Enfield,Maine
    [​IMG] [​IMG] from Maine
     
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.
     
  10. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    Quote:My rooster must just be big wusses! [​IMG]

    I agree! If my rooster had a tail it would be tucked all the time.

    As far as blacking out the windows I wouldn't bother. Roosters will crow whenever they please. Mine sits out there and crows at midnight!!!!!!

    Oh and [​IMG]

    For a rooster to be helpful as a protector, it obviously has to act like a Rooster. [​IMG] The sweet ones are much more enjoyable as pets though!
     

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