Free ranging during the day and predators.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Vallen513, May 15, 2009.

  1. Vallen513

    Vallen513 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    I have about a half acre on my property. What I would like to do is let the chickens free range while I am at work (8am-5pm). I am worried about predators. I figure dogs and hawks would be a concern. I would fence the area with welded wire fencing. I was thinking about getting some of that plastic bird/deer netting, and covering most of the top to protect from hawks. Are there other predators to be concerned about during the day, that I would need even more protection from?
     
  2. Polish Chickens

    Polish Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2009
    Houston
    You'll also need to be aware of Fishers, Foxes, Coyotes, Possums, Minks, Weasles and Racoons
     
  3. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    I think the major daytime concern is dogs, fox, and hawks. I have never lost a bird to a raptor of any kind though. Fox have never gotten one during the day here (night time a different story) but my hubby and I were in full camo once sitting under a tree on our property. A moma fox came sneaking up within 3 feet of us on her way to catch one of then hens scratching in the brush behind us! We scared her off. Dogs have killed so many chickens during the day here....probably close to 20 or 30.
     
  4. TheDuckCrew

    TheDuckCrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2009
    Connecticut
    Quote:yep. we had a weasel take our full grown pekin and a coyote take another. weasels can fit anywhere their head can fit, the rodents. fisher cats are like large weasels, and if you have those, you will need to super secure, the things are crazy. during the day, you should be pretty safe from most predators, but dogs and hawks could be a problem. do you have a roo? could you have a place for them to run if there is anything?
     
  5. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    I would make that electric netting, myself.

    I'm not sure I would worry all that much about hawks, though. There are hawks everywhere here, and I thought they would be a big problem. I decided I would try my layers in a big pen, figuring I would lose a couple but decided it was worth the chance.

    I haven't lost a single bird to hawks.

    Edited to add...
    My meat chickens and turkeys I run in modified Joel Salatin style tractors. That protects them from pretty much everything around here, and they get fresh grass every day, rather than wearing out favorite spots the way my layers do.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  6. Vallen513

    Vallen513 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    I don't even have the chickens yet. Still in the planning stages. I unfortunately won't have a rooster. Don't want the neighbors complaining, and have to get rid of them all. We don't have any Fisher cats or weasels around here. Foxes and coyotes are a possibility. The dogs are too, mainly why I would get the welded wire fence.

    There isn't much cover where I am trying to fence in, a few bushes here and there. What would be a good type of protective building/shelter to have, if any? Like a wood shed with a pop door? Would the hens be able to fit, and not the fox?

    Or should I just put up the fence, and just take a loss here and there?
     

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