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Frigid Cold + Snow Cover = Increase in Predator Attacks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mtn Laurel, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I'm sure this isn't news to those of you in northern states who are used to long period of frigid cold with snow cover but it's something that I - in Virginia - am experiencing for the first time.

    We've had really cold-for-us weather the past three weeks and snow cover for about two weeks. I'm thinking this is keeping all those little rodents that the hawks and owls normally feed on in their dens or somewhere out of sight as the hawks and owls have become rather brazen. It would appear they're hungry.

    I noticed an owl sitting in a tree next to our chicken coop about a week ago. That was new, we've never had one there before. The run is covered so no meal for him there. I also feed our squirrels [yeah, I'm crazy] on the railing of our deck. Yesterday - in front of our picture window so everyone had a view - an owl swooped down in the middle of the day and snagged a squirrel off my deck railing. It would appear that I have created an Owl Buffet in feeding the squirrels there. Other birds aren't safe, either, as a friend had a hawk take a bird while eating at his bird feeder several days ago.

    Just thought I'd pass on this observation for those of us who are experiencing this cold snap and snow with chickens for the first time. We need to be extra vigilant in protecting our birds - and cats and small dogs - as the predators are extra hungry right now.

  2. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    I lost a duck to an a couple days ago at the pond, that has not happened in 2 years, so they are getting desperate, thank god it has warmed up been hearing the rabbits maken a fuss so the owls should be back on their regular diet and not risking their lives with my dogs trying to take a duck. It wasn't a waisted kill my dogs will get it next time i cook for them [​IMG] a reward for a job well done.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Any wild bird feeder, and I guess squirrel feeders too, is going to attract hawks...I stopped with the wild bird feeders when I got chickens, and I don't even free range.

    Friend had a hawk take a bird at her feeders the other day.

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