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Fully enclosed, is that ok?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Arteest763, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Arteest763

    Arteest763 Out Of The Brooder

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    I read about the predators that people are dealing with and it makes me worry about my new flock. Letting them free range is just not going to be possible here. We have 2 to 5 hawks at any given time circling overhead all day every day. Owls at night and two dogs that an owner will not enclose, and don't get me started on the coyotes. I would love to have them out in the yard but them getting eaten, even if I am out there, will happen for sure. My only hope is a tractor and even then, I will have to be present. We have thousands of ground squirrels and rabbits here and killing them will just put a small dent in the population. My question is, is it ok to keep them in the coop 24/7? It will give them a fighting chance to survive against the predators, but I want them to be happy too. Any thoughts?
     
  2. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My thought is just a really strong fence for a run. I know what you mean though. My birds stay inside a lot because we have a hawk who has claimed way too many of my birds.
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    It comes down to what you are comfortable with. Most commercially raised chicken for meat and egg never see the outdoors. The taste good and churn out the eggs. Personally, I wouldn't want to raise my birds that way - if I did, I'd just buy chicken to eat and eggs from the store. I balance the risks and rewards of free range. Unless you have bears or something similarly tough, you can construct a sturdy predator proof tractor...or a covered run?? While my birds range, I sometimes keep them in their run - it is just chain link dog panels (keeps out dogs and coyotes) and I have the whole thing covered to protect from hawks.
     
  4. Arteest763

    Arteest763 Out Of The Brooder

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    We are building a full large run for them, so they will not be in a coop building all day. They will get outside just inside the 10x10 enclosed area. Our tractor will have to be covered, but they will hopefully get some fresh grass. They just won't be able to get out and roam around the yard.
     
  5. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can't allow them to run loose then I agree the sturdy run with a cover of some sort is the most secure option, I wouldn't keep them in coop all the time, I believe they at least need a fenced area to roam and scratch in, though as stated keeping them in a properly fashioned coop certainly won't kill them, I just personally don't like to do it. I too have a ignorant neighbor who believes he is above following the animal control laws that pretty much the whole country abides by, I refuse to live my life around his problem animals coming on my property. When they come I call the sheriff and he is ticketed which doesn't do a whole lot of good but sooner or later the Sheriff will see it as a repeat offense take a stricter approach, also it is legal for me to kill straying dogs if they attack myself or my pets or livestock, I haven't had to do it yet but I will. I am not going to spend hard earned money to construct a fort knox for chickens simply because some jerk won't keep his dogs penned.
     
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    I have hawks too. Plant a lot of cover for them. I have clumps or ornamental grasses all over the yard.Plus rose of sharon and corkscrew willow.All grow fast. I have a 6 foot chainlink around my yard. I did make smaller runs,but the chickens like to roam.

    You could build a really big run and/or fence in an area with cover.Like they do for cat enclosures add stuff the chickens can jump up on. I am always finding the chickens on the wicker bench or my 2 seat swing.The roo really loves jumping up and crowing.

    Any dog or cat that I catch in my yard never leaves.Same for any other animal I don't want in my yard. I am a fence person and spent thousands on fencing my property to keep humans and animals out.Best money ever spent.

    If you do a run consider putting in a bale or straw every so often.Replace it before it gets nasty so the birds are not living in poo.You will find something that works,Noise and streamers for the hawks.Coyotes and foxes you will have to kill.
     
  7. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too have a 6ft chainlink fenced backyard which goes into the woods, I am going to arrange my coop so the birds can range that area as well as be locked into their run if need be. The plant cover is a good idea, as a kid my dad had approx 75 layers and their run was around a sumac growth which provides solid canopy above, we never lost a chicken to a raptor
     
  8. Arteest763

    Arteest763 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you everyone. One other question...we have rattlesnakes and gopher snakes. I have not heard anyone mention a snake danger. Has anyone lost eggs or chickens to snakes?
     
  9. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good question, we don't have any large dangerous snakes here, pine snakes can get big but they are rare anymore, the chickens will kill the small snakes if they see them and can get at them
     
  10. Hammerga

    Hammerga Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in N. Ga. and around here it is not uncommon to hear snakes eating eggs. I have never heard of a snake biting a chicken. It may happen I just never heard of it. Just today I was talking to a friend about keeping snakes out of my coop and he claims I can not make a snake proof coop. I am out to prove him wrong on that one.
     

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