Hello from Illinois!!!

lisa6

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
1
0
7
Hi, I just joined, because there is always a world of information on this site. Always from other owners who just want to help and have so much experience. I just have 9 laying hens, 14 chicks, 10 more chicks coming at end of April, one quarter horse and hopefully 2 kunekune piglets very soon.
I had a couple questions. First, I just recently had a fox come kill a total of 6 hens. Only know it's a red fox, because I caught him in the act!!! My chickens are free range and I haven't let them out since the last 2 were taken. I know it's spring so it's the high time for foxes. Is there anything I should do to make sure my hens are safe? I am scared to let them out even from like 11am to 6pm. They can hunt during day too!!
My second question is I am in the process of purchasing 2 kunekune piglets. I have 2 breeders. One has a barrow and a gilt, the other has 2 barrows. Which is the better choice? Male over female. They are for pets for my 27 yrs old autistic daughter. I want them to be very friendly. The 2 barrows can come home about 5 - 6 weeks and the barrow and gilt not til 8 to 10 wks. I would also like to start working and handling them as early as possilbe. Any information is welcome. Both breeders are very nice and seem reputable. I tend to love fixed males in animals, although I do have both. Horse is mare and I have a female dog. And of course ALL hens!!! haha!!!
Thanks so much!!! Also, my daughter really loves to interact with her animals. I want them to want her as much!!!
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
40,985
62,083
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop


Welcome to BYC!

I am so sorry for your losses to the fox! He will no doubt be back for more. So I wouldn't let the birds out unless you can supervise them. I can't let my birds out at all unless I am there with them as we have way too many predators. So you may need to add a run to your coop. A good rooster can help protect the flock, but this is no guarantee either. You can also try electric fencing. I have never used this type of fencing so I can't really say how well it works.

As for your piglets, we do have a Other Livestock section here on BYC that you might post this question. I don't know a thing about them other than how cute they are. LOL....

https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/22/other-pets-livestock

Good luck with all your projects! I hope you can get the predator problem figured out soon. Welcome to our flock!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! So sorry for your losses, foxes are very efficient predators unfortunately. You might check out the Predator forum for some suggestions on dealing with them https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/13/predators-and-pests and https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/red-fox-chicken-predators-how-to-protect-your-chickens-from-foxes generally electric fencing/netting and a good dog or two are your best bets if you want to let them free range to some extent.
You might want to check out the BYC sister site, BackYard Herds, they have a while section on pigs. http://www.backyardherds.com/
 

1muttsfan

Free Ranging
9 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,033
6,891
657
Upper Peninsula Michigan
Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan


Like TwoCrows, I only let my birds out when I am here to keep an eye on them, there are way to many predators for unsupervised free ranging. Certainly keep them in for a few weeks to discourage the fox. However, where there is one predator, there are always more.

Personally I think neutered male animals make better pets if breeding is not desired. Females naturally tend to be ready for offspring and in a way do not necessarily give you all their attention. Having said that, there are many female animals that make great pets, and they can be very protective of the young.
 

Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
20,586
1,283
401
Welcome to BYC!
We're glad to have you. I don't know much about pigs, but in general I would also go with the neutered male animal. In my experience, male animals (chickens, rabbits, etc) tend to be more friendly and personable than the females.
 

Duckopolis

Songster
5 Years
Mar 19, 2014
2,525
67
163
In the Wilderness of Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
Good luck with your poultry raising adventures, and I hope you find everything you need to know. Don't forget to take a look at BYC's very useful learning center (If you haven't already)! The learning center as well as the forum should answer your questions! There is always something new to learn! Glad to have you here! See you around with the flock.
 
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